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I am posting this question in reference to: What to do with images that contains self-advertising?

As you can see from the above meta link, I am wondering if usage of watermarked images and to be more specific "self promoting" watermarked images (meaning images displaying your name and/or company logo) is tolerated/allowed on this site. Sadly, my original question on the network meta didn't receive any official staff answer, but as one user pointed out in a comment this may as well be against the CC-WIKI license any content posted on the network fails into -- including images.

I already raised a flag about this issue here on SharePoint some time ago after noticing a specific user that always watermarks any images posted with its own name and company site url and the flag was deemed "useful". Yet, the user seems to be still doing that, to the point I am asking myself if he is either pulling the rope after having already been warned once or our site mods decided this is "not an issue" in which case I would like an official statement since the flag didn't receive any custom comment and the "useful" rating seems to indicate I was right in flagging that content. At the moment I am not sure if I should signal the "issue?" again or just turn around and dismiss it.

(disclaimer: should the problem be dismissed here, I will still double-check with the network mods since I don't believe any local rule may be less restrictive than the network wide ones) .

  • It could be construed as excessive self promotion, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I have a feeling I know who you are referencing. – Eric Alexander Nov 4 '16 at 18:59
  • @EricAlexander Even before asking myself if this can be see as excessive self promotion", I will try to have someone from the Stack Exchange staff tell me if this is allowed by the site license policy in the first place. Only if this is allowed we should start asking us if it is also "tolerable". I will keep this post updated with my finding, if you as a mod can contact anyone to have an official answer I would gladly accept any info you may find – SPArchaeologist Nov 4 '16 at 19:03
  • @SPArchaeologist I've updated my answer to this great question! – Benny Skogberg Nov 7 '16 at 10:41
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Edited

Self promoting your own blog, even with an image, if highlighted in the post is OK. Even using a company name/image is OK according to the answer to the post Usernames as Advertising or Spam?:

I'm not seeing the downside.

If a user is posting good content, who cares what their user name is? If you're implying some sort of spammy-ness to the name they choose, I'm still not seeing the downside. They still have to post good content to get their name in lights. That's a net win to us!

The identity you choose is a personal thing. If someone wanted to be called (for example) "Ubuntu Fanboi", we wouldn't be having this conversation. So is a username like "AskUbuntu.com" really all that different? It's not indiscriminate advertising... it's a username; and it's not a part of the information content of this site. In short, there is no "spam" to a username.

Users have three major reasons to contribute to projects like Stack Exchange:

  • Autonomy (work on something you enjoy);
  • Mastery (be awesome at what you do);
  • and Purpose

If that purpose happens to be a bit of self-promotion, we all like to show off a bit. So, we provide two places that allow you to establish your self-identity: Your username and 'about me' profile.

If we take away that little bit of self-identity, you're also removing one of the major purpose-driven motives for using this site… and that would be a disproportionate reaction to allay some momentary irk you assign to something so inconsequential.

That said, it's not allowed to use a shared account, even though it can be hard to control who is behind a profile name according to the answer to the post Can I create a Stack Exchange Account as My Company Name?:

Barring any legal considerations and rights to use that name, you can use a company name as your user name/identity. See Usernames as advertising or spam.

But keep in mind that our Terms of Service require that accounts be owned used by an individual (i.e. not a corporate entity), so folks can not create a shared account for use by their "organization".

  • So, just to be clear, it is fine to watermark the images you use in your post with your own company logo/site url? Don't get me wrong, Benny, it is not like I don't believe you - it is just that this doesn't really feel coherent with the site license. The question you have linked talks about using an "advertising oriented" username, avatar, having a profile link or sometime reference your products in a post (if it makes sense to do so). I am talking of watermarking every single image you post without adding any further value to the post. – SPArchaeologist Nov 7 '16 at 18:22
  • @SPArchaeologist I don't get you wrong (and if you saw my first post, I agree with you). And I agree with you, since I feel this is a gray area which could be interpreted either way. I don't have a strong position here, and think if the images are overly used, we might have to do something about it. Key point in the posts I blockquote, is the quality of content they provide. If it's valid, accurate and to the point - there is no harm done, since it helps users. If they are not, we have to do something. Do you have an example I can take a look at? – Benny Skogberg Nov 7 '16 at 18:27
  • I have, but I would prefer if we don't point the finger at anyone here since I don't want to cause any drama or bad publicity - like I said I personally have nothing against the watermark by itself, the only doubt I have is if it is "allowed" by the license in the first place. Can I raise a custom flag on this post and point you to a sample? – SPArchaeologist Nov 7 '16 at 18:34
  • @SPArchaeologist Can you send me a DM on Twitter? twitter.com/BennySkogberg – Benny Skogberg Nov 7 '16 at 18:35
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    ok, but you will have to wait a little since I can't really access Twitter right now. I will try to do it tomorrow morning, it is getting late here now. – SPArchaeologist Nov 7 '16 at 18:38
  • @SPArchaeologist Looking through the images, they are annoying - but content is relevant and helps users. So they do fall inline with the CC licence. – Benny Skogberg Nov 10 '16 at 7:09
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    To be fair, if the license legally allows for the image to have the watermark, then we can declare the case closed. I wasn't able to get any Stack Exchange employee to confirm this - so for now I will accept the current answer. If I can find out anything new, I will add it here. – SPArchaeologist Nov 10 '16 at 18:26

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