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The Workplace gets a fair amount of spam every day. According to this listing there are at least 2-3 spam posts on here every day.

In general, the way to deal with spammers is to flag and destroy their posts as spam - this imposes automatic IP blocks as well as large heuristic biases for the ban algorhitms against them.

If there is spam, its important that it is destroyed, and editing spam links out of clear spam is actively hindering that, causing others to maybe downvote instead of flag as spam, and requires moderators handling the spam flags to dig into the edit history to find out what is going on.

Today we had an instance of that happening (mirror for <10k users before the edit). Often times when flagging spam questions here, I also see comments like "I'm voting to close this because its spam".

The question now is: Do we need to emphasise more that spam should be flagged instead of closed or edited?

  • 1
    I'd always downvote + flag as spam: if a question is -4 or worse it disappears off the home page. – BCdotWEB Sep 7 '16 at 13:07
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It's important for users to use their flags to delete spam, as only 6 flags are needed and there's no need for mod intervention.

Removing spam links, can confuse further reviews of a post and mislead users into misunderstanding the original intention of the spammy post. Editing the post also invalidates flags.

Spam posts can be posted as blatant spam, or spam in the guise of a authentic post, these are usually copy and pasted content with a spammy link. Removal of the link in these cases, is confusing.

From SE meta:

... most links do not even need to be removed, unless they are linking to porn, viruses, or disturbing content.

If a post is flagged after being edited, those flags will be invalidated if the post is rolled back; unless your edit actually results in a post that shouldn't be deleted, you're just creating an opportunity for someone to make the post stick around longer.

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