I flagged a question today that had a similar to this content:

We are going to build an app, it has to do this. We already have the databases, and so on. If you want to do this project, contact me at this email address.

In my opinion, this is spam, so I flagged the question as spam. A few minutes later the question was closed 'for reasons of moderation'. So I checked my Flag History and saw the flag was declined:

a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it

But the spam flag label says:

This question is effectively an advertisement with no disclosure. It is not useful or relevant, but promotional.

My question is, which answer I couldn't find on Meta yet: Is a question of this type spam? If not, how should it be flagged then?

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    It's a terrible question, but it's not spam. It doesn't try to sell you discount gucchi handbags. – Mysticial Apr 3 '14 at 17:45
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    Oh ic. It's soliciting someone. But I had to read it several times to pick that up. I can see how a moderator with a long to-do list could easily have missed that. – Mysticial Apr 3 '14 at 17:46
  • But someone is advertising it's company, at least to do a project, is that okay then? – Patrick Hofman Apr 3 '14 at 17:47
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    I saw the spam flag and when I read I didn't find it to be spam so I declined it. Spam flags have significant ramifications to users so we are careful with them. It was a terrible non-question so it was removed though. – Taryn Apr 3 '14 at 17:53
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    The poor formatting and the edited out email made the question look like "just another terrible question" instead of outright spam. So while it does seem to be spam, it took (me) a second look. Moderators are only supposed to validate spam flags on true spam and it's easy to overlook this case. My recommendation is that you raise your bar for using the spam flag. – Mysticial Apr 3 '14 at 17:54
  • Okay. I got the point. Is it an option to adjust the text with the spam flag to make clear that the 'level of severity' is? – Patrick Hofman Apr 3 '14 at 17:55
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    No, use spam only for posts trying to get you to buy their wares. Someone soliciting for a consultant is not spam. – Martijn Pieters Apr 3 '14 at 17:59
  • @MartijnPieters: How should it be flagged then? As VLQ? – Patrick Hofman Apr 3 '14 at 18:01
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    @PatrickHofman: Vote to close, perhaps downvote. It's just off-topic. – Martijn Pieters Apr 3 '14 at 18:02
  • If it's so bad you can't tell what it is, then VLQ is always a good choice, @Patrick. – Shog9 Apr 3 '14 at 18:02
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    @PatrickHofman: use flagging only for something that requires moderator intervention. Off-topic posts don't require a moderator, the community can deal with that just fine. – Martijn Pieters Apr 3 '14 at 18:02
  • Okay, so we have two conflicting opinions. When it's a VLQ, it will be removed, when off-topic it's just inactive, but still 'advertising'. What's the best to do? – Patrick Hofman Apr 3 '14 at 18:03
  • @bluefeet Spam advertises, the question advertises. IMO it's the adertisement that makes something spam, not what is advertised. significant ramifications to users sounds to me like the correct response. – asawyer Apr 3 '14 at 18:07
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    @asawyer see Robert's answer below when I looked at the question in the review queue the spammy part was removed from the question during my review. At that point it wasn't spammy so I declined the flag. – Taryn Apr 3 '14 at 18:08
  • @bluefeet Ah, I see. – asawyer Apr 3 '14 at 18:08

The real problem here is that someone edited out the spammy part of the question.

Folks, please don't redact spammy posts. All you're doing is making it harder for moderators to figure out what the problem is. Spam can still be seen in the revision history anyway (though doing so is an extra step for the moderators), and the SE software already has spam hiding mechanisms in place.

All you need to do is flag the post as spam.

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    Also, when you edit out spam it makes it impossible for us to search for it in the future when we want to see if a new potential spammer is connected to a network that has done this before. Spam is hidden now from normal users when a post is deleted after being spam-flagged, so don't worry about that content being visible. – Brad Larson Apr 3 '14 at 18:09
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    In the mod tools, I didn't see the unedited version so it didn't appear to be spam as a result I declined the flag. – Taryn Apr 3 '14 at 18:09
  • That post is not spam, not in my eyes. It is a misplaced job advertisement; we need someone to do some work for us, this is the place to post job ads, right?. It should just have been closed as off-topic instead. – Martijn Pieters Apr 3 '14 at 18:11
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    It is a misplaced job advertisement. That qualifies as spam in my book. Doesn't matter if it's job ads or Pekka's Gucci handbags. – user102937 Apr 3 '14 at 18:11
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    Shouldn't we consider making an exception for Pekka's handbags? They are absolutely gorgeous! – Andrew Barber Apr 3 '14 at 18:34

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