I made a big effort into creating some ESRI Error lookup code, I thought it would be a great idea to share it with the community. After posting it on github, I created a Q&A here which linked to it and I explained how it worked etc. Unfortunate I marked my answer as community wiki, I could not undo it so i flagged the thread and asked if it could be changed.

An hour later everything was deleted and i had lost 100+ rep points. I tried to find out why this had happened and just found out that it was marked as spam. I have no idea what so ever why, and think that I have been treated really poor here.

Punishing me for trying to contribute to the community in such a harsh way and to such a length, doesn't make me want to contribute in the future.

My Question and Answer had also gotten upvotes and been commented as "good work!"

I don't know if you guys can see the deleted post with the provided link bellow

ESRI Error Lookup COMException

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    I am sorry about the misunderstandings and hope that you will view this as a learning opportunity (about how our site works) for all involved and will continue to contribute. For the record: your post was not deleted. The thread was closed and later merged with a duplicate (where your answer now appears and has received upvotes). The distinction is that a closed post is still visible to everybody and can be the target of searches, whereas deleted posts are visible only to mods and high-rep users.
    – whuber
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 14:37

3 Answers 3


The post was deleted due to spam flags, I've restored it as you've indicated that you'd like to edit it, so you should have a chance to do so.

If your trying to share knowledge in the form of asking and answering your own question, that's fine, but when the question and answer both feel like they're somewhat of an advertisement, eyebrows are often raised. Stack Exchange communities as a whole are very sensitive to this sort of thing because so much of it each day is rather questionable.

I think you're just trying to share something useful, however you do need to edit your answer to talk more about how the code works, and reiterate that it's a gist which people can freely use if they find it to be useful.

I edited the question to be a little less leading.

Note, the post is restored, and I removed the wiki status, however it remains on hold until you've edited the answer a bit. Once you have it will go into the reopen queue, and you can also flag for moderator attention.

It's sometimes terribly difficult to distinguish malice from benign behavior when the patterns match so closely, but I do believe that you had honest intentions here.

  • I have edited the question and the answer, ill read over it a few times again and add anything that iv might forgotten, or just make it all around better if i see it fit ? :)
    – furier
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 18:43
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    Thanks Tim Post
    – Mapperz Mod
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 13:29

I was one (the only one?) of the users who flagged the post, and I think that I owe you an explanation.

I flagged it for moderator attention, because I felt something was amiss and weird.

  • Firstly the body of the question wasn't a real question. There is no question that I could decipher. Saying

Have you ever ripped your hair out of pain and agony of the annoying and impossible error codes or error messages received from the exceptions?

feels more like a rant, rather than a question.

  • Secondly, The answer you have posted, feels like it is promoting your Gist/Github Page. It really doesn't provide any insight into the problem with error codes. There are many solutions to getting the real exception from COMexceptions, such as given here and here. IMHO, Your answer does not really help or provide a solution.

  • Thirdly, the other answer on your question also felt fishy. Rather than commenting on your answer, that was posted as a new answer. This felt like a sock-puppet account to me. I'm not saying it is, but I felt it could be.

This is why I flagged the question, so that the moderators could have a look at it with the tools that they have, so that they can see if something is wrong.

I'm not convinced that it is spam, and I disagree with it being marked as spam. I only felt that it was not a good Question and Answer.

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    I feel this could have been solved in a better way with a comment at first, not just straight away report it as spam. I was really really frustrated when this happened. But I'm glad it seems we have managed to sort out the issues. :)
    – furier
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 18:46

It came to my attention because another user had flagged it as suspicious - looking at the "question" it was clearly not a question but an advert for some code. Looks like spam to me so I flagged it as such.

This site works by people asking questions and other (or the same) people posting answers not as a blogging host.

  • Okay I can agree on some of your points, but hey retracting 100+ points is way overkill punishment for this. You guys are great at giving people incentive for contributing to the community. If the retraction of points could be reverted id be happy.
    – furier
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 12:52
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    But I disagree that this does not belong here in some way or another, if i edited the question more and such, i definitely think it belongs here. also should i post 2000 lines of code here? id rather link to the code (gist)
    – furier
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 13:04
  • please read the help page - gis.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask
    – Ian Turton Mod
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 13:11
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    There's nothing wrong with asking and answering your own question, in fact that's why we we made it possible to do both at the same time within the UI. While such posts are still held to the need to be on topic, the fact that someone asks and answers their own question isn't an issue in and of itself.
    – Tim Post
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 14:31
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    I had no problem with the self-answering - just the blatent (self) promotion in the non question.
    – Ian Turton Mod
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 14:50

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