Sorry for raising this up weeks later, because I just checked my flag logs today.

My spam flag on this answer was

declined - a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it

(Note: Post is already deleted and user nuked)

According to metasmoke, the post content was:


As per this FAQ on Meta Stack Exchange, rude or abusive flags are appropriate on this kind of garbage. Quoting below:

What makes something rude or abusive and when should I flag it?


Abuse of the system or community is everything that is created with the intention to harm them. This includes posts that contain no useful content at all – i.e. gibberish posts along the lines of:

asyuv;laergap897wertp[98 gb;vp98a34

Furthermore, as stated by Shog9, it's fine to use either kind of red flags for this:

... and the same applies to Spam and Rude/Offensive (source)

(it is also supported by a previous CM, Pops)

There's also another consensus on Meta Stack Overflow that mixing spam flags and R/A flags are OK, since they're both high-priority red flags.

Synthesizing all references presented above, I think my spam flag is appropriate on that answer, so why is it declined?

I cast a spam flag instead of a R/A flag because it is more convenient with Tampermonkey userscripts that I have installed.

P.S. There was a similar complaint by someone else about a similar issue over on Drupal Answers.

  • $\begingroup$ I've received the rejected flag message: " The "spam" flag is mostly intended for commercial spam" when I used a spam flag on gibberish. Perhaps it would have been better if you had gotten that message since it is more descriptive. $\endgroup$
    – user191954
    Oct 28, 2018 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


Note that "spam" is notably missing from the list of flags (VLQ, rude or abusive, not an answer) Shog9 lists in the answer you quote. The spam flag description reads:

Exists only to promote a product or service, does not disclose the author's affiliation.

A gibberish post does not, by any reasonable interpretation, qualify as promoting anything, therefore your flag was declined. Since spam flags feed an automated spam defense mechanics in a way that the other flags don't, please reserve the usage of the spam flag to actual promotional spam.

  • $\begingroup$ I swear there's another piece of word from Shog saying that spam flags are appropriate. Wait for me to find that out. I'll be back. $\endgroup$
    – iBug
    Oct 28, 2018 at 9:00
  • $\begingroup$ Furthermore, spam flags and R/A flags both feed into SE's SpamRam, the only differences are about review auditing and automatic question protecting, which is not the case on this site. $\endgroup$
    – iBug
    Oct 28, 2018 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ OK, what about this? $\endgroup$
    – iBug
    Oct 28, 2018 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ As I read Shog9's answer (no longer linked in the question here), it appears to me that Shog9 intended to include spam flags as valid, but more as an afterthought (emphasis mine): "It's VLQ, it's abuse, it's Not An Answer, heck it might even be a spammer, testing the waters... There's no metric you can apply that'll narrow that down…" So, while it's clearly not his preferred flag (he says he's partial to R/A), it does appear to me that he intended to include spam flags as a valid flag type. $\endgroup$
    – Makyen
    Oct 28, 2018 at 10:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ DavidZ once mentioned in chat that VLQ applies to (what I classify as) keyboard slams and gibberish. $\endgroup$
    – user191954
    Oct 28, 2018 at 11:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, VLQ is precisely the kind of flag to use for this sort of content. Incidentally, this is the place to look for guidance about how to use flags on this site (although I need to update that since the flags have changed semi-recently) $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Oct 28, 2018 at 12:58

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