This is a bit of a weird one (or I'm missing something obvious).

This quite-old (and reasonably upvoted) question asks:

Is there a web based terminal/ssh client?

Today, a new answer appeared from a new contributor with a suggestion for (yet) another alternative. The answer was quickly downvoted 4 times and flagged as spam.

Here's the link to the answer for those that have 10k rep and can see it.

The answer is simply:

I used this freeware web based ssh client for all my OPs tasks managing almost hundreds VMs and stand-alone Linux servers: ... [redacted in case it really is spam and I'm missing something]

I'm confused as to how this is spam (or even worth being downvoted), given that it seems to me to be a direct answer to the question that was asked?

And that's not the only one:

  • Another answer on the same question from around 5 years ago was also downvoted, flagged as spam, and deleted for the same reason.
  • And this one was mod-deleted.

There are a number of other answers that have been deleted that don't actually answer the question that was asked, and I have no problem with that. And then there are answers that are almost the same as these, but point to different web-based tools, that are left open.

But why is it that some actual attempts to answer to the question being asked seem to be deleted and/or flagged as spam? Am I misreading something here?

Side-note: I would suggest closing the question as it doesn't, IMHO, have anything to do with Ubuntu. The OP is simply asking for a web-based terminal that they can access from Windows. The target OS doesn't matter here.

But let's not punish those who attempt, in good-faith, to answer the question that was asked.

3 Answers 3


The answer posted today is giving me a lot of red flags:

The link points to a webpage about the software, but there's nothing else there except a vague description of the software.

There's no "About" page with information about the owner or developer other than saying "NetBro is developed by Vlad U". This name is similar to the username here on AU, which can be interpreted as self promotion. But the answer on AU does not indicate that they are the owner/developer of this software, while the language used implies that they are not. That seems deceptive.

There's also not any way to download any software from this website. And even more suspiciously, the site solicits additional personal information to establish an account to supposedly get the link to download the software.

The answer is also coming from a new user so the trust level is already low.

I'm not sure if I would vote down or mark as spam but I certainly understand why it would be. It certainly looks like a scam.

The second answer points to a link that does not exist. Because of that, it's hard to tell if it was spam when it was closed 5 years ago. But it's certainly not a useful answer now, so voting down is appropriate.

The third answer is the same as the 2nd.

  • "It certainly looks like a scam" - Yes, but IMHO almost any answer to that question would look like a scam to me. It seems odd to go with "guilty until proven innocent" when there's really no chance to "prove innocent". Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 1:43
  • 3
    "almost any answer to that question would look like a scam" I disagree. There are so many characteristics that can infer the quality and legitimacy of software. There are obvious indicators like: Who makes the software? What is the dev's reputation? Is the source available? Is there documentation? Then there are more subjective evaluations that are still useful: How popular does the software seem to be? Does the website look professional? Is the software asking for personal information or money? The link from that answer has a "bad" outcome for all of those questions.
    – Nmath
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 2:02
  • Fair enough - It would just take a lot for me to feel safe with something like that. But yes this one looked particularly suspect. With further inspection, the domain involved was just registered in December, even though the copyright at the bottom of the page says 2005-2023. Also when attempting to search for the software by name, there's just no history for the name, other than that website and this answer ... Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 2:32
  • "It would just take a lot for me to feel safe with something like that" - I'm 100% with you on that. No way I'm typing my SSH credentials into questionable software.
    – Nmath
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 2:38

I'll add another perspective to this - which also adds to why some answers look more like a scam than others. I think you can divide the answers to that question into 2 categories:

  1. The self-hosted vs. cloud-hosted solutions
  2. The open-source vs. closed-source solutions

In general, when people think about Linux, homelabs etc., most people naturally tend to have a bias towards self-hosted and open-source solutions - which I understand perfectly well.

For this particular question, I also believe it has the effect that any answer, that mentions and links to a self-hosted and/or open-source solution, is automatically more accepted and taken in good faith, than any answer pointing to a cloud-hosted and/or closed-source solution. Again, I completely understand and agree with that.

So naturally, open-source people would probably rate the reliability of answers like this:

  1. Self-hosted and open-source
  2. Cloud-hosted and open-source
  3. Self-hosted and closed-source
  4. Cloud-hosted and closed-source

As far as I can see, the answer by Vlad falls into the third category (first I thought it was cloud-hosted, but it is actually something you have to install yourself).

But when you add to that all the red flags that Nmath mentions, it's clear to see why it comes down the priority list, and also smells more like spam/scam/slam than a serious answer.

  • I do see a point here.
    – Rishon_JR
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 10:48
  • In that case I'm delighted my point came across! 😁 Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 10:50

I can add that there is a rule at Charcoal

Disclosed affiliation

It’s fine to promote your own product or service on Stack Exchange, as long as:

you’re not doing it excessively
you disclose your affiliation
you only do so where relevant

If all of those conditions are true, then self-promotion is not spam and therefore f and not k (unless it doesn’t answer the question, in which case it’s n). If any of them are false, self-promotion is k.

In this case affiliation was not disclosed, hence it is spam.

  • I've cited this rule as well, but was there any indication in this case that it was the user's own self-promotion without attribution? I did look for that, but didn't see any. Not saying that it wasn't spam, but again, there wasn't a clear indication of whether it was or wasn't from reading the post (and link) itself. Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 19:47
  • 2
    Just to be clear, it's part of the official help as well, not just Charcoal. Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 19:50
  • 2
    The requirement that there be disclosure of affiliation is literally in the single-line description of the spam flag in the flagging dialog. BTW: It would be better to change this answer to referencing the help center and/or flag dialog, because Charcoal doesn't unilaterally make policy for Stack Exchange sites as to what is spam. We follow the existing Stack Exchange policies, as described in the flagging dialog, help center, and many different posts on MSE and MSO (and any on other per-site metas about which we are aware).
    – Makyen
    Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 5:52

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