We've all seen plenty of:

  1. Comments in answers
  2. Thank-you's in answers
  3. Me-too questions in answers

Flagging as 'spam' is just wrong. The perps don't deserve a rep spank.

Flagging for mod is making work for mods.

Could we have a 'flag (or vote) to delete without prejudice?'

For some reasonable N voters at some reasonable rep R, the answer would go 'deleted'.

Right now, for whole questions, we require a stack of rep to vote to close, and a big stack of rep to vote to delete. For flags, we require only a tiny amount of rep. So, I claim that my proposal is far less abuse-prone than the current system. Any 6 people with 15 rep can bomb an answer and impose a big penalty. This proposal would require, oh, 5 people with 10K rep to delete an answer with no rep penalty.

  • 1
    New users experience the closing of their question or answer as highly punitive, regardless of how you label it – Andomar Nov 1 '10 at 10:19
  • Tough. If an answer is complete noise, it should disappear, not hang around as a broken window. – Rosinante Nov 1 '10 at 12:20
  • @andomar so there should be no rules, and users should be able to do whatever they want at any time? I think not. – Jeff Atwood Nov 1 '10 at 16:11
  • @Jeff Atwood: A well meaning new user could do all the things in this post (I've probably done all of them) Punishment & Rules are probably not the best way to welcome them to the community – Andomar Nov 2 '10 at 0:41
  • @andomar I think you're combining answers and questions unhelpfully. In any case, I'm trying to move from "answer deleted AND -X rep" to merely "answer deleted". – Rosinante Nov 2 '10 at 2:01

(This is an ancient question, but since it was bumped...)

Answers can now be deleted by the community from the Low Quality Posts queue. Posts get into that queue from flags. The review queue allows users who don't have enough reputation to cast delete votes to, nonetheless, recommend deletion. Six recommendations in review (that is, twice the number needed to outright delete) will delete a downvoted post or raise a flag for moderators on an upvoted or zero-score post.

Comments can also be deleted by the community through flags. With the recent comment-flag refactoring I'm not sure which flag types can lead to deletion (I don't know if it's all or just some).


Not a bad idea but a huge potential for abuse.

The flagging is fairly painless, and we can make it even more painless, so I'd go that route.

  • I don't see how the potential for abuse is any greater than the current spam/offensive flag system. I think that's the point of this request - make a flag option that works like one of those but doesn't cost the author any rep if it results in an automatic deletion. – Aarobot Nov 1 '10 at 2:33
  • @aaro so abusing it is even more consequence-free? not a good idea. – Jeff Atwood Nov 1 '10 at 2:35
  • 6
    I don't understand. It's no more or less "consequence-free" for the people using the flags. It just has fewer consequences for the "victim." Can you give an example of a scenario where somebody would abuse a "delete flag" but wouldn't be equally likely to abuse the spam/offensive flags? – Aarobot Nov 1 '10 at 2:41
  • see edit, please. – Rosinante Nov 1 '10 at 11:19

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