Today in the low-quality review queue, I saw an answer which may, or may not, have been spam:

enter image description here

I was uncertain, but given the tone of the answer, and that the poster had only just joined Stack Overflow an hour ago, and that the linked post did not seem to be directly related, I decided to flag it as spam.

The flag was declined.

My question is: What is the best approach on borderline cases for answers such as this?

Note this answer has now been converted to a comment: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/22809922/poor-encoding-quality-in-windows-azure-media-services/22868809#comment34892973_22809922.

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    Same answer has already been posted by a different user – Habib Apr 4 '14 at 19:28
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    Users with 10K or more can see the deleted answer. – Habib Apr 4 '14 at 19:31
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    You can see the answer on imgur.com/81PVaM9 – Habib Apr 4 '14 at 19:33
  • Not really sure what "Our APIs" means ? I don't see any reference to a company / product in the user's profile. – Habib Apr 4 '14 at 19:36
  • @Habib: Agreed. It doesn't make sense. Vaguely something to do with azure? (Which I know nothing about). – Joseph Quinsey Apr 4 '14 at 19:39

I declined that.

If you look at the question, it was about Windows Azure services. The link that was provided in the answer was to the actual Microsoft Windows Azure forums, with no non-Microsoft commercial product being promoted there. This appears to be a legitimate attempt at a follow-up by a Microsoft customer service person (as was the other answer there).

Since it was a request for more information, I converted that to a comment. Looking at the question again, it appears to be off topic, so I just closed it as such.

Spam flags carry serious penalties, so if I see any evidence that makes me think something was not truly spam, I'll decline those. I may still delete an answer as not being a real answer, though.

If you aren't sure, but think it could be spam, leave us an "other" flag and explain what you see being off about the answer. These don't carry the same kind of penalties as spam flags, and can help us see what you did.

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    "This appears to be a legitimate attempt at a follow-up by a Microsoft customer service person"? If it were legitimate, why would the service person not have a legitimate user id? Or are you saying that this is spam, but that spam from sponsored links is acceptable? – Joseph Quinsey Apr 4 '14 at 20:20
  • @JosephQuinsey - Not spam, nothing was being promoted. That was merely a link to a official support forum. Both accounts were unregistered, so perhaps they didn't know about or care to go through the complete registration process. I've seen many legitimate users start as unregistered ones. That doesn't indicate a spammer by itself. – Brad Larson Apr 4 '14 at 20:43
  • As you say, the question itself does appear to be off-topic. And the link-only answer also seems to be incorrect, since the question was about video quality while the link was about video length. But perhaps there is a smell of sock-puppetry with respect to the question: how often do we get a literate unrevised question from an new user? – Joseph Quinsey Apr 4 '14 at 20:43
  • No puppetry here. The users are completely unconnected. Everything seems aboveboard. – Brad Larson Apr 4 '14 at 20:44

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