As far as I can tell, mods can't actually see when a deleted post is replaced with "This answer was marked as spam or offensive and therefore is not shown..." - we just see the original post. I'm glad we can see the post, but it could we also have an indicator that others can't see it? (even if it's just a kludgy version showing both the masking text and the post!)

When a post gets a couple not an answer/low quality flags and a mistaken spam flag, it's easy enough to just delete the post, rather than selectively marking the spam flag as incorrect and the rest as valid. But then other users will see the post masked, and we mods have no way to realize our mistake, short of examining the post history.

(somewhat related: Spam masking is over greedy - please do it only if post received at least 3 spam flags

  • I don't understand your second paragraph. I also don't see how my ability to see what normal users see should affects my decision-making process. I only need to see what the spammer posted. – user102937 Feb 14 '14 at 20:37
  • @RobertHarvey - This is about the case where the post isn't actually spam, but is delete-worthy. If any user flags the answer as spam, a mod deleting the answer will automatically mark the 'spam' flag as helpful. This has the side-effect of masking the text. – ire_and_curses Feb 14 '14 at 21:18
  • @RobertHarvey I clarified the paragraph. The point is that not everything is actually spam; some people are a bit eager to overlabel things with their flags. – Cascabel Feb 14 '14 at 21:18
  • @ire_and_curses: OK, but the text is only masked for non-mods. Are you saying people will cast flags against masked posts? That doesn't seem like a very sensible strategy, unless you look at the edit history to verify that it really is spam. – user102937 Feb 14 '14 at 21:19
  • @RobertHarvey Yes, and we don't want to mistakenly mask the text for people when there was no need to, when the post was mistakenly marked as spam. And I think a lot of mods may be a bit forgiving, and mark a spam flag as helpful even if it's not really spam in the advertising spam, just spam in the "look I'm typing things on the internet" sense. – Cascabel Feb 14 '14 at 21:19
  • @RobertHarvey - In this case the background is meta.boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/1133/…, where a mod (me) deleted a question with 8 flags, not realising that one of those flags was incorrectly a spam flag. A high-rep, non-mod user correctly points out that this was wrong. So the feature request is to give some visible indication to the mod that this is being treated as spam, so it can be fixed if necessary. – ire_and_curses Feb 14 '14 at 21:20
  • @RobertHarvey From one point of view, it's a bit of a catch-22 - we generally want 10k users to be able to see deleted posts and verify that we're doing our jobs right. And in this case, if we didn't quite do it right (we said a post was indeed spam, when it wasn't) we prevent those users from easily seeing it and noticing that we messed up (the post is hidden). And we mods can't see it either (we don't know the post is hidden). – Cascabel Feb 14 '14 at 21:22
  • You can still view the text for masked posts by looking at the edit history, even for deleted posts. What if you just cleared the spam flags from the post (it's in the mod menu for the post) before clearing the rest of the flags? – user102937 Feb 14 '14 at 21:23
  • @RobertHarvey Yes, of course. But if everyone's doing that, you've lost some of the value of masking the post. And if they don't, then we've lost some of the value of letting 10k users see deleted posts. In the end, the broader point here is that there's a situation in which mods can do the wrong thing, in a way that's pretty visible to other users, but is essentially invisible to the mods. – Cascabel Feb 14 '14 at 21:26
  • If the post is deleted, is it really still relevant what's in it? – Jeroen Vannevel Feb 14 '14 at 22:00
  • @JeroenVannevel: Only for accountability purposes. Deletion really just means "Hide from everyone with less than 10K rep." – user102937 Feb 14 '14 at 22:26

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