I think I have only made one mistake and reported something that did not need to be. It looked like spam at first glance so hit the report button. Then at second glance I noticed the post count of the poster then recognized the name. Realized I had made a mistake but no one ever said anything about it.
That's because the mods do review individual reports, to prevent abuse and accident like the case that you mentioned. The fact that you see nothing means the mods were already at work. Most spam posts are removed within minutes of appearing and the fact that most gerbils don't see them is because the mods are working very hard to deal with them. Mods do strive to make things smooth and uneventful, and it is not a sign that they are slacking or anything.
I don't understand why being able to post a link is so important though. How often is a link necessary when asking for help? Just a glance through recent posts shows no one asking a question with a link. The links don't come into play until some one replies most of the time.
A few newbie posts asking for help (either build plan or during the build) will either post links to their components either on their first post or responses will ask them to list those components. If you frequent the SBA and General Hardware forums you would know.
Just make it clear up front, no URL's until they get past a certain post count. If they can't wait give them a button to hit asking for approval. Seems to me the requests would be a small number compared to how many spammers you have to deal with each day.
That's the debate. This may scare people away when TR wants to grow its readership. The debate swings back and forth from time to time. Pretty much all the arguments were made and repeated just like these repeating threads. Just because someone sees the mods missing some threads does not necessarily mean there is some spam epidemic going on. As have been linked above these "omg spamz!" threads are not new. Everyone is an expert.
The Model M is not for the faint of heart. You either like them or hate them.
Gerbils unite! Fold for UnitedGerbilNation, team 2630.