The Question I flagged as spam this morning was of poor quality (off-topic) but did contain a link to an app store, along with a few glowing words of self-endorsement.

First I voted to close, then I flagged for moderator attention (spam).

In the meantime apparently a high-rep User edited the Question and removed the spam link (and made the glowing words of self-endorsement into more of a question than a claim). It's possible that when a Moderator looked at my flag, the connection with the advertising link was no longer immediately evident. In any case my flag is "disputed".

While I'm not proposing that every case should fit neatly into one rule or another, it seems to me (after looking at previous Meta Q's on the topic), that a policy of preferring spam flagging versus editing out advertising links (or conversely) is ripe for a Community pronouncement.

The issue was mooted before in the context of a proposal for automatically converting any links to plaintext, but I believe this threshold issue might be easier to find a consensus about. Essentially the argument is that leaving the spam links intact helps the Moderator who gets the flag ping to quickly resolve the complaint, while removing the spam links deprives the spammer of benefits more quickly.

Given the high priority assigned to spam flags, I tend to think conserving Moderator attention is more important.

  • It depends if it could be salvagable to an ok question without the bonus spam (questionable in this case, but maybe). If it could be salvagable then it seems the best for everyone to salvage it Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 14:24
  • The duplicate seems to be about 100% spam, this seems to be 10% spam, 90% not very good question Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 14:26
  • @MadScientist: It may be a narrow point, but that and some of the other discusssions I saw focused on spam in Answers, rather than in a Question per this instance.
    – hardmath
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 14:27
  • Please note that moderator-tools are for question regarding tools available to moderators. Flags are not such tools, as they are available to the rest of the community. Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 14:27
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    @RichardTingle In my opinion there is no such thing as 10% spam, and I don't see any value in preserving the camouflage post that a spammer used to make their link less obvious. In cases where that content is actually good it is usually plagiarized anyway. Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 14:29
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    @MadScientist this question is obviously bad, but I can imagine someone (used to forums) asking a good question then putting a "sig" at the end containing a "I do xyz, look at this awesome stuff i've done" or even (as this question was) "this question is related to this awesome stuff I've done". The question isn't always a cover, sometimes its just an oppertunity Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


I am the one who marked your flag as disputed, which I did as opposed to declining it.

The reason I did so actually did not have to do with the edit to the question; it was because the link appeared to be related to the question, which was asking about the app. That said, the question was off-topic, and not a good question otherwise, which is why I voted to close.

Generally, Spam flags should only be used for posts which are clearly meant as just promotional. While that link was not really appropriate or useful, I don't think it qualified there.

  • I appreciate your prompt attention, and in the instance defer to your judgement in weighing the usefulness of the link vs. what seemed to me "just promotional". However I'd have preferred for you to see the original post as flagged.
    – hardmath
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 16:20
  • @hardmath That's what my first sentence in my second paragraph addressed; the Disputed was not due to me not seeing the original - I did see the original, and disagreed. I always look closely at Spam flagged posts. Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 16:23

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