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During spam attacks we, as a community, are happily flagging posts as spam. On most sites spam posts are not long-lived. However on sites with low traffic it can take a while before spam posts reach their 6 required flags, more often than not by community members that call out for help in chatrooms.

The number of flags a day (10 but raising with your rep) per site can be fully consumed by just spam flags and after that you're out of the game.

I rather see that the spam-flags raised are not counted towards the daily-site-limit if, and only if, the post is flagged by 5 other community members as spam. The spam-flag limit should be a network-wide-limit, so you could use flags from other sites associated with your account for spam flags, and topped at the maxiumnumber of flags per day, based on your reputation with a maxium of 100 flags.

I've seen and read:
Better tools to handle spam on low traffic sites is without an answer but a lengthy comment discussion.

Slightly related but out-of-scope of my request: Stronger spam flags for trusted users

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    Just to play devils advocate (as I think this is a good idea), a group of 6 users could potentially delete as spam all the content on a site Jan 20, 2014 at 16:54
  • Also, to let you know you get more flags per day by getting 10 (helpful - declined) flags. Right now I'm capped at 100 on SO, but don't have anywhere near the amount of rep that would take.
    – hichris123
    Jan 20, 2014 at 16:59
  • Yes, spam is bad, yes, flagging spam is great, but noone but the moderators should have unlimited flags. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:00
  • @rene: There already is a rep component to the number of flags you have. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:00
  • @hichris123 I've got 10 flags on Magento. 10 is way too little if the Baba guy decides to relocate again. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:01

1 Answer 1

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No, I see no need to separate flags into spam and regular flags, even for something as heinous as spam.

All you need is a set of sockpuppets or voting ring with flagging privileges to make anything disappear from the site, simply by flagging it as spam. With additional spam flags, you can do a lot of damage this way.

Note that your flag allowance scales with reputation and your flagging ratio, up to 100 flags per day.

I'd be pretty exhausted if I used all my 100 flags in a day on a spammer, I'd be happy for someone else to take over for a while by that time.

What we need then, is more people helping out fight spam. Better protection and tools are under way.

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    Can the flag allowance at least be network-wide? Jan 20, 2014 at 17:10
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    @JanDvorak: When a spammer goes network-wide, does it really go 10+ posts per site? Jan 20, 2014 at 17:11
  • When a spammer decides to focus on one site (say, because the local community doesn't remove spam fast enough), 10 flags don't suffice. This has already happened more than once to me. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:12
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    @JanDvorak: I am weary of going into a site I don't know the culture of; spam may be obvious, but I would rather see some caution before letting in 'neighbours' into the community with spam flags. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:14
  • @MartijnPieters You'd be suprised, I've used a lot of spam flags on some sites.
    – hichris123
    Jan 20, 2014 at 17:14
  • I've run out of flags on spam only recently on Magento. By flagging six hours worth of spam. The rest got dumped to the tavern where Bart flagged away the other. When the sports spam was hot, I've been running out of flags constantly. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:16
  • @JanDvorak: So you were able to cope, as a community? Now that you have accumulated helpful flags on Magento, you can battle such an attack for 7 or 8 hours next time round, right? Jan 20, 2014 at 17:18
  • No. We were not able to cope. The only reason the spam went away so fast was that a CM was sitting in the tavern at that time (or do I misremember, and the spam did not go away fast?) Jan 20, 2014 at 17:19
  • @JanDvorak: I am trying to gauge if there is a real problem here that only more spam flags (or an 'association bonus' for spam flags on neighbour sites) can solve. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:19
  • @JanDvorak: Wasn't the problem then that there were not enough people coming in to fight the spam? If you had more spam flags, you would still have been the only one fighting the good fight. Do you know for a fact others did not come in to help because they had run out of flags? Jan 20, 2014 at 17:20
  • @MartijnPieters just install my userscript and wait for the next peak. Or sit in the tavern and watch me run out of flags when the peak comes. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:20
  • @JanDvorak: I have the User Script installed. I just don't always have the time to watch out for a peak or sit in the tavern. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:21
  • Frankly, the preferred solution would be a community moderator running my script on his computer Jan 20, 2014 at 17:21
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    @JanDvorak: I understand that there are persistent annoying spammers, and that we need more attention to keep those lowlifes out. I am just not seeing how more spam flags are going to solve that problem. Just like the close review queue, we need more people on the job, or tools to keep the spam out earlier. Jan 20, 2014 at 17:22
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    I should point out that I thought for a while that the use of a ring of sock puppets to spam-flag something into oblivion was a purely theoretical exploit. Then we had two separate people do this last year, and others try over the last couple of months. So it is possible, although really rare. Needless to say, we come down like a ton of bricks on anyone we find doing this. Jan 20, 2014 at 18:27

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