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Comments on Introduce a spam reaction?

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Introduce a spam reaction?

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It just occurred to me that it would be nice to have a "spam" reaction feature, to mark a post as potentially harmful while waiting for moderators to delete it.

Benefits:

  • Prevent other users from thinking the post is legit and clicking on links posted.
  • Making it easier for other users to spot already detected spam to flag. In case for example we wish to use a consensus system where multiple spam flags by several users lead to auto-deletion.

My proposal is that the reaction should be in red color and simply say "Spam". The text in the reaction-picking dialog could say:

  • Spam. The post is self-promotional and/or abusive. Use this reaction in combination with the appropriate flag.

This can also be used on abusive posts that violate CoC or contain links to harmful or inappropriate content.

But I don't think the reaction should be named "spam or abuse", even though it can be used for both. Or otherwise people might start using it for various drama purposes.

The reaction should be available on all sites in the network.

Optionally, a "nice to have" feature would be if flagging the post as spam automatically adds the reaction to it. Perhaps it should even be the only way to add the reaction, to ensure that users flag and not use the reaction.

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3 comment threads

Avoiding redundant actions (1 comment)
Disabling links (6 comments)
Perhaps more explicitly dangerous? (1 comment)
Post
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I don't think it should be called spam. Spam, in the strict sense, is large-volume, unwanted commercial advertisement. For example, if I go to every question tagged Python and reply "Click here to get 10% off my Python course" that would be proper spam. If I go to one question asking about the fastest database and recommend DynamoDB, that might be advertising, but I wouldn't call it spam - it's relevant and low volume.

For actual spam, it's probably best for full mods/admins to deal with it. Usually proper spam is not controversial, everybody can tell it's spam. And the best solution is to check the user's history and bulk delete the spam, not flag and review each post one by one.

Then there's spam in the informal sense which can mean a lot of things, like:

  • The post recommends a product
  • The post defends a company I don't like
  • The post has too much of a pro-consumerist attitude
  • The post is too low quality
  • The post is too short
  • I don't like the poster and I'm sick of seeing him

People are going to use it inconsistently because everybody has a different understanding of what "spam" is (unless you go by the strict sense).

I think for what you want, a better word might be "shill". If someone has reason to believe that a user is being disingenuous out of commercial interest, that seems useful to indicate, and a reaction/comment seems like the best way to do it. Then people can look at the argument and decide for themselves if they believe it.

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1 comment thread

I dispute that it's obvious to everyone. (3 comments)
I dispute that it's obvious to everyone.
Michael‭ wrote about 2 months ago · edited about 2 months ago

Codidact gets a bunch of answers, especially in "Writing," that follow this pattern (annotated with footnotes):

You can make citations by [answer-y stuff written by GPT] as found in hxxp://example.com/how-to-1suika game2-cite-sources1. [GPT answer continues]

  1. Normal link, linked twice in different sections, like [hxxp://example.com/how-to-][1] and [-cite-sources][1]. 2

  2. Interjected link plant, which your eyes skip over because it's all link-colored in the middle of the fully-written-out link.

matthewsnyder‭ wrote about 2 months ago

Interesting. So are you saying it's not obvious because it's easy to miss?

I meant obvious as in after a close look, everyone would agree that spam is spam, and there's not going to be controversy. Looks like your example follows this - after looking carefully at the markdown source, I'm sure that very few would have doubts that this is malicious. So there would not be debate about whether it's really spam.

As for "easy to spot" - not all spam is, I completely agree with you there.

Michael‭ wrote about 2 months ago

I misunderstood you, then. Carry on.