There was an answer posted on this question that was a link to a guy's personal blog, not to a specific post or anything. The only other thing he really said in the answer is that you might find something useful on his blog.

I flagged this as spam because

  1. It was to his personal site
  2. It was not to a relevant page
  3. He gave no explanation of how it would help

So this seems to fall under the definition of spam yet my flag was declined. However, the answer was also deleted. I am not sure which came first, the deleting of the answer or the declining of the flag. According to this my flag would have been removed if the answer got deleted first.

This seems too weird, why would this be declined? And I can't seem to review it since it was deleted.

  • 1
    IMO, that answer falls borderline between a really crappy answer and actual spam. It doesn't cry SPAM as loud as designer watches, but when you're processing hundreds of flags you just have to call it on these borderline cases.
    – Mysticial
    Oct 3, 2012 at 22:04
  • @Mysticial I could see how that makes since. However, it added nothing to answer the question so all that was left was advertisement for the guy's blog. Oct 3, 2012 at 22:06
  • @Wug Yes, I read that. And this situation meets the criteria. Oct 3, 2012 at 22:06
  • 1
    Just a link to someone's blog doesn't merit a spam report. It has to be BILLY MAYS HERE BUY LOTS OF OXYCLEAN grade spam in order to merit the spam flag.
    – Wug
    Oct 3, 2012 at 22:11
  • 1
    @Wug According to the link you provided, it says "unsolicited advertisement." How does that not fit? Oct 3, 2012 at 22:13
  • 3
    Glad you asked this so we can better explain how to use the spam/offensive flags.
    – Kev
    Oct 4, 2012 at 0:18
  • 1
    I had the exact same issue happen to me today and it does not feel nice. Jun 11, 2018 at 0:55

1 Answer 1


I declined the spam flag, yet ended up removing the answer.

I declined the spam flag because it wasn't pure spam. While he points to his blog, he does so in an attempt to answer the question. He's not promoting a commercial product or flooding us with links to an ad-supported site. We want people to be careful with spam / offensive flags, because of the significant penalties they carry, so we tend to decline spam flags where there's no obvious product or service promotion (or other abuse, like dumping dozens of links to a site).

However, I deleted the answer because it wasn't really an answer to the question asked. We generally frown on link-only answers, and that's effectively what this one was. He didn't provide a specific solution to the question asked, he just pointed people to a generic listing of posts he's made on the topic. We want answers to be able to stand on their own, and this one didn't. Your comment to him indicated as such, and if he wants to provide a more detailed answer that doesn't require people to visit his site, but linked to his posts there as a supplement, that would be perfectly welcome.

Had you flagged this as "not an answer" or a custom flag that described what you thought the problem was, I would have gladly accepted it. As I said, we want people to be a little more cautious with the spam flags, because those shoot to the top of our queue and can carry heavy penalties.

I still appreciate you taking the time to point this out, and I wouldn't worry about a single declined flag. I have a few of them myself, and they're no real problem as long as you keep flagging like you have.

  • Great response, this is exactly what I was looking for. Oct 3, 2012 at 22:32

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