Flagging | 'Off Topic' vs 'Spam'

When flagging as off topic it says:

It’s Off-Topic
This post is not relevant to the current discussion as defined by the title and first post, and should probably be moved elsewhere.

When flagging as spam it says:

It’s Spam
This post is an advertisement, or vandalism. It is not useful or relevant to the current topic.

Both talk about how it is not useful, adding to the discussion defined by the topic creator, and how it should be deleted or moved. Is there an example when I should flag one and not the other? Does it really matter which one is used?

I know that if a Regular flags a New User’s post as spam it unlists the topic until a mod comes along.
Are there other benefits of using one over the other?

Thanks in advance,
Kevin Potthast


I wouldn’t take the definition so deep. Take it from the name. If it’s something obviously meant to annoy, bug, or aggravate someone or a group of people, I would consider it spam. If it’s something from a user that is normally kind and respecting of the rules, and is moving away from the main point of the topic, I would flag it Off-Topic. Normally, I flag things as “Other” to allow myself to create a short summary of the issue. Haven’t gotten feedback, but I try to make it easy enough for the mods to understand and plan for the issue before they even load the thread.


I only flag as other if it needs immediate attention, I don’t think its necessary to bug the mods with a PM.

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I am just confused on what to click for speculating or begging for something

The mods are very quick and active, but when I see an issue in need of immediate attention or if it requires mod attention and hasn’t received it in a while, I’ll usually flag it to try to help out


That makes no different from our point of view when we see it. All the flags come up as kind of notification. If it’s not obvious to whether it’s off-topic/inappropriate/spam, i would just use other and describe the problem briefly.


Now, that begs the question. Do all flags show up as a PM to you guys? A other appears as a PM for me, do the others as well?

Yes, but it just gets a blue marker. We also get notified in another way. You can probably read all about it at Discourses.


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