A new user just registered and posted two spam posts, one of which was very long. Both posts started to get downvoted very quickly, and a number of close votes were made.

The questions were live for around 5-10 mins, before they got deleted:


I made an edit to both posts to remove the bulk of the text, to reduce the chances of anyone clicking on the links to the website in the 'questions' that had been posted.

Editing the post in this way didn't seem the right thing to do, should have I left the question alone and just waited until a moderator deleted it? Thoughts please?

As a Sub-3k user, I'll just flag, downvote, and move on. Spam really don't hang around for long so I woudln't worry about adding something extra to the edit queue only for it be deleted a few moments later. –  tombull89 Oct 9 '12 at 14:22
The number of votes on your question and its answers, which is pretty high for Meta posts, should give you an inkling of how we feel about spam, which generally has a proportional response time. –  John Gardeniers Oct 10 '12 at 4:29
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2 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

The best thing to do is flag and downvote. Flags don't generally get left hanging around for long and enough of either will cause the post to be hidden/deleted automagically.

6 Spam flags will cause automagic deletion.

If necessary or even if you just feel like it then edit it too.

@Bryan Generally we knock out flags within an hour or two on our worst days - blatant spam will usually get buried (by the community or the wrath of the mods) much quicker than that. –  voretaq7 Oct 9 '12 at 14:23
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Edit out whatever the spam links are and flag it as spam.

Editing out really isn't necessary since new user's links have nofollow, they don't get indexed by search engines. This makes Astroturfing particularly annoying as there's no chance of the spammer accomplishing their goals. –  Chris S Oct 9 '12 at 13:49
@ChrisS They're still links to things that don't matter, though. At least that's how I look at it. –  MDMarra Oct 9 '12 at 13:50
@ChrisS They're still links to things that could be dangerous. –  Wesley Oct 9 '12 at 15:59
@ChrisS If the user makes a little edit to an experienced user's links, but sneaks in a link to his own sites, is that link nofollowed? –  hexafraction Oct 9 '12 at 23:17
@ObsessiveSSOℲ It wouldn't matter much as anyone under 2000 rep has to have their edit approved by a high rep user/moderator before it goes on the live site. –  TylerShads Oct 15 '12 at 18:44
@TylerShads I'm noting about a user maliciously "typoing" a link where a high-rep user doesn't notice the "change", in that case, is the link nofollowed? –  hexafraction Oct 15 '12 at 19:08
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