A large number of users doesn't seem to know about the correct way to deal with obvious spam. They might just downvote the spam or flag it as "not an answer" while the by far fastest and most efficient way to get rid of the spam is to flag it as spam and trigger the auto-deletion.

I propose that on posts with at least one existing spam flag, if you take any negative action like downvoting or flagging a notice is displayed asking if you agree that the post is spam. If the user clicks yes, this triggers a spam flag from that user.

In the case of flagging, instead of a notice one could also just put the spam flag pre-expanded at the top of the flagging dialog.

This notice could also educate users about spam flags at the right moment when they are encountering a spam post.

To avoid misuse by making the spam flagging option too prominent, it might make sense to only enable this for 1 rep users and disable this feature when the spam flag is disputed by any user.

  • 1
    Yes I also want this feature to remove spam posts as soon as possible.
    – Himanshu
    Sep 28, 2012 at 11:16
  • 6
    It might want to be shown if anyone other than the OP edits the post, so people see it if they are just trying to remove the spam link. Obviously don't do it if the user has already flagged.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Sep 28, 2012 at 11:19
  • 2
    I would also put a rep limit in (once you cross "Established User" there's really no point showing this to you anymore) - otherwise this seems like an excellent idea.
    – voretaq7
    Sep 28, 2012 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


This seems to have support (+15 votes already) but I'd be concerned that this would cause a downward spiral. The assumption is that the first spam flag is correct. What if it isn't? Then subsequent viewers are pre-disposed to flagging as spam (which is -100 apiece, correct?) I agree that true spam messages will be removed faster, but some non-spam (but perhaps poor) questions or answers might be dragged down with them, too.

  • 7
    This is a concern. Perhaps only enabling this after two spam flags might be a (partial) solution.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Sep 28, 2012 at 15:38
  • Two flags would filter better, certainly.
    – John
    Sep 28, 2012 at 15:39
  • 2
    Spam flags (at least on SF) tend to be pretty reliable: The folks who know about them know how to use them properly. Perhaps on SO with its larger audience a 2-flag threshold makes sense, but I know on SF our average flag volume (and thus time to clear a flag) is WAY lower - it's pretty rare for stuff to attract more than one flag before a mod sees it and kills it if appropriate. a 2-flag threshold would mean the educational message would almost never be seen...
    – voretaq7
    Sep 28, 2012 at 16:45
  • 7
    Another very safe restriction is "only posts from 1 rep users". Almost all spam is from 1 rep users, and this will prevent hasty actions on borderline self-promotional posts from established users. Sep 28, 2012 at 18:16
  • 1
    John has a point about the herd instinct. Having a flag threshold as suggested would act as a safeguard, but the real issue here is how flagged posts are moderated.
    – Bobble
    Oct 2, 2012 at 1:08
  • If genuine posts are marked as spam mods can reopen it anytime, once re opened perhaps 5 or 10 rep can be deleted from users who flagged it as spam even though it was not.
    – GoodSp33d
    Mar 22, 2013 at 11:09

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