My gut reaction is to flag the heck out of this answer: https://ell.stackexchange.com/a/13144/50

However, I have to concede that the site being advertised is on-topic. (No clue about quality, as I have no wish to actually visit it.) Also, the post fully answers the question before it gets to the advertising, so it's not blatant spamming.

I don't know if I've encountered anything like this on any other site. I'm not seeing anything about link-dropping or advertising in our FAQ. (Aside: could we make the FAQ any harder to find? What's wrong with a link that actually says FAQ? Sheesh. But I digress.)

What should we do with an answer that includes advertising?

  1. Nothing, as long as it's actually an answer, not just a link.

  2. Edit out the advertisement portion.

  3. Flag as spam.

  4. Something else?

3 Answers 3


From the FAQ that you could not find:

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.

Since the post does answer the question and the links are not irrelevant, I'd say there's probably not a problem with it, particularly since Stack Exchange doesn't sell advertising on beta sites, AFIAK, so that wouldn't be an option in that respect.


Waiwai beat me to it; that's the exact information I was about to quote! To expand further on this particular situation, let's take a look at the 3 requirements of acceptable self-promotion:

  1. The answer must be good and relevant (check)
  2. You must disclose your affiliation (check)
  3. A large percentage of your answers should not mention your product or website (not check)

So far this poster has 2/3. I note that they have posted 3 answers, all within the last hour, and that all 3 answers end with the same stock advertising blocks. This does strike me as a problem, and I'm going to bring this up in the mod room and might ask a comm team member how this has been handled in the past on other sites, the next time I spot one. In the meantime, any other feedback the community has on the matter would be great to hear; I think it's important not to lose good content but also important to make sure we're not encouraging excessive self-promotion.


Two words:

enter image description here

Including that ad – and let's call it what it is, a free ad – is not appropriate, particularly as an appendix on every answer, even if the product being advertised does happen to be related to our site.

No doubt, the resources being peddled may be of use to frequent ELL users, so I have taken the liberty to list them on the meta post dedicated to helpful resources.

On the main site, answers are for answers; they are not meant to be used as a lead-in to an advertisement. The user is welcome to answer questions, but is not welcome to use ELL as an avenue for soliciting.

That said, the user would be permitted to include links to those resources on his or her user profile.

You must log in to answer this question.

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