I just came across this suggested edit on Board & Card Games:

an answer getting entirely defaced and replaced with spammy links

I've seen spammy edits like this on multiple Stack Exchange sites. They always follow the same pattern: the comment is an email address, they're from an anonymous user, and the edit consists of wiping the contents of the answer in question and replacing it with a ton of anchor tag links to all kinds of crap.

I assume this is already understood as a problem. (If not: hey SE employees, there's a particular kind of spam attack that keeps hitting the suggested edit queue.) I reject the edit as vandalism whenever I see them.

However, in the name of stopping spammers: is there more I can do, or should I reject it as vandalism, do nothing else and move on?

  • 3
    There's something related here about the e-mail address in edit summaries: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/207837/…
    – PeterJ
    Jul 2, 2014 at 6:37
  • 2
    I'm curious too. Does marking an edit as vandalism confer any penalty to the user like a spam flag would? (Or is that impossible because the user is anonymous?) I see Tim Post's answer pointing in that direction, but it would be reassuring to know. Jul 2, 2014 at 6:41
  • 3
    @NickStauner no penalty and those are usually submitted by anonymous visitors without any account. What it does is improving the auto block system though. Jul 2, 2014 at 7:03
  • I've brought it up to @GraceNote before. I believe the response is the spam flags tighten up the restrictions from that IP.
    – fbueckert
    Jul 2, 2014 at 14:01
  • By spam flags do you mean spam/vandalism rejections? Jul 2, 2014 at 14:06

2 Answers 2


The best thing you should do when reviewing these is to mark them as rejected with the "This edit introduces spam, defaces the post in some way, or is otherwise inappropriate." reason, as you did. We track data on edits rejected with that reason in the same way we monitor for posts that are deleted via spam flags, which is used to help protect against future spam. You don't need to do more than that, setting that rejection reason is your task and we'll be handling the rest from there. ♪

That said if you do identify particular strings of a specific sort of spam, raising a meta as you are now or reporting via the Contact Us form so that we may consider additional measures, that never hurts to do as well. But for general spam handling, just using the right rejection reason will be fine.

  • 1
    My meta page reads the contact link as Contact rather than "Contatc Us" is that a change or are there different labels on different interfaces? Oct 30, 2019 at 12:01

Simply rejecting the suggested edit is fine.

A lot of anonymous users suggest those weird useless, garbage edits. You can do what you usually do - reject the edit. Clicking "reject" will give you a list of rejection reasons:

  • Spam or vandalism
  • No improvement whatsoever
  • Irrelevant tags (questions only)
  • Clearly conflicts with author's intent
  • Attempt to reply
  • Causes harm

If you choose one of the reasons listed above, it will be applied to the review votes. It will take approve/reject votes from two users (or one from the post owner or a moderator) to get the system to approve/reject the edit.

You can anytime choose to reject suggested edits if you feel so. But please read the proposed edit more carefully before rejecting, especially as "spam or vandalism" or "causes harm", as these two reasons have more extra weight than the others.

The edit under examination here seems to be vandalism, so you can just vote to reject it as "spam or vandalism." That way, you'll be fine. It's worth pointing out that too much rejected anonymous edits can trigger an IP-block edit ban, so you don't really have to worry about it.


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