At present, it takes three spam flags to get a question suppressed from the front page. On smaller sites getting this many may take a while, especially during the 4-12 UTC period of high spam / low activity. Recalling that Tim Post wrote

Once it's been identified as spam, we want it off the front page.

I suggest the following: if a question is posted by a new user (defined as reputation = 1, or in any other convenient way), it should be hidden from the front page when it has even 1 active spam (or rude/abusive) flag.

Benefit: cleaner front page even during spam peak.

Potential objection 1: not as many users will see spam posts to flag them. But hiding them is the top priority, since eventual deletion is assured even after one flag (as a result of mod review, if nothing else). For those looking for spam, the /questions page is already preferable to the front page.

Potential objection 2: a hypothetical rage-flagging user may temporarily hide some posts. But rep=1 requirement would mitigate the damage, and such a user would quickly lose the flagging privilege.

  • This gives too much power to users with as little as 15 reputation. I don't want that. I don't trust them to use spam flags properly. (heck, sometimes I still don't trust myself, and misuse the spam flag, I don't want such mistake to have such a big effect.) Aug 16, 2016 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


I've seen spam flags misused too often to be comfortable with a single flag hiding a post until a moderator investigates. If a spam flag sent the post to a review queue that allowed "looks ok" votes, or if it took more than one flag, or if removal only happened if flagged by somebody with a good track record (whatever that is), I'd be more comfortable with it.

It's not just rage-flaggers; it's also people who equate "contains a link" with spam without reading for context, and people who think any recommendation of a tool/library/book/etc is spam.

  • Do you often get questions with a recommendation of a tool/library/book?
    – user302202
    Aug 17, 2016 at 1:00
  • 1
    @NormalBot some of my sites accept product-recommendation or resource questions, and sometimes the answer to a "how do I do X?" question involves a recommendation. Sure, lots of the time a link is spam, but not always. Aug 17, 2016 at 1:23

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