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What happened to the "Flag As" button? Answered

Is anyone here old enough to remember, way back in the Bad Old Days, here at Instructables, when every forum post had a "Flag As" button, for give unto every user the power to tattletale on any other user's post, by "flagging" it as...oh I forget what all the choices were exactly, but I think there was, "Spam", "Inappropriate", and, uh, those are the only ones I remember for sure. There might have also been one for "Feewings", or "Offensiveness", or something like that.

Anyway, I cannot help wondering, since that "Flag As" button went away, exactly what mechanism is being used to keep the forums here, or what is left of the forums, free from Spam and other offensive content.

Is it AI algorithms? Is an army of Stasi spam-sniffing censor monkeys?

More importantly, what happens when that system fails to catch spam posts? What happens when one gets through !?

As a current example, from as recently as 13 hours ago, consider this guy JohnW797 (Do you really think you have a chance against us, meester cowboy?) and his cryptic question about a "shunt regulator", here:


Am I the only one who thinks this "question" is actually spam? i.e. the only semantic content in this question is a link to this cowboy's website he's promoting.

So where's my, "Flag as Spam" button? The reason I ask is because this stupid "install a shunt regulator" question is obvious spam, and should be deleted as soon as possible.

Deleted ASAP, with extreme predjudice!

Also, a warning for the spammer is probably an appropriate first response. Deleting the account is appropriate for a second offense.

Tolerance for spammers only makes the site look weak, and encourages them to do more of the same.



5 months ago


I wasn't aware that the site's designers removed the flag option from forum topics! We'll look into getting that back. As it stands, the flag option is still accessible on Instructables themselves via a " . . . " menu that appears at the upper right of the pages.

For now if you spot something you think is spam in the forums, please send us a note to service@instructables.com, and we'll investigate.

We do have various spam-fighting measures in place and 99%-plus of the garbage-y spam stuff will go unseen publicly, but you're correct that occasionally things might weasel through and there should be a quick way to report them. Thanks for bringing this up!

Sam (seamster)

Community Manager

Jack A Lopezseamster

Reply 5 months ago

Hi Sam,

I thank you for your prompt reply to my question, and for your other efforts to help keep the site running.

Now that you mention it, I do see the little mini-control-panel that hovers over actual instructables, with a, "..." menu, that leads to a "Flag" button, and a "Add To Collection" button.

Also I am glad to hear the staff is still vigilant against spam, even if much of the spam-squeching activity is happening behind the scenes.