Just now, in the Low Quality queue, I came across an answer by a lovely lady who came to Stack Overflow to offer us all high-end escorts. I decided that "low quality" didn't quite seem to cover the problem, so after recommending deletion, I visited the question to flag that answer as spam.

Strangely, I couldn't. The flag dialog I got looked like this:

y no spam option?

Why wasn't I able to use a spam flag in this case, and was I right to use an other flag instead?

(I think this is a link to the now-deleted answer, which I can't view: submitting a hyperlink by GET or POST)

  • 5
    It was deleted sometime between you loading the page and clicking the flag button. – animuson Mar 22 '14 at 16:51
  • Can't believe it's taken this long for anyone to notice that something was off about the flag dialog and to post on meta about it instead of flagging anyway. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 22 '14 at 16:54
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn To be fair, I did flag anyway as well. That was probably unhelpful, although the nice moderator who reviewed it decided to mark it as 'helpful'. – Mark Amery Mar 22 '14 at 17:01
  • I don't think I was that moderator, but I usually mark such flags as helpful too. It's understandable - as far as the user is concerned the flag dialog just appears to be a shape-shifter. It doesn't indicate to the user the contextual changes that it responds to itself. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 22 '14 at 17:03
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    On another note: it shouldn't even let a user with less than 10,000 reputation cast a flag on a deleted answer, considering they don't have the privilege to see them. This is concerning. I'd imagine a user could mimic the flag dialog and cast a flag on any deleted post. That's not a great idea. This could be solved for a lot of cases by simply giving users an error message that they don't have privileges to flag deleted posts. – animuson Mar 22 '14 at 17:21
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    @animuson what bad could come of that however; given that an "other" flag is effectively sending a letter to a mod starting with "regarding this question" – Richard Tingle Mar 22 '14 at 17:41
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    @RichardTingle It's not necessarily that something bad would come out of it - it's that logically there's no reason for an underprivileged user to be able to do that, and preventing them from doing that would also give them an error message rather than a flag dialog in this scenario, which would be much more helpful than users casting useless flags on already-handled posts. – animuson Mar 22 '14 at 17:44

The post was deleted after you loaded the review page. The limited flag options you see are what is available for a deleted post vs. one not deleted.

The post was deleted (by a moderator) when it was almost 19 minutes old; you loaded the page when it was just 18 minutes old (from your screenshot).

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