Why am I getting an error that says "this looks like spam?" It's certainly not!!

Edit: First of all, I realized I should be on the Meta board, but I was prevented from posting here as I hadn't yet answered any questions on the regular Travel.SE site. So thanks!

Second, I tried to answer a question related to road trips. I addressed all the points that the asker brought up. However, in the edit window, when I clicked 'submit' I simply got a balloon that read "This looks like spam."

There was no promotional material, nothing related to a company, or otherwise what I'd consider to be spam - I only answered the question(s). Why did this occur?

I posted this question in such an odd way because, despite being a user of several other SE's, I grew frustrated at this issue and couldn't solve it on my own.

  • 1
    First, welcome to the site and thanks for answering a question! Second, yeah tell us (in meta) more about what's going on and what you're doing when you get this error. Oct 4, 2016 at 21:45
  • 1
    @ZachLipton It wasn't an error. It was a comment because if I recall the answers simply suggested some company to use with no explanation why and secondary there were 2 answers that looked almost identical.
    – Karlson
    Oct 4, 2016 at 22:13
  • Please elaborate. As it is written at this moment, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
    – Jan
    Oct 5, 2016 at 13:59
  • "off-topic because it has no content" @dorothy I'm not sure where else to ask a question like this. I couldn't find anything to solve my issue on meta, or in the help page.
    – Josh B
    Oct 6, 2016 at 15:35
  • @JoshB there was nothing there except for your comment Why am I getting an error that says "this looks like spam?" It's certainly not!! Were you asking a question, or putting in an answer? You might try just straight text the first time, no format, no links etc.
    – Giorgio
    Oct 6, 2016 at 15:40
  • 1
    I'm guessing SE itself protested, presumably based on some pre-parsing of the A body. Still, without the actual text you were trying to write, there's no way for us to know if it's a false positive or not
    – blackbird
    Oct 6, 2016 at 18:50
  • 2
    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/258653/…
    – Fiksdal
    Oct 6, 2016 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


.SE spam filter compare your post with recognized spam posts at a structural level and statistical level...that is exactly what any other spam filter does.

There are words, single characters and links that raise the alarm. Spammer fill their post of tons of "+", "-", "*", "@", for example, to catch reader's attention.

Simply, your post must have been similar in an unfortunate way to a spam message; can happen, it's called false positive. Next time, should it happen again, save the post and post it on meta so .SE programmers can use it to check the .SE spam filter and tune it better (in case)

  • Thanks so much! That's basically the answer I was looking for. I now also realize that my reputation was brand new on this .SE and so it restricted content in certain ways.
    – Josh B
    Oct 17, 2016 at 20:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .