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By the site faq, posts promoting products or services with which the poster is affiliated require a disclaimer of affiliation.

If the poster does not provide such a disclaimer, what is the right response?

  1. Vote the post down and comment.
  2. Edit the post to add a disclamer.
  3. Flag the post as spam and have a mod remove it (possibly after a warning).

Or some other response?

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Personally, I think we should vote down and comment, rather then editing in a disclaimer.

I think the editing approach just invites more of the same and isn't in the spirit of the rule, which includes the idea that posters just interested in promotion are here from the wrong reasons. Even if the edited post ends up being helpful in that particular situation, we don't get an engaged community member interested in making contributions beyond the promotion.

Allowing the posts but putting in our own disclaimer teaches people that we're a fine place to drop such posts.

Voting down and commenting gives an opportunity for someone who came to the site initially attracted by a question a need which their product is designed to fill to become a real, helpful member of the site.

If the post is really blatant, if it isn't improved, it should then be flagged as spam and deleted.

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  • Couldn't agree more. – jrista Dec 21 '11 at 18:18
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    Agreed, but a comment indicating the reason for the downvotes should almost be compulsory. We absolutely do not want this to become a haven for astroturfing, but at the same time I do think we want to encourage providers of unique or niche solutions that may be new or little known to let us know when there is a viable solution to a problem we'd all assumed was impossible. That is especially true of people who can help in areas around their product's specialty without actually requiring their product -- and are willing to say so. (cont'd) – user2719 Dec 21 '11 at 20:46
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    (part deux) One of the most valuable contributors to a platform-specific user-to-user forum I belong to was an ISV who was often accused of spamming/shilling -- but his product was honestly the only viable solution for a lot of problems of a certain type, and his depth of knowledge around the very complex, crufty data/document structure his language extension manipulated allowed him to answer questions nobody else could answer -- not even the platform's own developers. We need to encourage that kind of contributor as much as we can. – user2719 Dec 21 '11 at 20:51
  • I agree about an almost-mandatory comment, but when it's blatant spam totally unrelated to the question (e.g. photo.stackexchange.com/a/18299), I think @jrista is being too kind. – Please Read My Profile Dec 21 '11 at 22:18
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    Probably am being too kind, but I guess I feel I have to err on the side of kind than not. ;) – jrista Dec 21 '11 at 22:36
  • Yeah, that's always a good rule. :) – Please Read My Profile Dec 21 '11 at 22:39
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    We're photographers -- it's okay if we shoot first and ask questions later. – user2719 Dec 22 '11 at 2:15

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