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If someone posts an answer that link to their own blog without a declaration, is this always a flaggable offence?

Here are some examples:

  1. A thorough answer with a link at the end
  2. An answer with a brief summary and a link for further information
  3. Several answers of "You can find an answer here: [link]" from the same user

Is flagging the solution in all instances?

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My take on this is if the user gave a good quality answer and added a link to their blog without mentioning that it was their blog - no big deal. I add a comment to let them know they should add a disclaimer (just "see my blog" will do) and a link to the FAQ and hope they get the message.

The next level are people plugging their codeplex project or whatever, trying to drum up a bit of traffic. This is fine if the answer is relevant and they add a disclaimer. If not we need to let them know and point them to the FAQ. If they do it repeatedly it becomes a problem and we need to escalate.

The real pains are the people (often sock-puppets) promoting a product with no other content than "you can use xyz.com" which is a paid product - we know who they are. They hurt the site - I used to point them to the FAQ, but it's getting worse and now I'm inclined to delete them on the spot.

I think they are all worth a flag, and that's the best way of dealing with it, even the first category, because it is an opportunity to educate the users of the site.

Keep up the good work - it's appreciated.

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  • Some good points. And no worries. :)
    – Stu Pegg
    Jul 16, 2012 at 21:38
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    +1 couldn't have said it better. A good test: do all of the user's answers have links to their own product/blog? If yes, you're probably in the wrong place.
    – Kit Menke
    Jul 17, 2012 at 1:58
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To propose a possible answer to my own question, here are my actions on each of the above:

  1. Edited in the declaration, with an editing note giving the reason.
  2. Flagged 'Other' with a note saying why
  3. All answers flagged as spam

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