I voted this question as ok, but Got Stop-Look-Listened. To me, the question looks ok - the poster has had a friend/client/self get a DB killed by a power cut and is asking for advice on recovery?

There is a case for the post needing a few formatting and rewording tweks, but I don't think it warrants a closure.

Thoughts? What have i missed?

  • possible duplicate of Disagreeing with a failed review audit Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 16:05
  • @allquixotic not in this case, see below
    – slhck
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 16:33
  • I’m puzzled: you say, “To me, the question looks ok,” but it looks like you were supposed to be reviewing an answer. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 22:32
  • 1
    In the future, if there's something that may look like spam, ping @DragonLord in Ask a Super User Moderator and I'll check it out. I'm a highly experienced spam fighter and I'm there most times.
    – bwDraco
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 23:24

1 Answer 1


You couldn't have known.

This was a fake question acting as a bait for spam answers. It looks like you were supposed to review the answer, which was deleted as spam by a moderator.

These spammers are getting more clever now. They post real questions and wait a few days before providing an answer with a different account. The question itself looks innocent enough, but the answer links to a product we get a lot of spam posts for.

In that specific case we knew the user names (CliftonJohns and EdLyons) and had several other indicators that the question itself was spam, too.

When you're reviewing posts that involve password or file recovery, be a little suspicious. Of course it depends on what you're reviewing:

  • Questions: There are a few telltale signs like linked network accounts with similar questions, or copy pasted question text. The questions are always about a lost or corrupted file, or a broken .PST mailbox (others include DWG files). It doesn't hurt to flag a question with a custom flag telling us what's up. Of course, if you don't suspect anything with a question, that's also fine.

  • Answers: Anything involving the keywords recover or repair in them should trigger an alert. Especially when coming from new users. Note that spammers are also now linking to third party sites, like Google Groups, Yahoo! Answers, or MSDN threads, which contain the actual spam.

Have a look at: The Master Spam List: Known spammers, spam domains, and associated IP addresses

To come back to your original issue: Yes, you did fail an audit. No, it doesn't cause any harm. Was the audit obvious? No. But now you know what our typical spam looks like, so you can flag it next time you see it. And that's a good outcome for all of us.

  • (1) I followed the link in the question, and all I saw was “answer not found” / “question not found.”  In the interest of openness, would you please undelete them, or (probably better yet) copy them somewhere that the rest of us can see (e.g., into the above question)?  … (Cont’d) Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 22:33
  • (Cont’d) …  (2) What are you saying (bottom line)?  Are you saying, “When you review low quality posts, you should look at the profiles of the users involved, and look at their posting history for patterns of abuse. Also, search for key words from the review post (in one of the big name search engines) to see whether it was copied (and pasted) from somewhere.”?  Or are you saying, “The audit system is broken; 10% of audits are flawed. But don’t worry, be happy: as long as you get at least 88.8% of audits correct, we won’t release the hounds.”? Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 22:34
  • @Scott i.imgur.com/yJm9yH7.png Also, slhck refers to the former
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 3:55
  • Wow; I would have said “Looks OK” too.  McAfee SiteAdvisor, Norton Safe Web, and software.informer all indicate that that site is OK. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 4:58
  • @Scott The software itself may be fine. We need to come up with a way to involve the community when it comes to fighting spam and unfair product advertisement. Also, I'm not saying everyone should meticulously check every user profile when reviewing. I'm also not saying the audit system is completely broken—it's just not perfect. A regular user may just not have the necessary tools to verify a post as spam.
    – slhck
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 5:35

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