# Mistake in this "First Question" Review marked spam?

In several review tests I had given, this is the first one that I failed.

Also, this the first "spam" alert I saw. I looked at some meta posts and checked some google results too (for the OP's question) and after a long haul decided to mark it OK (as visualization could be a genuine problem) though I had a hunch I might not pass it and I didn't.

Question:

1. What exactly is a "spam"? (what is a spam for dummies maybe) Like why/how it happens (intention, goal, procedure, detecting). No site/network is being promoted here via link (may indirectly? or unintentionally? or it is? or is there some other reason?)
2. In such reviews will one always fail? So better be skipped if I find okay or otherwise take relevant action?

• I do suspect that when the message "Our system has identified this post as potential spam; please review carefully" is shown, it presages an audit. However it isn't my experience that this reflects anything about the correct response to that audit, merely that it tries to get ones attention. Aug 9, 2022 at 19:34
• @hardmath thanks a lot for your inputs. If that's the case, then my hypothesis that "Marking 'Look Ok' will lead to failure of test" may be correct. XanderHenderson has no data in favour or against this hypothesis so I guess it's not rejected yet as I previously considered. Aug 9, 2022 at 19:40
• In my experience there are review audits with this message where marking looks okay did not "lead to failure of test". I'll post such an audit next time I get one (the system numbers them much like it does Questions and Answers). Aug 9, 2022 at 19:42
• @hardmath sure, thank you. Aug 9, 2022 at 19:44
• @hardmath I marked this post as spam which it clearly was. XD Aug 10, 2022 at 4:56
• @hardmath this is the perfect example to prove my hypothesis wrong. A quite highly upvoted answer was alerted to me as a possible spam. I marked OK as I felt nothing wrong about the post despite my ill-foreboding and to my surprise, I passed! Aug 26, 2022 at 5:12
• Here, is the image of the same The Image Aug 26, 2022 at 5:15

On the SE network, "spam" is fairly narrowly defined: it is a question or answer which appears to promote a product or service without the author of the post declaring their association with the product or service.

is probably spam, while

is not considered spam.

There are automatic systems which attempt to identify questions which are likely to be spam. I don't know any of the details of this system, but I presume that length of post, keywords, and the inclusion of links are a part of this.

However, none of this is particularly relevant to the review queue. You aren't being asked to decide if the post is spam or not, you are being asked to decide if the question is of a sufficient quality for inclusion on Math SE or not. If a question is spam, you should choose to close it. But you should also choose to close questions which lack context, are off-topic, or which otherwise fail to meet the standards of the site.

In the case of the question you were asked to review, previous users closed the question not because it was spam, but because it failed to meet the context requirements for the site.

• Thank you for such an understandable answer. Could you also please include in your answer, answer to $2^{nd}$ question, whether such reviews (spam alerted) ones, one will always fail if clicking on "Looks OK" or sometimes that might not be the case? Aug 9, 2022 at 15:40
• What makes you believe that every such audit should result in "close this question", and that failure to select closure will result in a "failed" audit? I see no evidence which would suggest that this is the case.
– Xander Henderson Mod
Aug 9, 2022 at 16:08
• Alright, just wanted to confirm that. As you say, my null hypothesis is incorrect. Aug 9, 2022 at 16:11