I'm not sure my answer got deleted on the right grounds (rather abruptly I might add).

Why would the organizers of an online conference ask poster presenters not to include any URLs or hyperlinks in their poster?

The question is about a very specific conference (rather than conferences in general), and therefore the answer validly was about the framing rather than directly: contact said conference to ask them about their reasons, rather than have us guess here what their specific reasons are, and perhaps ask for exemption of this rule. Until deleted it got the most upvotes amongst the (presumably) academic users on here, so it was considered useful and would have helped the question asker!

  • 3
    I'll give others a chance to answer (since I wasn't involved in this decision), but I would point out that the question is actually not about a very specific conference. The question was "Why would the organizers of an online conference ask poster presenters not to include any URLs or hyperlinks in their poster?" The reference to AAAI 2022 was only an example. If the question had been asking us to comment on a particular conference individually, then the question would be off-topic, since we cannot read the minds of conference organizers.
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 23:04
  • 1
    To expand a bit on what @cag51 points out, if the question can be answered with "ask them", we usually would close that question as "Strongly depends on individual factors" rather than having a large number of questions on the site with answers consisting of simply "ask your advisor/the editor/the committee/etc".
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 23:28
  • The question specifically says "The following instructions sent to poster presenters" - this implies the author is not merely citing this conference as a random example, but is involved in it. It would at least be polite to ask the asker themselves if this were a satisfactory answer (or not) before pressing the delete button.
    – MiG
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 7:01

1 Answer 1


(It was I who converted that answer to a comment.)

There are several points to consider here:

  • The question as written asks about what are good motivations for the rule in question. I consider this a good question for this site since it translates to other conferences, is valid for more than a month, and the answers provide general insights on conference organisation. The other answers primarily address this aspect. While it may have been as efficient for the asker to ask the organisers, having general answers here may quickly inform others having the same problem later.

  • Most importantly: Your answer was about how to find out the organiser’s motivation and how to handle a potential problem arising from this rule. The asker did not ask for either of these and I see no reason to assume that he was unaware of the possibility to communicate with the organisers. This makes your answer an answer to a different question. It was also flagged as not an answer. We might envision a future visitor who actually has the problems you are addressing, but they can still see your comment or ask a different question (although we might need to close that one, see below).

  • Due to the above, your answer cannot be compared to the other answers in terms of correctness, plausibility, etc. One might say that your answer should be upvoted on account of being correct or downvoted on account of not addressing the question. This is a primary problem with some non-answers and why we delete them: They receive a lot of upvotes on account of being correct but actually de-rail the question.

    Moreover, the question is a hot network question, i.e., it receives many visitors who can upvote but not downvote. Therefore I do not think the amount of upvotes is a good indicator as to whether this answer should be deleted or not.

  • The asker primarily asked about “some online conference” and only gave the specific conference in parentheses. The asker did not say anything about his role in this. He may be a poster presenter, but he also may only know somebody who is. Moreover, to answer the question there is no need to make assumptions about the asker’s relation to the conference or his motivation to ask this question. He may even have tried to ask the organisers or refrained from doing so on account of not being involved in the conference. Finally, if you are unsure about the asker’s motivation for a question (and it is relevant to answer), the first step would be to ask them to clarify in a comment (or close the question as unclear).

  • The only way I see to consider your post as an answer would be as a frame challenge. However, then it breaks all the general rules for these. In particular, assuming that the asker did not even consider communicating with the organisers is somewhat patronising.

  • Let’s assume for a second that “ask them” really is the one thing that helps the asker. Then the question would be have to be closed for depending on individual factors. This close reason exists because we got tired of writing that answer all over again and such questions lead to other problems. However, as I reasoned in the first bullet point, I do not think this close reason applies to this question.

    In general, you should almost never post an answer that can be boiled down to “ask them”. Either, the question should be closed for depending on individual factors, it needs clarifications, or the answer needs more substance.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .