I have noticed that the community, on finding a posted answer that appears to promote a product or service, looks up the user's account and spam flags all the other answers for that user that also appear to promote their product or service. Because these answers are now in the flag queue, other community members pile on additional spam flags with a vengeance.

This is an enormous amount of leverage to wield against a user. I'm fine with this if the user is only here to spam his links, but it becomes problematic if the answers being provided are squarely on-topic for the question, and they have been upvoted.

Here is what I'd rather see happen. Flag one of the answers using this description:

While this answer appears to be on-topic, it links to a commercial product, and the user has posted several answers like this elsewhere. It seems as if he's only here to promote his product.

Here is an example of an on-topic post that was spam-flagged. All of this user's other answers also had spam flags on them, but all (except one) answered the OP's question.

Note: Please do not flag this user's posts, just because I showed him to you! I've already removed the spam flags from his answers.

I invite discussion.

  • To be clear, you're asking for us to flag with a comment if we see multiple borderline-promotional answers, and not for a new type of flag to do this? I've tended to flag with a comment if all posts by a user seem to be spam, and there were more than two or three of them, but use multiple individual spam flags if some answers were legit. I wanted to save the moderators some of the work of digging through all of the user's posting history. Jun 22 '11 at 16:33
  • 1
    @Brad: Correct on all points, and thanks for the help. Your flags are always well thought-out.
    – user102937
    Jun 22 '11 at 16:35
  • 1
    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/86717/…
    – Shog9
    Jun 22 '11 at 17:21
  • To be honest, while that user's posts are On-Topic, given the product is made by a Russian company and his profile links to a Russian ad directory and he's low rep...I'd likely flag it with a comment saying, "this is probably Spam, but I don't speak enough Russian to sort it out."
    – user7116
    Jun 22 '11 at 17:26
  • @six: The product website he links to is in perfect Queen's English: othercontrols.com/en/products/mathexpressioneditorlight
    – user102937
    Jun 22 '11 at 17:27
  • @Robert: and Russian is the default language. Note the lack of en in the URL.
    – user7116
    Jun 22 '11 at 17:30
  • @six: OK. Well, I hope the fact that the guy is Russian doesn't make this a bad example. :(
    – user102937
    Jun 22 '11 at 17:31
  • 1
    @Robert: A follow-up to Brad's comment, do you only want individual spam flags if it's 2-3 spam answers, or if for example there are a total of 15 answers, 10 which looks like spam, would you want each of the 10 flagged separately so that you don't have to go through all 15, or would you prefer just the one flag for that user? Another related question: meta.stackexchange.com/q/92015/147141
    – ho1
    Jun 22 '11 at 17:32
  • @Robert: no, it's a good example of a not-so-cut-and-dry answer that likely should be flagged for attention in a manner other than Spam. Not that I find the answers helpful, but I wasn't the question-asker.
    – user7116
    Jun 22 '11 at 17:33
  • 1
    @ho1: If all of the user's answers are definitely spam, the account is going to be burned anyway (taking the answers with it), so it works either way (single or multiple flags). As Brad points out, it's nice to identify the spam posts separately on those accounts where some answers are legitimate. If you feel that the user just needs to be notified, you can cast a single flag with an explanation.
    – user102937
    Jun 22 '11 at 17:37

You must log in to answer this question.