I hope I'm not the only one thinking the below is weird and even somewhat disturbing:

Yes. The "New contributor" indicator that ask us to welcome the user showing on a spam post.

I believe there's no need to explain why we better not welcome spammers/abusers to Stack Exchange, so here is what I suggest to do: if a user has a post marked as spam/offensive and approved as such (6 red flags or single binding moderator flag) do not show the New Contributor indicator for that user.

Another alternative is post based: since the indicator is showing based on post trigger it might be even more simple, if the post is marked as spam/offensive (same criteria as showing the "This answer was marked as spam..." message) then remove/ignore the "new user" trigger for that post. This will show it for other posts made by same user, but still better than showing it on obvious spam posts as it is doing now.

Worth also to mention, it's not only for "us", but also to prevent the spammers/abusers themselves feeling welcome. If someone who posted a vulgar/abusive post will see that card when viewing their own (deleted, but it's not really relevant) post, they will feel as if they can just do it again.

  • Just to be sure, this is just an issue with 10K users seeing the banner on recently deleted posts? Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:22
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    And other posts besides the deleted ones.
    – tripleee
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:25
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    @PatrickHofman depends. My first and ideal request affect all posts by a user with a single spam post, so it is relevant for <10k rep users as well. If they choose to do it per-post only then yes, it's relevant only for 10k users who can see the deleted spam posts. Still, lots of those on SO, so it's not a minor issue. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:25
  • I'm pretty sure the "another alternative" will make it show on the spam post too, I think it's per-user, not per-post.
    – EKons
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:26
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    @ɪʙᴜɢ have you ever seen spam post being undeleted? Even if it happens, it's so rare it's not really relevant. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:27
  • @angussidney yeah, saw that, but got "mad" only when seeing it here on MSE. :) Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:27
  • @ShadowWizard I mean this. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:32
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    @ɪʙᴜɢ no no, I don't ask for this and oppose such a feature. It's wrong to remove the card based on non-approved flags, IMO. (Yes, exactly what Patrick said in the comment below) Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:33
  • @ɪʙᴜɢ What indicator do you have that the post is indeed a spam post? (Besides some unconfirmed spam flags?) Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:34
  • If I don't see that on a spammer, that's an indicator for me to check his previous contributions and verify they're not also spam. Seems helpful to me. You can imagine it's a hand slapping new spammers in the face, if that helps.
    – Erik A
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 11:51
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    I'm ambivalent at best at the indicator, but I really think that changing it to account for spam flags and deletions would be unnecessary to the extreme. It's already not the best use of dev time in my opinion, and the affected amount of users is so small, removing it with an userstyle seems to be infinitely more economic.
    – Magisch
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:01

2 Answers 2


From my personal opinion any dev time spent implementing a fix to this would not be worth either the expense or added complexity to the feature.

General opinions about the indicator aside, this is a extremely limited use case, considering that:

  • Most newly created spam accounts never exceed a few posts
  • Most destroyed spam is hardly viewed after destruction (and if, then only by veteran users or moderators)
  • It would be difficult to find a right "trigger" to hide the indicator

Extrapolating on the third point, I think there wouldn't be a useful way to implement such a limitation, do you

  • Hide the indicator on posts destroyed as spam?

Now you've restricted the amount of people that this will be useful for (and useful is in quotation marks here, it's at best an optical improvement) to users with the view deleted posts privilege that care about viewing spam deleted posts. That's an incredibly small user group and not an appreciable benefit.

  • Hide the indicator on further posts when a user has had a post of theirs destroyed as spam?

Most accounts whose first post is spam are either banned by one of the various automatic blocks or outright destroyed by moderators. I'd be very surprised to see that any appreciable contingent of users who have their first post destroyed as spam remain active on the site in such a way where displaying the indicator next to their name would have any effect.

  • Hide the indicator once a post by an user has recieved a spam flag?

Now maybe more people might be affected by the change, but you still created an UI element with really undocumented functionality. Unless you're also going to show an indicator stating why this is nobody save meta savy users are going to have an earthly clue how exactly the indicator actually behaves (see: added complexity). Still, I think the benefits might be negligible at best.

In conclusion I don't think that any aesthetical benefit for the few users affected by this on any regular basis would be worth the additional complexity. User styles to remove the indicator alltogether exist, and user scripts to remove it conditionally are certainly possible. That seems to be the way to go here.

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    to me this looks somewhat disrespectful towards 10k users, I feel like their contributions deserve some dev effort
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:01
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    @gnat If it affected them in any significant way I would definitely agree. But this is limited to a) a minor optical annoyance of b) 10k users who c) actively look at spam deleted posts. I suspect I can count the number of these users on one hand on any site but SO. Plus these users are usually experts (read: familiar with how to use userscripts)
    – Magisch
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:03
  • The indicator doesn't show for deleted users. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:25
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    @ShadowWizard Which further reduces the amount of users who will ever encounter such a stray indicator.
    – Magisch
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:28
  • @Magisch many spammers are never deleted since their spam is flagged by 6 ordinary users and never noticed by moderators. There are many 10k+ users on SO who I suspect don't like seeing this banner for spammers, and as my latest edit says, spammer/troll seeing hand clap icon think "Cool, they like what I did, let's do it again!" Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:29
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    @ShadowWizard I think that's a stretch, and I also think you're grossly overestimating the amount of 10k users who regularly read and care about destroyed spam posts. Especially since that indicator naturally fades after a week, so on old destroyed posts it isn't even on anymore.
    – Magisch
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:32
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    Forget about numbers. This is just the "right" thing to do, in my opinion. It makes no sense to greet spammers or trolls and that's the major reason I ask this. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:35
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    @ShadowWizard I can accept that position, but I disagree for the reasons outlined in my answer.
    – Magisch
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:36
  • Fair enough, to be honest I don't really expect it to be done, Tim did say they won't do anything related to it until "they get some stats", guess it included such feature requests as well. But still, better let it out and have it in the open and hope for the best. :) Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:40
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    @ShadowWizard would be funny if this gets implemented, because it so blatantly goes against current party line. "How dare you request something useful only to handful of 10Kers when tens thousands new users suffer so much."
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 13:16
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    Not to mention that the banner will only exist on the post for a week, so after that it just looks like a normal account... and not all spammers are evil horrible spammers only here to spam. Some posts get single spam flags, get edited and fixed and undeleted... it's impossible for the system to tell which is which but if there's some chance that they're the latter, why treat all of them like the former (admittedly larger) group?
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 13:28
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    Replace "New contributor" with "New spammer" and we are done. It shouldn't take that much development effort to replace one string with another. On a more serious note though, I disagree that development time spent on things seen only by 10K users is "not worth the effort". However, given the direction SE is taking with the Welcoming Bandwagon, whereby established users are treated as second class citizens, your reasoning is consistent.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 13:31
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    @Catija my request isn't for posts with single flag, only posts which actually get deleted as result of being flagged as spam/abusive. So there's no place for mistake that it's from a spammer or abusive user. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 13:37
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    @Aethenosity I know some folks can see them, I’m just asking about what is meant by “visible” in terms of what the algorithm is doing. I suppose if we don’t count deleted posts, you could eternally have an indicator; just delete each question before asking a new one.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 19:15
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    @ColleenV If I had to guess, the only time the system checks is when the post is created and then the indicator is on a timer that leaves it there for 7 days, regardless of anything else. So, status changes to the post like being closed or deleted don't impact the indicator on that post but they do impact whether it appears on future posts (in the case of deleted posts).
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 19:43

The "New contributor" indicator that ask us to welcome the user showing on a spam post.

Perhaps that is the problem. The "New contributor" indicator does not "ask us to welcome" them. Neither the indicator itself nor the tooltips on them tell us to welcome them. The most we are asked to do is "be nice". Which ought to go without saying, but that's another matter.

My point is that you're misinterpreting the meaning of the indicator. It merely is there to remind us that the person is a new user.

This is ultimately no different from seeing the "New contributor" indicator on a terrible post. How do you treat a terrible post? You downvote/VTC as appropriate. How do you treat a spam post? You flag it as spam.

The indicator is just there to remind you that the poster is new. Do not allow it to change how you interact with the user's content.

From the post showing off the indicator:

The new indicator doesn't alter functionality.

It's a reminder that how you interact with the person could be extra meaningful (any time we help strangers just out of the love for what we do, it's meaningful). But it's not a magic shield of any kind, it doesn't work like spawn protection (where players can't take damage for the first few seconds after entering) in video games.

  • 1
    Is it really misinterpreting when many see it as asking us to welcome them? Or is it perhaps a UI failure? The fact that it is there at all tells us to change how we interact with the user's content.
    – fbueckert
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 14:48
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    @fbueckert: I can't speak to how someone chooses to interpret a thing. I can only speak to what that thing says. And it never says to "welcome them", so I find such interpretations to be without foundation. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 14:57
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    +1 I think it's important to know if it's a new user or an established user creating the spam(which I've seen happen before)/being rude/etc. It provides a useful metric and helps us know how to deal with it properly Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 15:01
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    @fbueckert: If your view of what this means is valid, then you should substantiate it with something. I've quoted from the original SE post announcing the indicator and its purpose. That quote supports my view of it. Can you cite anything to support your own? Because I rather suspect that this viewpoint is based on personal biases, predetermined by your general distrust of SO and everything they do towards being "welcoming". Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 15:34
  • But if citing something will make you happy, just see that exact post, under the heading, "What behavior do we hope to encourage from more experienced users?". That carries the clear expectations that we will do more to help new users. More than we would for users that have been on the site for over a week.
    – fbueckert
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 15:52
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    @fbueckert: I don't see how that translates to "welcome them" regardless of their actions. Which is what the OP is alleging that the indicator means. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 15:54
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    At this point, I think we're straying into semantics and pedantry than actual constructive debate. I respect that you don't feel it does, and I agree that a strict reading shows your interpretation. But the whole point of showing the indicator is to elicit a different response, to make their interactions more friendly. That's...literally what welcoming is.
    – fbueckert
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 16:10
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    @fbueckert: You want to translate "New contributor" with "be welcoming to this person", and therefore having "New contributor" attached to a spam post must translate to "be welcoming to spam". My point is that if you read the intentions of, and text for the feature, they clearly do not want you to "be welcoming to spam". Therefore, if your logic arrived at a conclusion that is contradictory, then it is your translation that is the problem, not the feature. Your translation lacks nuance, and therefore it can be misapplied. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 16:16
  • No, I translate, "New contributor" to, "Show them the way of SE". Which isn't a misinterpretation in any sense, at all; the part I'm citing makes it very clear. All I'm doing is challenging your black and white interpretation, new user or spammer; there are easily shades of grey, and I very much disagree that your interpretation is entirely correct. There's lots of room in there for miscommunication and missed expectations. So if you want to revert to strict pedantry, well, no one's stopping you. I'm just saying there's more to it.
    – fbueckert
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 16:20
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    @fbueckert: Whatever shades of grey exist, none of them lead to "welcome spammers", as the OP suggests. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 16:21
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    That, I can certainly agree with. I originally agreed with OP, that it can be seen that way, but can admit that was unreasonable on my part.
    – fbueckert
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 16:29
  • Good point. Guess we should be nice even toward spammers, while trying our best to keep them away. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 20:02
  • It seems to me if a newcomer said (add one rude word): "Darn, my program has a problem with this, that and another thing, (shows screenshot that indicates the problem) - my website is example.com, if you want to see it." --- That could be flagged as "rude and spam". Under the CoC, with the newcomer banner, we are expected to explain: "That rudeness in a question isn't appreciated and their question seemed to do a lot to promote their products. As a result their question has been edited. Please be careful to avoid these problems in the future.". --- That's what the banner does, no more.
    – Rob
    Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 8:55
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    @Rob: "Under the CoC, with the newcomer banner, we are expected to explain:" We are? Neither of them says that we're expected to explain anything. The CoC and the banner are not about moderation activities. Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 13:55
  • @NicolBolas CoC - "If you’re here to help others, be patient and welcoming. Learning how to participate in our community can be hard. Offer support if you see someone struggling or otherwise in need of help." and "Be clear and constructive when giving feedback, and be open when receiving it. Edits, comments, and suggestions are healthy parts of our community." etc. - If you've been getting downvotes it wasn't from me I upvoted your answer. -- Perhaps an expectation to be useful is wishful or hopefull, but that's the sentiment.
    – Rob
    Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 16:23

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