A recently posted answer is really just spam with an answer to the question built around it. If you removed the link, the answer would be fine. But should we be editing these answers, or should we be treating them like any other type of spam?

Stack Overflow has discussed this before, and they are in favour of deleting them.

Should we be editing these questions, or deleting them?


2 Answers 2


I think these answers should be deleted, along with the user. They might provide an answer to the question, but they're still spam.

Although I think most of these types of users will just post the one answer and then move on, if they decide stick away and keep posting answers like this it becomes a lot of work to constantly edit out the spam. And, frankly, I don't think we should be. We're just allowing them to engage in behaviour prohibited by the site rules.

Additionally if these questions then receive up votes it could lead to these users receiving enough reputation to be able to leave comments, which are harder for users to deal with.

  • 5
    I think that they should specifically not be edited so that we can keep track of spam users more easily. Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 13:21
  • @StrixVaria I agree with that as well. It just makes it more difficult to find spam, which was the case with this answer. Unless you looked at the edit history you'd have no idea was spam.
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 13:22
  • What do we do now? The answer was edited and is an ontopic answer
    – juan
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 15:28
  • @JQAn Assuming we decide on this our policy (which it looks like we will), we should delete the post.
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 15:33
  • 5
    I am really, really confused as to why you wouldn't just delete or suspend the user and keep the valuable portion of the content. Allowing the user to continue posting spam is obviously not going to be considered. Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 15:53
  • @MatthewRead I think assuming that this content is valuable is the first place where you go wrong. Most of it is copy pasta and borderline incoherent. Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 16:20
  • 1
    @LessPop_MoreFizz I trusted Wipqozn, from the question: "If you removed the link, the answer would be fine." Regardless, I think these posts (as a general class) should be split into the two cases. I don't think the truly-useful-minus-the-spam case is likely to occur (nor is the other honestly) but I'm more concerned with the idea that deleting useful content is OK. Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 16:26
  • By "Fine" I mean it's a question that wouldn't be worthy of deletion or massive down voting (due to being wrong, or having just Terrible grammar).
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 18:01
  • ...by question I of course mean answer...
    – Wipqozn Mod
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 20:20

If the post "looks like" a real answer but the subject experts know it's not, I favor deletion (and deleting/suspending the user). Though kudos to the clever spammer I suppose :P

If it is a valid, accurate answer, we should:

  1. Delete or suspend the user, so the problem stops.

  2. Edit the post so that the useful content remains.

In place of #2 I would also be OK with creating a new post with the despammed content, although that seems like a relatively pointless diversion.

There's no reason to completely eliminate a useful answer. Doing so wouldn't be any better at ending the problem.

As I noted in the comments on Wipqozn's answer, I don't think either case is likely to occur very often at all. My concern is with the idea that deleting useful content is OK, since that extends to many more posts than just this class. If we as a community don't allow that then I am happy.

You must log in to answer this question.

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