Quite often I am notified of a suggested edit by an anonymous user on How do I recover my Google account (or Gmail) password or username.

For example today: https://webapps.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/84294

Like today, the only suggested change is to remove the password-recovery tag.

I see that @jonsca has voted Reject with the reason This edit defaces the post in order to promote a product or service, or is deliberately destructive.

I am young and naïve, and cannot see that removing a tag does constitute any promotion of a product or service (but the edit is clearly useless nonetheless).

What am I missing? What kind of spam scheme is this (removing a tag from a post)?

  • 2
    I guess the moderator considered it an act of vandalism Feb 20, 2017 at 13:20
  • That's how I would have flagged it.
    – ale
    Feb 21, 2017 at 14:03

2 Answers 2


The edit summary (shown in the review page as a 'Comment:' above the title) contains an e-mail address - that's what's being spammed. The edit itself is irrelevant; apparently removing a tag is deemed easier / less suspicious by the spammer than editing the body of the post.

Also, the second part of the rejection reason might apply to cases like this:

or is deliberately destructive.

If you remove a tag from a post, you should at least specify why you think it doesn't apply.

  • 1
    Wow, that's some really ineffective spamming. I didn't notice the email address at all. But there can't be any other reason. Thanks! Feb 20, 2017 at 13:39

We get these from time to time, and sometimes I wonder if it's just a matter of people not wanting to ask a new question about password recovery (by slapping their email address in there, they perhaps think it will become part of the post).

Glorfindel gave a good explanation as to how spammers not familiar with how the sites work tend to use this method as well, even though it is fruitless.

In either case, I consider the edit to be a nuisance, which is within the spirit of that rejection reason. I suppose I could have used "Attempt to reply," but there's no real penalty given to users when the edit is rejected under "Spam/Vandalism," especially for anonymous edits or drive-by unregistered accounts.

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