Could the wording in the post notice which is displayed when the post content is hidden from non-moderators who can see deleted posts (done when there is a helpful spam or rude/abusive flag) be updated from:

This post is hidden. It was flagged as spam or offensive content ...

to something along the lines of:

This post is hidden. It was flagged as spam, offensive content, plagiarism, or other violation of the Stack Exchange Terms of Service ...

How this request came about

On music.SE, a couple of posts were deleted because they were "flagged as spam or offensive content." But reading both posts (in the revision history), neither seemed spammy or offensive.

When I asked, a mod explained that the content was plagiarized and such posts get deleted as spam/offensive content.

That makes sense now that it's been explained, but could the deletion message be updated to mention plagiarism — and, perhaps, "other violations of our terms of service." That could save others the confusion I encountered.

1 Answer 1


When I asked, a mod explained that the content was plagiarized and such posts get deleted as spam/offensive content.

I'm not aware of any policy stating this.

Plagiarism is a real issue on SE sites, but I've never seen it red-flag deleted before. Red flags (spam and rude or abusive) come with severe penalties, including IP address hobbling and a -100 reputation penalty, and they're probably not the right tool for plagiarized content.

In the event of a DMCA takedown, there's a special process that goes through Community Managers. Otherwise, plagiarized content is usually just deleted and the user suspended; there's a moderator message template for plagiarized content that moderators can use.

Plagiarism shouldn't be added to the list of reasons for red-flag deletion because that's not the appropriate tool for the scenario.

  • 2
    To make sure I understand, are you saying 1) the mod could have used a different mechanism for deleting the posts, and 2) there is a plagiarism-specific post notice? (FWIW, in these two cases, the user has a history of plagiarized posts and the account has been removed.)
    – Aaron
    May 29 at 1:28
  • 8
    @Aaron For most plagiarism across all Stack Exchange sites the typical procedure is for moderators to normal-delete the post and deal with the issue with the author of the post. What's appropriate depends on the circumstances. The details (other than plagiarism isn't acceptable and must be removed/corrected) may be different for different cases and on different sites. On SO, I've seen everything between a user or moderator editing in attribution and leaving a comment to SE deciding what's happened is so unacceptable that the entire account is destroyed along with 100s or 1000s of posts.
    – Makyen
    May 29 at 2:22
  • 8
    So, it's not inherently wrong for the post to have been deleted as spam or R/A (although, if you're going to do it, then R/A would be better, as those won't become audits). Deleting it as spam or R/A (and imposing the associated penalties) is unusual, but we don't know the entirety of the circumstances. BTW: The banner you're asking about is shown if the post is deleted (by whatever method) and there is at least one spam or R/A flag on the post which has been marked helpful, so posts hidden by that post notice were not, necessarily, deleted as spam or R/A.
    – Makyen
    May 29 at 2:29

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