I found a question on profanity filters a while ago. I've viewed it many times. Today, I flagged one answer as being effectively spam, yet in the time it took me to write an additionally useful answer, it was closed by a number of users as 'not constructive'...

How does one respond to such actions other than raise it here?

My points being:

  • It's an entirely valid question
  • It's a remarkably common question
  • The subject remains valid through the passage of time
  • It requires multiple points of reference and guidance
  • There are very few guidance points on the web
  • There are few canonical/generalised answers to this subject and which should be developed as consideration points for those wishing to pursue a solution

I don't consider my answer perfect by any means, but it comes from a great deal of experience in implementing such methods/features, which go against the reasons for closing a question (and one which had many up-voted answers already)

  • 4
    I can see why the question was closed, and I can also see why it shouldn't be. The core question is valid, perhaps a bit more suitable for Programmers than Stack Overflow, but the way it's formulated leaves a lot to be desired. Several of the answers (and comments) prove that "this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion" and I have a feeling that if the question was asked today it would be closed very quickly. I don't see much harm in re-opening it, but at the same time I don't see any value in it. If it's not going to be deleted, I'd say keep it as is. – yannis Nov 19 '12 at 5:07
  • @YannisRizos Your points very much noted. However, with so many upvotes, why close it. I agree that numerous answers are worthless though and which I attempted to do something about by answering myself. This question made the top 5 google results for profanity filter and that says a lot about the subject. – nickhar Nov 19 '12 at 5:22
  • 3
    Hm, if the question is sufficiently answered, why re-open it? It's easily discoverable and there's little point in it generating more answers. If it was open it might confuse people that this kind of question (and formulation) is acceptable, and it really isn't. Closed doesn't mean dead, diseased, f'ing horrible, etc (the list of various interpretation given on MSO is endless), it simply means... closed. In the same way that a door can be open or closed. – yannis Nov 19 '12 at 5:46
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    Just deleted the answer. Regardless of the question, that answer doesn't need to stick around. Thanks for flagging! – BoltClock's a Unicorn Nov 19 '12 at 6:34

The question is one of those legacy posts, written before the rules for SE questions had really crystallized. It actually has more than one issue:

  • it asks multiple questions
  • the questions are open-ended: What are some good methods for catching folks trying to trick the system
  • it asks for recommendations ("shopping"): Are there APIs available to sources that contain good lists

One option for this kind of question is to re-word it so that it's more focused, then flag for it to be re-opened. In this case, though, since the question is 4 years old and there are already 10+ answers based on the original wording, any new answers would tend to get buried amidst all the noise.

It would be better to find or create narrower, more focused questions based on the individual components of this question. It clearly shouldn't be deleted as there's a lot of valuable info there, but it's best to leave it closed.

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