Have a look here (Deleted post, may require 10K rep to view):


Apparently people got tired of seeing the question getting undeleted by the OP, and decided to kill it with spam flags. This is evidenced by the Locked by Community and Deleted by Community entries in the edit history.

More info about the original post here and here.

Is this really appropriate?

I marked the answer correct that aligns closest to my point of view. I would only like to make a couple of final points:

  1. The definition of spam is unambiguous. Redefining it for your own convenience is like Bill Clinton saying, "It depends on your definition of sex."
  2. Part of the larger problem with our modern world is that we feel justified in breaking the rules because the system is broken. That's called lack of integrity. If you really want to help the world, help us fix the system.
  3. There is no appeal for a question that is deleted with spam flags. By using the spam flag hammer, you put yourself in the position of judge, jury and executioner.

In short, use spam flags wisely.


My take on this:

No, it's not appropriate to flag posts simply because the author is being annoying.

It's also not appropriate to undelete your own question twice, after it's been deleted by the community, no matter how many upvotes or answers it has.

Nevertheless, it's status-bydesign that an author can sometimes unilaterally override the community's decision on a deletion. (Update: as of 2011-09-06 this is no longer true.) And by the same token, it's also status-bydesign that a sufficiently ticked-off community can override the author's decision by using a very liberal definition of "spam." After all, it takes a full 6 votes to get the post locked, and only 3 to delete it, so that's a fairly high bar to have to meet.

Two wrongs don't make a right, but the whole system seems broken to me, and this is just a symptom, not the root cause. Deletion votes should probably work the same as close votes - specifically, people should only be able to cast community delete/undelete votes once per question (with the exception of deleted-by-owner). Let the author undelete a community-deleted post once, but if 3 more people decide to delete it again, that should be the end of the OP's executive privilege.

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    Mostly agree, although it occurs to me that if the question is marked CW, it belongs to the community and the OP should have no executive privilege. – user102937 May 8 '10 at 18:40

How in the heck is the user able to undelete his own question if it's democratically deleted? That's a bug. (Update: and it' been amended on 2011-09-06.)

At the very least, a moderator should be called in to act as final arbiter of the question; because it appears the community is at an impasse.

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    See here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43942/…. The behavior of OP undelete is influenced by the number of upvotes and answers on the question. – user102937 May 7 '10 at 17:41
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    @Robert Harvey I had read that after perusing the related questions to this question. I still believe it to be a bug. If an Original Poster can undelete what it takes three people to delete, what's the use in having the delete button? – George Stocker May 7 '10 at 18:02
  • See Aarobot's answer. It seems reasonable to me that (on a "popular" question) the OP should get one more bite at the apple, but only one. – user102937 May 7 '10 at 18:27

Let me admit here, I am the one out of six for flagging on that post.

But I am not intended to game the system, I was considered that posting of same thing many times as kind of a spamming, but still yes, you could consider its just my excuse.

So feels free to downvote this answer, to let me know I am wrong.

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  • I would have too if I had seen that mess go around. Luckily I was sick yesterday. It should not have been able to be undeleted unless 3 people wanted it. The OP should not be able to undelete it. – George Stocker May 7 '10 at 18:13

Even when I find the flag as spam because I don't like you attitude, I find impolite the cockiness of repeatedly undelete your own post that has been delted by the community.

As it gathered enough flags as spam, then it is not wrong, just as undeleting your question is not wrong.

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    Except that the question itself is not within the definition of spam. – user102937 May 7 '10 at 17:20
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    @Robert: that depends on your definition of spam. – perbert May 7 '10 at 17:26
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(electronic) – user102937 May 7 '10 at 18:02

I'm the OP of the question in question.

The eventual deletion for the N-th time and the locking etc upset me for about 5 minutes, but I've decided to move on.

I think I'm doing my best to contribute to stackoverflow, and I hope a few others can vouch for me in this effort. That one question I asked, though, was indeed me at my worst moment. No, it was not my intention to spam stackoverflow, and it was not a question asked out of malice, but it was true that I let my innermost fears and insecurities out, and it was a very emotional question for me, which I suppose is something that I should discuss with a counsellor rather than on a technical website like stackoverflow.

I will continue to contribute answers, since it does seem that I'm decent at the job. I will deal with my own personal problems in private from now on.

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    I didn't see anything wrong with your behavior, especially since the system allows it. Undeletion doesn't require a "definition of spam," like the flags do, so there is no "moral hazard" in my view. – user102937 May 8 '10 at 15:31

Watching the flags, I have have observed a fair amount of this sort of thing: spam or offensiveness being flagged on noise. Noise that isn't grossly offensive, abusive, or selling anything.

The argument in favor: 'I find it offensive that you are filling up the site with dreck.'


Spam here is like a weed in the garden: any plant growing where you don't want it is a weed; any post that has no business here is spam.

I personally have more sympathy for the later than the former.

Meanwhile, once three people have voted to delete, it should be harder to undelete, if you ask me.

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  • More info about undeleting your own answer here. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43942/…. The behavior of OP undelete is influenced by the number of upvotes and answers; questions with a certain number of upvotes and answers get a free pass for the OP to undelete with a single vote. The question at hand has five upvotes, and several answers with upvotes. – user102937 May 7 '10 at 17:38
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    Noise is spam on my book. – perbert May 7 '10 at 17:44

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