For anybody without 10K reputation, here is the original question:

spelling mistakes

A 'sticking plaster' word used by Americans to cover over the huge gaps in their vocabulary. It is one the three words which make up most American sentances.

What is that last word?


In its current state, it shows:

This question was marked as spam or rude or abusive and is therefore not shown - you can see the revision history for details.

deleted by Community♦ 11 hours ago

This question was deleted as spam or offensive

While this was far from an ideal question as it was written, I can't see anything about it that would obviously cause it to run afoul of our automated script. There were also no links embedded in the question that would have led to it being thought of as some kind of self-promotion.

I can see huge gaps in their vocabulary in relationship to Americans as being rude, and even possibly offensive enough to some people to have them want it rephrased, but that seems more a matter of opinion than something our script would automatically pick up on through its algorithm.

Assuming the text of the original message that caused it to be deleted doesn't also cause this question to be deleted, does anybody know what would have triggered this?

Incidentally, the vote count was at -4. Here, also, are the two comments that still exist with it:

This question is unclear. Are you asking about the misspelled word "sentances", which should be "sentences"?

Uh, what does "It is one the three words" mean?

Finally, here is what our help page says about flags and post deletion:

The spam and abusive flags are designed to automatically eliminate truly disruptive posts through the collaboration of the community.

  • 3 flags -- post is banished from the front page.
  • 6 flags -- post is locked, deleted, and the owner loses 100 reputation.
  • 1
    I don't know for a fact, but if I condescend myself to the level of a mindless automation, then I can suppose how this might happen. It reads somewhat like a mix between a crossword puzzle clue and an ad. for plaster: Note the words "sticking plaster" and "cover huge gaps", which are normally associated with contexts of construction or repair. The bot also factors in length. Also, perhaps it was placed in the V.L.Q. review queue and reviewers assumed the question was beyond salvaging for reasons other than what the bot assumed, and recommended deletion, leading to the bot mislabeling it.
    – Tonepoet
    Jun 23, 2019 at 19:29
  • I accidentally deleted my previous comment, but...I am still unclear what "community" means in this context. I am not quite sure there is an "automated" process, or even what it means...I am one of the unfortunate users here who does not have access to deleted Qs. Jun 23, 2019 at 23:24
  • BTW...I have noticed only in the last 2 weeks a pop-up in the VLQ review queue that identifies possible "spam posts". I do not know if that runs on "automatic" or what is going on. Maybe there has been a change in the AI...? Jun 23, 2019 at 23:35
  • @JJJ The vote count is -4. But while some of that could have been generated by flags, I might have been tempted to vote it down myself without flagging it. (Flagging it seems strange to me, especially without any comments that would explain that.) But are you saying that if enough people flagged it as abusive, and it became sufficiently negative, that's good enough for automatic deletion? Because just a negative score doesn't produce automatic deletion—at least not as quickly. Jun 24, 2019 at 0:09
  • @JJJ And as I just added to my question, it would have taken six spam / abuse flags to get the post deleted. But for only a -4 score, that would also have meant two people giving it upvotes. I suppose that possible—but it seems unlikely. Jun 24, 2019 at 0:21
  • @JJJ While I have seen smoke alarm a "few" times here, never have I seen it happen 2-3 times in one week. So is this a change in the AI? Jun 24, 2019 at 0:47
  • See this post about my dupe question being automatically deleted english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13169/…
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 28, 2019 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


Posts that have been deleted with that indication next to them were not deleted because of the automated script that deletes certain old questions, sometimes known as the Roomba.

Rather, that indicator says that it was locked and deleted because it had received ‘enough’ flags that it "was marked spam or rude or abusive". This usually takes six such flags from the community at large before this happens on most SE sites, but on our site it only takes three such. A moderator flag would be binding, so the total flag count would not matter in that instance.

To my eyes, this was not unsolicited commercial advertising. However, I would say that it’s pretty rude. Beyond that, it isn’t a real question. It looks like a puzzle with a zinger answer. We don’t do puzzles here, least of all ones whose answer is at the expense of others.

In all honesty it seems to me to be some sort of rant or troll. Even if someone were to somehow clean it up, I cannot at this point see it ever becoming a good fit for our site. I may be wrong about that, but that’s what my instinct tells me. If somehow an argument to the contrary that’s sufficiently convincing to the community can be made, then we could always resurrect it if that were the sense of the community.

  • But our own help page about spam / abusive flags says it take six such flags, not three. Is our help page incorrect? That aside, the point about a moderator contributing would make sense. Still, while I believe it should not be a question that remains open here, the actual details of what happened seem a little mysterious. Jun 24, 2019 at 0:27
  • 2
    @JasonBassford Yes, our help page is incorrect; we're at three not six. We’re special that way. :)
    – tchrist Mod
    Jun 24, 2019 at 0:28

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