7
\$\begingroup\$

A post this morning was hit with a spam flag which was validated by a moderator (or the moderator took it upon themselves to flag it as spam). It came from an established user, who appears to have no connection to the link and the link was very much on topic to the question. This is problematic because a valid spam flag comes with both a profile annotation and a -100 reputation penalty.

Here's the answer

https://rpg.stackexchange.com/a/29103/1084

(This is a 10k only link as the answer has been deleted and locked by community due to the binding spam flag).

To be clear, I agree with the deletion, however I think the validation (or binding cast, I can't tell) is severe overkill and I'd like to request the following on behalf of Ravn

  • That the spam/offensive flags be cleared.
  • That the post be converted to a comment

This is a valuable and interesting link, it's on topic to the question. I agree that it's both time sensitive and it was not a full answer. However, validating this as spam is neither fair nor really in good faith to the intent of the poster.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ The spam flag might be overkill. On the other hand, killing with fire answers that are "and here's a kickstarter I have a vested interest in other people contributing to" is a valid way to firmly discourage KS answers, which are time-limited (in a way answers shouldn't be) and probably have an element of promoting the answerer's self-interest (which perhaps verges on spam). Consider that KS campaigns do encourage tweeting and reposting, as a means of having the contributors do advertising for the campaign, and an answer isn't an appropriate venue for advertisements. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '13 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie What evidence have I missed that Ravn is associated with Reaper Miniatures, and do you think a comment about a relevant Kickstarter (as wax eagle suggests) would be more acceptable? \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Oct 1 '13 at 17:17
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @BESW See the last sentence in that comment (which I think I edited in as you were posting). I think a comment might be OK, but it's probably borderline and would have to be judged case-by-case. The link is useless after the campaign ends. Chat is a better venue for the link. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '13 at 17:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Ah, yeah, though I still don't see the "promoting the answerer's self-interest" bit as anything but rampant speculation. Comments die easily enough and don't garner reputation for the poster, so it seems much more reasonable to post a (very relevant) KS link as a comment--though mentioning it in chat be better and would get more audience. At any rate, I think we're in agreement that while making it an answer is inappropriate, the profile annotation and rep penalty is an overkill response. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Oct 1 '13 at 17:21
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @BESW I do think the spam flag penalty is overkill. I could maybe see it as a deterrent, but deterrents aren't deterrents if they're not public, and the effects of the spam flag are almost entirely private except to 10k users who don't need the deterrence. Without deterrence the penalty is just punishment. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '13 at 17:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And, I'm 99% certain that the answer was made in good faith, even if it was in poor judgement. That's certainly forgivable. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '13 at 17:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I think your comments, compiled, could make an excellent answer. Especially the bit about deterrence needing to be public. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Oct 1 '13 at 17:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @BESW “mentioning it in chat [...] would get more audience” Really? That doesn’t seem likely. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 1 '13 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Than a comment, probably yes. Chat has actual guaranteed people in it, while views on a question are transitory and unreliable. Since a comment doesn't bump a question, a comment will likely get only a few views. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '13 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan A chat active nearly 24/7 would provide no more audience than a comment on a three-year-old question? That seems... like an odd assertion. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Oct 1 '13 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, did not realize the age of the question. Whoooops. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 1 '13 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Yeah, on a current question it'd probably be more visible as a comment! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '13 at 17:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW Done and done. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '13 at 17:41
11
\$\begingroup\$

I agree with the deletion too, but the spam flag is probably overkill.

On the one hand, killing with fire answers that are "and here's a kickstarter I have a vested interest in other people contributing to" is a valid way to firmly discourage KS answers, which are time-limited (in a way answers shouldn't be) and probably have an element of promoting the answerer's self-interest (in getting more contributions for the campaign, possibly unlocking stretch goals, which perhaps verges on spam). KS campaigns do encourage tweeting and reposting, as a means of having the contributors do advertising for the campaign, and an answer isn't an appropriate venue for advertisements.

On the other hand, I'm 99% certain that the answer was made in good faith, even if it was in poor judgement. That's certainly forgivable.

So on the balance, I do think the spam flag penalty is overkill and the penalty should be overturned.

(You might be thinking that it works as a deterrent – but deterrents aren't deterrents if they're not public, and the effects of the spam flag are almost entirely private except to 10k users who don't need the deterrence. Without deterrence the penalty is just punishment, and that's not what we're supposed to be doing with content-control features of the site.)


As for where the link would be appropriate... The link is useless after the campaign ends, so chat is a probably a more appropriate venue for the link. I think a comment might be OK, still, but it's probably borderline and would have to be judged case-by-case, since I can imagine the same link embedded in a comment that is unobtrusive as easily as in one that is obnoxiously spammy.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be honest, an established user with a vested interest in something should by the policies outlined in the self promotion policy here: [behavior] should well be able to advertise it in the context of an on topic answer. Again, it's not really an answer, which is fine, delete it, convert it to a comment, whatever. But spam flagging it is just...strange. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Oct 1 '13 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ rpg.stackexchange.com/help/behavior sorry my quick text was broken it seems. This is the link that goes in [behavior] \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Oct 1 '13 at 18:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle I think the fact that KS campaigns are a grey area for "self promotion", combined with no disclosure of whether they were a backer or not, is what lead to the spam flag. I still think it's overkill, but I understand why it might have been done. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '13 at 18:13
3
\$\begingroup\$

Good point. A rep hit is harsh in this case since it was done in good faith. The spam flag has been removed and the answer re-deleted normally.

However, for future reference, it doesn't have to be "your" spam to be spam. The behavior page says excessive self-promotion may be categorized as spam, but that's not an exclusive definition, it's one of the things that can be spam. Any unsolicited advertisement - including any sale, job posting, Kickstarter, or similar - is spam and does not belong on the SE, regardless of whether it's "yours" or not. Many people really object to this kind of content (some of the site feeds options were downvoted because of excessive Kickstarter promotional content).

For stuff like that that's worth sharing, do what I do - put it in chat, and then people will star it, and then other people will see it. I certainly find the Bones II Kickstarter of interest and would happily read about it/star it, in chat.

Not on an answer, for all the obvious reasons besides its spamminess (it was not an answer to that question, it is inherently time limited, that question sucked and was in the process of being closed...). Also, "comments are no excuse" - don't put stuff like this in comments either. Y'all know site policy on comments; they're to improve the question and answer, and spammy comments will get wrath like spammy posts. Plus commenting on old posts will get a lot less play than a starred chat line.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't the line be topicality though? The question is "how do I get a bunch of minis cheap." While granted this wasn't a particularly substantial answer, linking to that kickstarter is actually quite a good answer to that question. because frankly, that's a ton of fantasy minis for cheap. I'm not sure that even qualifies as "spammy seeming" tbh. Effectively that post was soliciting advertising. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Oct 2 '13 at 2:51
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ One of the criteria is topicality, this falls short on many other criteria. I can see a good answer to this question that mentions "watch for Kickstarters" as one of its line items. "Hey guys here's a new kickstarter" is not and will not be acceptble. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Oct 2 '13 at 2:58
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 I can even see a "watch for kickstarters, here are some historical ones to give you an idea of what keywords to look for" as an excellent one. But link only answers aren't good. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Oct 2 '13 at 6:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .