I'm looking for a replacement for the noun "snark". Sarcasm won't work because it's a form of humor and I want to add a suggestion of malice or darkness to it.
For example, as a response to a request to include a quote within an answer avoid a "link-only" situation, an author added the following to indicate passages that contained the word:
1: [...] horsepower [...]
2: [...] horsepower [...]
3: [...] horsepower [...]
By quoting only the single word from the passage rather than a sentence or so and repeating the same three times, the author pretends to expand beyond link-only but fails by design.
So while pretense comes to mind, it's also not dark enough. Spite is a bit strong. The idea here was to respond by following the letter of the request but not in spirit, perhaps to mock it.