Saw this when it was still up:


Clicked on the link to be sure. (Check ouf for yourself.) The user name was quite telling, too ("Jali Furniture" or some such; note how he's actually destroyed now). Flagged the hell out of it, for mod attention and as spam — something I do very rarely, when I'm really sure. Downvoted, too (the above screenshot is by a fellow user, I don't have 10k). Going by the downvotes, at least one other user had flagged it as spam, so I wasn't alone in my assessment.

Little did I know this would become my first declined flag on SO ever.

Screenshot of declined spam flag

From our FAQ:

In fact, I dare you to google for "once again feeling happy and proud" and tell me with a straight face that what you get is not the very definition of spam.

So, what gives? Please advise.

  • Well, spam "beats" other flag reason, maybe it's because you flagged same post twice? Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 12:58
  • both flags you used apply here, including not-an-answer. Mod's decline for both flags is a mistake, decision made against general expectation of them to be capable of quick, competent and independent judgement of a situation
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 13:00
  • 6
    Note to self: Mods like jali furniture. Apparently that's not unsolicited.... :)
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 13:03
  • There's also the possibility that ThiefMaster handled these flags and only fat-fingered the decline for some reason. Unlikely, but possible. Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 13:36
  • Flagged the hell out of it, for mod attention and as spam — something I do very rarely, when I'm really sure. Downvoted, too... What's the point of that? A simple mod-attention flag "Spammer, requesting deletion of the account" is more than enough in my experience. Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 13:37
  • 5
    @Uni downvoted because this answer is not useful, and because 5 downvotes make it almost unreadable. Flagged for mod attention so they could delete it. Flagged as spam because it is spam, and because six such flags would make it go away automagically without mod intervention (there were 400+ other flags pending at that time, they can't be everywhere). What's the point of me using all the tools at my disposal exactly as they are supposed to be used, you ask? I don't know. Perhaps that's a question for Philosophy.SE.
    – ЯegDwight
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 14:08
  • @UnicornifiedBobby It's not impossible that ThiefMaster wasn't the one who handled the flags, him deleting the question does hint to it but he might discovered it by naturally browsing the site or by responding to another flag, after the other two were declined.
    – yannis
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 14:39
  • 3
    @gnat: There is no need to make snarky comments against moderators here. We are all human and thus do mistakes sometimes. Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 14:45
  • @ThiefMaster I was following guidance given (reiterated) in Summer Of Love blog post: "Above all, be honest... Add comments indicating what, specifically, is wrong."
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 15:20
  • 1
    @gnat You, sir, are a jackass. ;P
    – yannis
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 15:25
  • @YannisRizos yeah it's about time to recall that nicety yields to honesty "Everyone loves to quote from the FAQ’s etiquette section, particularly the first “be nice” bit. But it’s the last section that has all the action items: Be honest..."
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 15:53
  • 1
    @gnat Well, you know I agree with you in principle, but your comment might have been unnecessarily snarky. The bolding for example didn't really add anything to your intention to indicate what, specifically, is wrong.
    – yannis
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 16:12

3 Answers 3


Indeed, on the first look the post looked just like a random crappy post of someone who did not understand how Stack Overflow works. A moment after declining your flag I noticed the spam link (and thus nuked the user who posted it, too) - but the status of a flag cannot be changed afterwards; probably because while looking ugly in an otherwise-perfect flagging history a declined flag does not hurt.

The NAA flag got declined because of the simple reason that mods cannot handle multiple flags on the same post separately.

  • 6
    So you mean that by declining the spam flag, the NAA flag got auto declined as well? Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 14:50
  • Exactly <!-- 8 more to go --> Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 14:51
  • @ShaWizDowArd: From what I've heard, when there are multiple flags on a single post, a moderator can only approve/decline all of the flags. They can't pick and choose which to approve/decline. So a single action would send them all on their way with the same reason.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 18:19
  • @animuson well, that's a good reason to never flag same post with more than one flag. Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 20:47
  • @ShaWizDowArd never say never. I for one sometimes use second ("other") flag to pass additional details that can't covered by spam. This is needed quite infrequently, but still...
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 9:39
  • @gnat very heroic, you sacrifice your flag score for the good of the community! :) Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 9:43
  • @ShaWizDowArd well, having Marshal badge helps me bite that bullet :)
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 9:54
  • It looks like a very spam from beginning to end, people don't write that way, except when they are paid for. Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 12:13

Moderators are humans too, they can make mistakes just like anyone else.

That's definitely spam, and that's why the user has been nuked from orbit.

  • 11
    "Moderators are humans too ..." And as the scales fall from my eyes, I look about and find the world to be a bleak and barren place. There is nothing left that I can trust. Thanks for destroying my belief in an ordered universe.
    – Robusto
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 12:55
  • Lies!!, they are robots programmed by humans, they made the mistake!
    – Lamak
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 14:06
  • 1
    True, but I think OP already knows moderators are humans (as he's already moderating two SE sites ;)
    – yannis
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 14:17
  • @YannisRizos: It could be argued then that that is further proof of my argument. :-P Being a human moderator yourself but failing to recognize others are just as fallible as the next guy/gal is a human failure in and of itself! Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 14:49

If anybody is raising for moderator's attention then, first of all they should mention for which part they have marked it as spam so that moderator will consider it carefully and these types of errors will be prevented. It is hard to find the link with single look there might not be just one flag report so the moderator might have mistaken it in a hurry.

  • 3
    There is no place to leave a comment when flagging something as spam, so you can't tell mods what part is the spammy bit. Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 15:03
  • @MartijnPieters: But there's the Mod-Attention flag. And in these cases, in my opinion, it should be flagged for Mod-Attention anyway instead of Spam. But my opinion is not aligned with most others in this case. Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 15:06
  • @UnicornifiedBobby Right
    – NewUser
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 15:07
  • 1
    @UnicornifiedBobby: it's a blurry one, this case. Perhaps a mod-attention flag would have worked here, perhaps more experience with the many ways of the spammer on Thiefmaster's part is needed. Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 15:09
  • 7
    No, you should definitely flag spam as spam. The mod attention flags are all over the map and they take us a while to process. Spam flags are high priority, so most of us look at these first if there are any. Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 15:41
  • @BilltheLizard But I think there should be some messages attached with the spam request why exactly the content is spam. It would be better if there will be message with every spam request.
    – NewUser
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 15:44

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