I recently saw a spam post (deleted) and flagged it for redaction as it contained a phone number, full name and email.

The flag got declined with this message:

declined - its spam, no need to redact

In my opinion, it’s still personal information and still needs to be redacted. We also don’t want to direct people to that phone number for people who can see deleted posts.

Was my flag correct?

  • 1
    Have you tried to ask mods of that site about this? Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 20:10
  • @Suvitruf Not yet
    – user707129
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 20:11

3 Answers 3


Firstly, a deleted answer is only visible to logged in users with more than 10k reputation (on graduated sites), so most visitors to the page won't even know it was there.

Secondly, if a post has even one spam flag on it then when it's deleted it's hidden behind a "this post was flagged as spam or rude" message so even 10k users won't immediately see the phone number. They would have click through this message to see the actual post.

Thirdly, it's spam. As others have pointed out redaction is there to protect the innocent from their own mistakes. We don't owe that same consideration to spammers. It also takes two moderators to perform, so it's not a cheap operation.

Fourthly, as it's spam it's critical that it's left alone and not edited so that the various spam filtering tools work correctly. If you edit a post that's marked as spam so it no longer looks like spam then it will be useless as a review audit (for example).

The only exception I'd allow would be if that personal information was known to be someone else's and was included for malicious purposes. You would need to make that clear in your flag requesting redaction though.


A redaction is to protect personal information from the user in question, not to block spam information from a unknown account/bot account.

The correct flag to use is the spam flag.

For spam message the information is inside the revision history when the flag is handled. User with over 10K could be able to see the revision history. See that answer there. Remove links when a post is deleted by Community from spam/offensive flags

To note a redaction need another moderator approval to be applied, as such it's a intensive task on moderators to issue.


First of all, better to ask mods of that particular site about this. Probably, initially it would be good to ask in chat. But if you want to generalize the case, you can ask on local Meta.

There are no guidelines for this. It depends on particular mod usually.

Also, one thing for those, who don't know, one mod can't redact post by himself. After making redaction, they have to wait for approval from one other mod.

  1. I'm personally probably would accept this flag, even though I will not make redaction.

  2. We also don’t want to direct people to that phone number for people who can see deleted posts

    Those people can see this post only if they have direct link. So it's not so critical, that mod didn't make redaction.

  • 1
    Those people can see this post only if they have direct link. x not true, it’s visible at the bottom of the question
    – user707129
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 20:20
  • @Daniil ah, so it was in the answer. I thought that it was in the question. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 20:20
  • 1
    I don't know what sites you primarily participate on or what the convention there might be, but network-wide, you should not be recommending to contact moderators in chat rooms to ask questions about declined flags. That's what site-specific Metas are for. Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 4:01

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