Since the owner of this answer has been unobtrusive for the past three years, I would not suspect him for spamming. Nevertheless, six identical spammy answers have been posted within minutes. Should this be flagged as spam though, since this might lead to bad consequences for the user?

  • 6
    Sure, flag as spam. IMHO priority 1 is to get rid of spam post. Let's deal with any possible fallout after that. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 7:27
  • You can always go for a custom flag, explaining the situation.
    – Bart
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 7:30
  • @Bart I did, but I am missing an urgent option on the custom flag
    – bummi
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 7:31
  • "Crisis alert! Spam attack!" Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 7:32
  • 1
    You just did. Flag the spam, meta the concern. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 7:41

2 Answers 2


Just flag one of the posts as 'other' and explain what's going on. There's also a very good chance that the system has raised some additional flags to alert the moderators of duplicate content, quality, etc. Your flag on top of these adds even more validation and context, and the mods can jump in quickly.

Spam generally enjoys an extremely short life on Stack Overflow, the posts will likely be spam flagged into deletion possibly before the moderators even see the flags. If that's the case, then they have context from you right there in their dashboard to explain the 'carnage'.

You can post here if you really think more eyes are needed immediately, but be aware that this will cause quite a few people to take a sudden and potentially destructive interest in a specific user - so do so with care. In most cases, a descriptive flag is all you really need to do.

  • Would the conclusion It might be always better to use custom instead of spam and There is no need for an urgent option on custom be valid?
    – bummi
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 8:41
  • 3
    @bummi You can still flag the posts as spam, that allows the community to take care of it without requiring moderator intervention. But if you see a strong pattern from a particular user, it's still a good idea to raise a custom mod flag also. And why would there need to be an "urgent" option? Everyone thinks their flags are "urgent". Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 8:45
  • 1
    "the posts will likely be spam flagged into deletion possibly before the moderators even see the flags" - Yet another reason why we should probably have some kind of system-raised warning when posts are destroyed by the community. This almost always warrants us looking into the account behind them. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 14:45
  • @BradLarson I believe the flags are still left in the queue even if the post is deleted after crossing the threshold (6). I have to double check that, though, because every time I've seen it they've also had a few 'other' flags tacked on.
    – user50049
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 15:10
  • @TimPost - I don't believe this piece of trash was ever seen by a moderator: stackoverflow.com/a/16910553/19679 (an advance warning about language to anyone following that link) and the account deleted only after someone put a custom flag on another post by them. Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 15:19
  • @BradLarson It is in fact by design that they don't. I'm not sure why I remember them 'sticking', it must have just been due to other flags being tacked on that weren't auto cleared when the threshold was hit. The idea is, this is something the community handled, you shouldn't have to look at it. It does make a little sense to raise a flag if a user has had multiple posts spam flag deleted, but how rare would it be to see that happen without a diamond taking notice?
    – user50049
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 16:04

I would custom flag one of his posts explaining exactly what's wrong. A moderator has the tools to handle it.

Alternatively, a post here on meta works too.

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