Recently a user had completely lost it after getting question banned and he posted 3 spam answers:

10k only - No mods were on at the time to process our flags, but we mob-deleted them from the Lounge<C++> chatroom.

All three of these posts had links to... apparently gay porn.

We managed to delete and remove the links from the latter two. But the first one was deleted and locked by Community from spam/offensive flags. So we are unable to remove that link. (even if it's visible to 10k users only, we prefer to get rid of the link)

So can we get the Community user to automatically remove all links from a post that it deletes?

  • I'm not sure I'd be happy about automatic deletion of all links, but I have to agree that it would be better than the current situation.
    – sbi
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 7:58
  • We could also extend this to include images as well.
    – Mysticial
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 7:59
  • @sbi I think this question is requesting that we automatically de-link all of the links in a post that is removed via spam flags. I don't see how that would be objectionable. Commented May 2, 2012 at 8:00
  • 1
    I flagged the answer, moderator should be able to edit it even though it's locked. Anyway I can't see the reasoning in locking the answer. Commented May 2, 2012 at 8:00
  • @sbi: I agree, but keep in mind you can always go to the revision history if something useful was accidentally lost. (Additionally, I'm sure 99% of the posts Community deletes and locks are trash and never come back to life anyway.)
    – GManNickG
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 8:06
  • 1
    @GManNickG - it's useful when looking at new spam being able to quickly determine if it's the same thing as something that was previously deleted, so the links should remain visible, even if not clickable in my view.
    – Flexo
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 8:57
  • @awoodland: Is it, though? (Honest question, not rhetoric.) Whenever I come across something deleted as spam I pretty much ignore it. How useful is it to evaluate spam?
    – GManNickG
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 9:04
  • 2
    IMO a better solution would be to not lock these posts anymore, so the community can edit out links after deletion on a case-by-case basis. Locking doesn't serve a purpose anyway; you used to be able to just undelete your mod-deleted posts unless locked, but that no longer works.
    – a cat
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 9:17
  • 2
    @GManNickG - several times I've nearly missed that things are basically reposts of previously deleted spam because they've been edited to --------------------- or similar and that makes a difference in how I flag it and presumably how moderators handle it. (If it looks like a one-time thing I'd tend to give it the benefit of the doubt and flag as "not an answer" or edit instead of spam flag and I'm less likely to check for sockpuppets in that case too)
    – Flexo
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 9:21
  • @awoodland: Ah, that makes quite a bit of sense. Thanks.
    – GManNickG
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 9:40

4 Answers 4


Going forward, deleted answers that have had any spam or offensive flags raised against them, will not show the answer body but the following text:

This answer was marked as spam or offensive and is therefore not shown - you can see the revision history for details

Where "the revision history" links to the answer revision history.

This applies to 10k users; moderators still view the original message.

The vote box (with score) and comments will still appear.

With you in the next build (rev 2013.10.8.1061).

  • One presumes that if the answer is undeleted (perhaps because it was falsely flagged) this message will not appear? Or will a manual rollback be needed?
    – ale
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 12:56
  • 3
    @AlEverett - If the answer is undeleted, it will reappear in its full glory.
    – Oded
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 13:04
  • 3
    Excellent. Now I can brag about having a feature request implemented more than a year after I requested it. :D:D
    – Mysticial
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 16:05
  • Will this be rolled out for questions, too?
    – mpdonadio
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 12:25
  • @MPD - It hasn't been implemented for questions, as those are a lot harder to come by once deleted.
    – Oded
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 12:26
  • So in case of an offensive message that a mod is about to delete, the mod should first flag it as offensive before deleting it? Otherwise if it has no spam/offensive flags it will still show up.
    – jippie
    Commented Oct 12, 2013 at 6:21
  • @jippie - Assuming that the moderator has not been alerted to the post by others flagging it as spam/offensive in the first place? If the post has no flags on it, yes. But it tends to be the other way around - people flag and moderators delete in response.
    – Oded
    Commented Oct 12, 2013 at 7:59
  • Worth to mention the user details are hidden as well. :) Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 10:31
  • 1
    The styling can do with some work, at least on Stack Overflow; the link for the revision history does not stand out in any discernible way. Perhaps an underline can be added back for links in deleted posts? Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 14:17
  • Hey Oded, what happens if a post flagged as offensive is then self-deleted by the poster, who then realizes his or her mistake and tries to correct it?
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 22:24
  • 1
    @jmort253 - the OP will be able to edit the post. And it can be undeleted. If it remains deleted, the message will display.
    – Oded
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 7:04
  • Hello! Is this working in Spanish Language? I just deleted this post and had to manually blank it because it wasn't showing this message. Note I am moderator in that site, so my flag as spam was instantly marked as Helpful. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 9:38
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    @fedor you don't see the message because you are a moderator. 10k users will see it.
    – Oded
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 12:24
  • Aaaah this makes sense! Thanks a lot, I wasn't aware of this. Updating your answer to make it more visible. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 12:44
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    @Oded My point is, if the answer gets deleted by 10k delete votes before it can get enough spam flags (which almost always happens on PPCG), a mod still has to go and undelete the post and then spam nuke it manually? Or would it suffice to mark the spam flags as helpful after the deletion? Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 16:10

I found this feature-request because I wanted to post a similar one. I'm in favor of this proposal, but would like to go a step further:

Completely replace the content of a spam post with a general message.

While it is true that normal users can't see deleted post anyway, we moderators and 10k+ users can see them, and they can be quite annoying. Especially because they are colored differently they tend to catch your eyes. And I don't like to see gay porn links or viagra ads during my daily moderator duties. On my main site TeX.SE we often delete the content manually before the post gets closed as spam.

If someone wants to check the original content he/she can do so by checking the history. Also an incorrectly closed post can simply be rolled back.

  • 1
    It's not just seeing them that's annoying. Depending on your browser's prefetch settings, the evil website can get your IP and browser stats -- useful when tracking you across the web. Plus they know that you are a 10K+ user. Finally, when they see the traffic, they can rightly assume that their attack worked at least in part. ... Best to deny them any satisfaction. Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 1:47

I think lunboks' comment hit the nail right on the head:

There is no reason to lock an answer deleted for being spam.

I don't understand why this got locked, but had it gotten unlocked the moment it was deleted, everything would have been fine.

  • 5
    It gets locked to avoid the post is edited, probably from the OP who wrote it. It also avoids the post is accidentally undeleted, in the case it is not so evident it is spam.
    – apaderno
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 11:20
  • 1
    @kiamlaluno: Why would it be a problem if such a post would be edited by the OP? And defending against "accidental undeletion" by allowing a link to gay porn to be visible to thousands of SO users seems a but, um, odd.
    – sbi
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 16:41
  • If the OP wrote spam, the same user could remove the links he used, hoping that somebody would undelete the post, and then add again the same links. It would be more odd if somebody doesn't notice it is spam, and undelete it, letting all the users see the post. I see many spam posts, on Drupal Answers, and frankly, once I know it spam, and it has been deleted, I stop worrying about it; I don't even read the post, once I see it is deleted, and locked by Community.
    – apaderno
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 16:53
  • @kiamlaluno: First — if the OP removes the spam links and if(!) the answer gets then deleted, the answer is in the same state as if the OP had not put in a spam link at all. He could corrupt an existing answer by adding spam links no matter whether that answer had any spam before or not. Second — it's neigh impossible to get a closed answer reopened after you have spammed the site. Finally — if the spam is seen in the then-changed-again answer, the answer will be delete-voted or flagged.
    – sbi
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 9:36

I think deleted posts are supposed to be hidden away. Thus, it really doesn't matter what their content is--you're not supposed to look at them except for moderation issues.

As such, the links allow other mode to see that the post was rightfully deleted. Though this can be seen from the revision history, I guess. So I'm on the fence on this one. Deleted posts are for mod-eyes-only, so we shouldn't have to clean them up. Mods should know what to expect whn checking out the links on a deleted post.

How about you change this to: "link-ify all images in Community-deleted spam posts" (i.e., replace the image with a link). This could avoid some NsFW situations for our poor mods.

Update: Alright, I see what you guys mean. Yeah, we should have Community hxxp:// the links or something.

  • 4
    They're not for mod-eyes-only. Deleted content is visible to all users with 10k or more reputation. Agreed that they are basically hidden away, but then again, they're not completely hidden. What would be the advantage of turning links in something that is conclusively spam into images when we could just remove them altogether? Commented May 2, 2012 at 8:05
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    When the answer is downvoted and greyed out, it's difficult to tell where the links are... let's just say that I accidentally clicked on one of them. That page basically disabled the back and close buttons on my browser. I had to kill FireFox from the Task Manager...
    – Mysticial
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 8:06
  • @TheE oh, I consider 10k==mod but not 10k===mod. So I use them interchangeably. I wasn't saying we convert links into images, I was saying we convert images into links. Commented May 2, 2012 at 8:07
  • Alright, I'll change it to say we should use "hxxp://" or something. I see what you guys mean Commented May 2, 2012 at 8:08

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