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Disclaimer: I'm only an active contributor to Charcoal SE project. Prior to flagging my first spam here, I didn't even know "Drupal" can be a word.

I had my first declined flag on Drupal, and it's on an answer I perceived as spam. (Can't provide a screenshot as I lack the reputation necessary and it's been deleted) I also left a comment pointing out to the answerer to disclose any affiliation they have with that website.

Long story short, that post was caught due to the username being similar to the website linked, which is a pattern observed in a lot of unquestionably spam posts sometimes hard to detect. Furthermore, the username is hardly just a random common word in language which accidentally happened to be a site name as well, so this can hardly be a coincidence. That makes the post suspicious, and likely spam, i.e. self-promotion without proper affiliation disclosed.

I'm not upset in the slightest, as I have enough helpful flags to compensate, but I'm curious as to why the post couldn't be perceived as spam. The post is now deleted, which could mean it was considered NAA (Not-An-Answer)? Can't tell for sure.

In other words, for the sake of consensus, is a 'username similar to website in answer', perhaps in one of arbitrarily short length, from an unregistered or 1-rep user, without proper disclosure of affiliation spam?


Footnote Currently the post holds two True Positive feedbacks in that spam repository I linked to, and I was certain it's spam. If proven wrong, I would change the feedback to NAA, of False Positive if needed.

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    Related discussion on meta SE: A user name is NOT spam – Robert Cartaino Apr 10 '17 at 17:01
  • @Robert that's a bit different though. That user has some rep and doesn't link often to their own website. This user posted the same answer twice (again after their first answer was deleted), didn't have any rep, and did not have any other posts they didn't link their website to. AFAIK, those metrics are indeed important in deciding whether a post is spam or not. – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Apr 10 '17 at 17:05
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    Understood. I was actually pointing out that it's a user's actions that constitute spam (or doesn't)... not the username in and of itself. – Robert Cartaino Apr 10 '17 at 17:07
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Self-promotion does not always equate to spam on this site, especially when the site could potentially be a resource. We discourage self-promotion, but don't consider people spammers when they do this the first time.

The spam flag carries special weight to it, as it can trigger extra consequences for the poster besides having the post deleted. If I see a spam flag misapplied, I will decline it so these extra steps don't occur.

In this case, I declined the flag as the post wasn't spam (wasn't a serial offender of linking out to a blog, not selling handbags, etc). I did delete it, though, as it was essentially a link-only answer.

  • Thank you for the answer! Most spam is only one-time though. I'm fairly certain this would've been considered spam on Stack Overflow. Anyway, each community has its own way of handling these things. So Drupal sets the bar higher. (Which is certainly possible) – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Mar 31 '17 at 13:01
  • @M.A.R. It's a judgement call. On this site, links like that could potentially be OK in the right context and with supporting material. I did not see the need the trigger the extra steps. I have handled thousands of spam flags; it is not always one time. Spam != "I don't like that", and I think that some spam flags on other sites are misapplied. – mpdonadio Mar 31 '17 at 13:09
  • Hmm, so it boils down to the fact that it wasn't extreme enough to warrant a spam flag. Right? – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Mar 31 '17 at 13:39
  • @M.A.R. Essentially, yes. Bad answer that warranted deletion, but not abusive to warrant the punishment that the spam flag can carry. – mpdonadio Mar 31 '17 at 15:23
  • I declined the flag too, since the link was on-topic for the question. It was not the best of the answers, so deleting it avoiding the user could not answer anymore was the right action, IMO. – kiamlaluno Apr 1 '17 at 5:29

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