From time to time I get flags wrong (I'm a fairly prolific flagger) but I was surprised to get two back-to-back declines from two of these Charcoal reports. The user was running around linking to their site repeatedly. This did not appear to be newbie mistaken behavior given the pattern.

What's baffling is that the user was subsequently deleted, which suggests a mod destroyed the user.

Is there something we missed? I want to make sure we get it right in Charcoal.

1 Answer 1


It looked like a beginner's mistake to me at the first glance. Later I invested this a bit more, decided it was indeed spam, deleted the posts and the account.

Sorry for the mixed signals.

Background is that we get many invalid spam flags, some people flag every post with a link to the author's site as spam, even if the linked resource is actually helpful and on-topic. Given the severe consequences for an user who is marked as spammer, I'm "trained" to decline these flags unless they are very obviously correct.

  • 2
    Fair enough. I'll try to mod flag next time. Thanks for the info
    – Machavity
    Apr 13, 2020 at 19:41
  • 2
    SE's general definition of spam is clear that disclosure of affiliation is required when the user is affiliated with what they are linking to or promoting. If the user does not disclose affiliation, then it is spam. I agree that if the OP's only done it once or twice, and the user is actually answering, then it's much better to inform the user of the disclosure requirements and ask them to edit in disclosure. So, in such cases, a custom mod-flag is better.
    – Makyen
    Apr 13, 2020 at 21:27
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    But, a spam flag on such posts isn't wrong. In fact, the flag dialog explicitly says "does not disclose the author's affiliation" as part of the brief description for the spam flag. So, instead of declining spam flags raised for undisclosed affiliation, I'd suggest "disputing" such spam flags.
    – Makyen
    Apr 13, 2020 at 21:27

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