6

There is a lot of spam in the replies here, the reply from Ian Pack is a blatant one as a quick search shows he works for the company that he is "recommending", I would not be surprised if more are spamming.

Another one in the thread, David Foster, is the Training Manager of the company he is touting.

I don't want to link to these spammers' websites.

I did a search of the name, product and company and both cases are employees spamming their products.

  • also, both have no accounts other than here and 1 rep point... that is hat got me suspicious in the first place. – user7130 Jul 24 '13 at 10:54
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    If you see one, flag it. If you see more than one of them by the same author/company (it has happened on Chemistry, for example), flag it and alert the moderators in case they didn't notice that it was the same author/company (by a meta post or custom flag with explanatory text). – F'x Jul 24 '13 at 12:27
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    I think it is fair to report this andso adding a comment like "This seems like advertisement" in some form should be enough to alert others. The OP can then object if they need to with some facts to the contrary. – Peter Jansson Jul 24 '13 at 14:53
4

I'm not sure it is our responsibility to "report them to their company bosses".

What you did was I guess the right move: flag them, and bring them to meta. One of the answer you mention has been deleted by the community, and the other one is down-voted. The answers were technically on topic, and although it would be better for the users to state their affiliation, it's not necessarily spam.

  • don't worry, I have not gone on a corporate-warpath (I have edited out that part). I vehemently hate with every fibre of my being, advertising in general, let alone these false 'recommendations'. – user7130 Jul 24 '13 at 11:08
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    Every question asking for some recommendation is bound to have some kind of advertising, which is why there are not always welcome here. – user102 Jul 24 '13 at 11:09
  • I agree wholeheartedly on that, the last thing any SE site needs is a spam-storm...erm... I mean 'recommendations'. – user7130 Jul 24 '13 at 11:10
4

The question at hand happens to be a good target for spammers, due to the nature of the question. I've protected the question, which should make it marginally more difficult; if the problem continues, we can lock the question as well.

If other questions like similar to this one (i.e., where answers will contain product recommendations) experience similar issues, flag it and we'll protect/lock as necessary.

3

The FAQ addresses this

Avoid overt self-promotion.

The community tends to vote down overt self-promotion and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, that’s okay. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.

If a large percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons. Our advertising rates are quite reasonable; contact our ad sales team for details. We also offer free community promotion ads for open source projects and non-profit organizations.

I think the SAMS answer actually answers the question and is not spam despite the obvious advertising aspect of the answer. I think a down vote and a comment are the right way to go. I am not sure flagging is particularly helpful because I don't think the diamond mods should be deleting answers which answer the question. The AccusAQL answer does not answer the question, so down voting and flagging is the way to go.

  • Actually, the answer on AccuSQL seemed to be way too generic (it's not really for attendance monitoring only, it seems to be a solution for managing an entire academic server), which is why I deleted it. I believe the other answer (SAMS) was actually quite relevant, but three other users deleted the answer. – user102 Jul 24 '13 at 13:29
  • @CharlesMorisset fair enough looking more closely at AccuSQL I can see how it is spam. – StrongBad Jul 24 '13 at 13:47
1

I can't see the deleted answers. However, I'll add my 2 cents from elsewhere:

If a new user with no previous activity blatantly advertises a product/website/..., treat it as spam. Don't forget, besides flagging, to downvote the answer: sufficient number of downvotes with no upvotes deletes the post at one moment.

If it's clearly spam, edit the answer, remove the contents and add spam content deleted. (However, that applies only when it's very clearly a spam with no discussion about it.)

  • I don't recommend editing the spam answers. Just leave them as they are, and let the existing spam system work to cause them to be deleted. – D.W. Dec 13 '13 at 1:12

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