Did I not follow some rule?

  • 1
    ell.meta.stackexchange.com/a/5046/1694 when I gently pointed out the many grammatical errors in the post, you deleted it without a word. I think it is useful for users with 10K rep to see your reaction.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 3, 2019 at 11:11
  • Your question was phrased wrongly.I agree with @J.R.——it seems like you are trying to publicly gain attention on one particular website.
    – Genie
    Oct 22, 2020 at 15:05

4 Answers 4


Ever since you joined this site, it's been a little bit hard to tell if your motives are altruistic, or if you are hoping to use ELL as a free advertising platform in hopes of driving increased network traffic toward a certain website.

Your question consisted of a single line:

Can someone give me an explanation and example?

which isn't a very well-formed question. (Of course, the title of your question gave a better indication of what you were really asking about; however, you should remember, titles are for titles, and people should be able to understand your question without reading the title.)

But, getting back to what you asked about here, your question wasn't deleted because it had too much critical information in the title and too little critical information in the body of the question. A simple edit could have fixed that.

Here it is, in a nutshell: When a user is promoting a website through their username, and then that user asks a very brief question (which puts that website's name at the bottom of the question), and then that user answers that same very brief question (which again puts that website's name at the bottom of the answer), and then that answer includes yet another link back to the aforementioned (but not aforenamed) website, well, let's just say this: The optics are not good. The word disingenuous comes to mind.

We were hoping a simple deletion would send a quiet but firm message, but apparently not, so now we will just need to say it a bit more publicly: Please don't use ELL under the guise of helping learners when you are primarily motivated by strewing clickbait like chum.*

If you are sincere about helping learners for the sake of helping learners, you might try changing your username. As it stands right now, it's a little hard to believe you're not doing this primarily for the no-cost advertising. And please, don't compound the problem by asking questions that you already know the answer to just to embed more links.

*chum fish or mollusks cut into pieces and scattered in the water to attract game fish to a fishing area

  • 5
    [clap. clap,clap] I especially appreciated strewing clickbait like chum. Though, I have never strewn anything in the water. :)
    – Lambie
    Oct 28, 2019 at 16:05

This site is a bit different from other sites. We don't swap content with "non-affiliated" sites to drive traffic here. This is a community, and the content contributed by the community is expected to serve the community, not "drive traffic". The community decides whether that content is worthwhile, and so far, the results are mixed on the content you're providing.

I understand that you have found a lot of guidelines that you interpret as supporting what you're doing, but this site is more than the guidelines set out for the entire network. One of the things makes ELL special is that the information collected here is focused on real questions from learners, not made-up questions by teachers or questions harvested from students from somewhere else and posted simply to promote a website. Asking a question on this site is an invitation for our experts to answer it. It is not posting content to improve some other web site's search ranking or traffic.

Sometimes there might be a question that lots of learners have, so we write a canonical post to cover the topic. like Canonical Post #2: What is the perfect, and how should I use it? or Canonical Post #1: When to Trust Your Grammar Checker. Notice the difference between those posts and the shameful excuse for a question and answer you posted so you could promote your website.

We welcome anyone who wants to contribute to our community so long as they are actually interested in being part of the community and don't treat us like website traffic. This isn't about satisfying the moderators. If the content you post is high quality and useful to the community, then the moderation team won't get any complaints about it and it won't get removed. We've tried to give you some advice to help you integrate into the community better, but if your goal is simply to generate web traffic and not to help the learners here, I doubt this will be the last time we receive complaints.


Your answers so far on the site have been of extremely poor quality, and in many cases, incorrect. The fact you have gained a small measure of reputation on the site is due mainly to your scattergun approach, and in part due to the misplaced trust of the English learners whose questions you have given wrong answers to.

It doesn't surprise me that your question was deleted, as your previous activity has raised suspicion surrounding your motives for joining ELL. Reputation on this site engenders trust, and a reputation should not be built by surreptitiously trying to sell books. The way that you have posted this meta question asking for a "rule" to be quoted at you is equally duplicitous.

I regularly contribute to the ELL and my only motivation is helping others. The only personal gain I get from my contributions is the opportunity to improve my own writing and language skills through the research I do to support my instinctive knowledge as a lifelong native English speaker. To see the site littered with rubbish for the clear purpose of promoting and selling books actually sickens me, especially if the content of the books you sell is as poor as your contributions here, and doubly so if any of the non-native English speakers that make use of this site for free are fooled into buying your books.


First of all, thank you all for answering the questions in detail - this action has created a space for a fair debate about issues.

Prior to getting to the main point of the answer, we would also like to thank you for your feedback concerning the structure of a properly asked question, which we are going to learn from and apply in our future activities on this platform and also other ones of this sort.

Similarly to you (as I presume), our platform/website pursues its actions based on our passion for language learning and teaching. On our part, there has been a large quantity of qualified and dedicated staff who have put together an extensive and revised material created for the purpose of these activities.

However, our activities so far have consisted mainly of careful content creation and our website does not provide any space for user or teacher/pupil interaction or answering any key and brief questions that may arise for the language enthusiasts.

With regard to this fact, our approach has been to make use of websites dedicated particularly to linking specific, partial problems to their solutions, many of which not only allow, but also encourage all kinds of their users to publish both the problems they have encountered and also their solutions, if they have managed to come up with any, since these sorts of actions is highly beneficial to the websites

see e.g. these posts specific to Stack Exchange:

In our specific case, the "solutions" to our "problems" have been well-crafted, organised, revised multiple times and given the best sort of form in order to be brief, clear and easily understood.

Last but not least, they feature original graphics.

The interpretation on our part is, therefore, that we also provide our original content, behind which there are years of work (which we, naturally, take credit for), to other, non-affiliated platforms, increasing their site traffic and providing them with more users (who will be linked to these forums from our website).

At the same time we, in return, gain space specifically created for the purpose of discussion where the users of our website can also come across linguists and/or native speakers willing to help them by means of discussion and providing more information.

When it comes to the term "clickbait", we have never seen any connections between its meaning and how we act on non-affiliated sites - one of our main purposes is to offer, publish and spread faultless information that would be useful to every user coming to our website (and also outside of it) and we never try to woo users in pretending to offer what we do not and cannot provide.

Moreover, all the information needed is always included in the answer itself and we do not invite or oblige the users to visit our website in order to find the necessary piece of information and they are completely free to decide if they want to have a look at the rest of the content we create.

With all that in mind, I cannot see any problem with using Stack Exchange - which belongs to these kinds of websites - for creating this kind of "specific question-specific answer" stock/database, nor any reason for my questions (and answers) being deleted.

If the moderators consider our username to be the main issue, we are, of course, willing to choose one representative which will present themselves under their own name or username. If there is any other issue we must consider and focus on, we are open to listen your suggestions.

Last but not least, we would like to include a few references of the same or similar topics discussed on Stack Exchange, according to which no rules are broken on our side:

We would especially like to highlight the recurrent quote originating from the common FAQ:

Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if they happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers. Also, if a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons.

Regarding the final sentence, we would also like to remind the moderators that our account actively answers questions by other users where no links to our content are included, since our intent is to contribute to the community, too.

Kind regards.

  • 4
    I have not read through all of this, but I notice you use “we”. You should not have multiple people using a single account, that is a violation of the terms of service. Your staff is welcome to create individual accounts, but the accounts should not interact with each other (mostly, don’t answer each other’s questions or vote on each other’s posts).
    – ColleenV
    Oct 30, 2019 at 13:56
  • I am speaking in the name of the website, but I am, also to my regret, an individual person who is responsible for the English language section. I am used to using the plural in letters, but here it is not appropriate, my mistake.
    – Antonio D.
    Oct 30, 2019 at 15:40
  • 4
    I think the issue isn't to do with you posting answers to genuine questions which may have an affiliation to your product (as you say "Post good, relevant answers, and if they happen to be about your product or website, so be it.") Posting fake questions in order to then answer them yourself, in order to promote your product doesn't seem to adhere to the Code of Conduct though.
    – Gamora
    Oct 30, 2019 at 16:37
  • 5
    I'm afraid your answer seems to confirm my suspicions: You are using the Stack Exchange for self-serving purposes. I suspect that will leave a bad taste in the mouths of many contributors, and it boggles my mind how you can name your account after your own website yet pretend to be confused about clickbait. If you want my advice, change your username, change your avatar, and avoid linking back to The-Site-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named.com in your answers.
    – J.R. Mod
    Oct 30, 2019 at 18:17

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