The original answer:

Such A Great Blog. Thank U For Sharing Useful Information. This Article Really Amazing And So Much Helpful For Me. In fact, I found the information I was looking for in your article. It’s really helpful. I have benefited from reading your article. Thank you very much. [+ LINK TO ARTICLE]

Now this is garbage. However, the attached link was legit. It answered the question directly, not adjacently as many spam links do, nor was it a link to an ad farm (such as the usual social media click-baits.

I removed the garbage text, leaving only the link. Then I posted a comment asking for a summary of the article as link only responses tend to disappear.

While there are certain elements of spamousity in this post, I don't see why I was suspended from the review queue for a day because of it. (I'm not fighting the suspension. It's one day -- who cares.)

Suspension to me is an accusation that I did something wrong, or so carelessly that I was negligent in my review. I don't believe that was the case.

TL:DR; Link was legit, not an ad farm and directly answered the question. Why was I expected to identify it as spam?

Edit: Added Options in Review (from SO, as I can't access the DIY queue right now).

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Unfortunately, this is an extremely common pattern of spam (here's another very similar one), where the poster posts effusive but nonspecific thanks followed by a link to whatever site they're trying to spam. It's designed to trick you into thinking it's a generic "thanks" or perhaps posting a related link.

Reviewers need to be able to spot these and flag them as spam. Tipoffs include semi-nonsensical references to things like "your blog" or "this article" and text that's totally non-specific to the question (though the question to post the link on might be selected by related keywords—note that the question in my example above was about a "program chair" and received a link about reupholstering chairs).

Even if it weren't spam, what was left after you edited it out was not an answer, and should have been, at a minimum, flagged as either "Not an answer" or "Very low quality".

  • 2
    The recommended actions does not include a "recommend deletion" option (see edit to original post) I did two of the recommended actions, making a good faith attempt to repair the answer. The UI/UX is not set up to encourage the exact action you're suggesting that I should have known to do. In other words, I've been suspended for doing exactly what the site suggested I do. Sep 9 at 15:10
  • The best way to handle it is to use the "Flag" link, flag it as spam, and submit your review using "Other action". But I agree that's not exactly clear from the UI. That might be useful feedback on the Meta.SE discussion of the new review queue changes.
    – Ryan M
    Sep 9 at 15:18
  • While the review queues are good, there should be a First Answer action of Delete with an option of Clearly Spam. It would make the process go much more smoothly.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 23 at 11:42
  • 1
    @FreeMan More broadly, it's not clear to new reviewers how anything that needs a flag should be handled in First Answers. I just posted a related feature request earlier today regarding non-answers, but the exact same problem applies to flagging as spam.
    – Ryan M
    Sep 23 at 11:45
  • Upvoted! (comment too)
    – FreeMan
    Sep 23 at 11:48

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