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I ran into an answer from user b2c, which linked to a code project of his. The post in question seems suspect, for several reasons:

  1. It's on an old question.
  2. It doesn't really answer the user's problem. The original question is specifically about getting Borland C to access OpenGL. The tool he's suggesting is for using JavaScript to access OpenGL. He's basically telling him to switch programming languages.
  3. The user's name is b2c, the same name as his website. That alone would be fine, but when combined with the others is... suggestive.

So I looked at his answer history. The chronologically oldest answer is fine but each and every other answer manages to work a link to one of his tools into it. In some answers, these references would be legitimately useful. Others seem much more naked and transparent. However, I don't know enough about the tools and some of the tech involved to be certain in some instances.

It appears to me that he seeks out older questions that could be answered by his tools and then suggests using them. This is shown by the fact that five out of six of his answers fit this pattern. They're old questions (relative to his answer), and they could (in theory) benefit from his tools.

I'm not entirely sure if this constitutes spamming, so I thought I'd bring it up here. Obviously I think it's spam, but what do you think?

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Well, the moderators&community appear to have resolved it. The five posts were deleted. –  Nicol Bolas Dec 30 '11 at 2:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

It's spam.

Even though the links are legit, an account that exists solely for the purpose of posting blog links amounts to a spam account under SO's rules. It should be burninated - I'm flagging accordingly now.

Related Meta questions:

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He may have done some good work with his scripts and wrappers, but he is effectively spamming - using SO to promote his work and attract attention to his website without directly disclosing that it his site.

This happens somewhat frequently, and usually follows the same pattern of a relatively new (or low rep) user trawling through old posts to find ones their product/solution could possibly be applied to.

There is a tab on the review page that helps find posts like this, it is called the Late Answers tab.

Edit: I've since flagged three of his answers, and left a comment on a fourth that may be saveable. You should do the same if you consider the answers to be spam.

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Actually that has been lowered. I can use it, and I don't have 10K yet. –  Brad Gilbert Dec 30 '11 at 1:41
    
"Late Answers" is one of the pages accessible with only 125 rep. –  John Dec 30 '11 at 2:28
    
Thanks guys, I've edited my answer accordingly. –  slugster Dec 30 '11 at 3:37

While a case like this could be spam, if you take the time to look at his actual answers, most do disclose something along the lines of "I've made a similar tool called". It would seem more legitimate for a person with a higher score to do this, and I have linked to appropriate github repositories of my own to answer SO questions several times. I think the right thing to do when not completely sure that something is spam is to handle the questions on a case by case basis. Vote down any for which his tool clearly does not apply.

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From previous occurrences of similar cases, it doesn't matter whether the user is disclosing their affiliation. An account created solely for the promotion of a 3rd party web site is considered spam here, no matter how useful the contents. –  Pëkka Dec 30 '11 at 2:23
    
It the account is created solely for the promotion of a 3rd party web site, I agree, but it can be a difficult thing to judge based on 5 answers. –  Peter DeWeese Dec 30 '11 at 2:27
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I agree with being careful and sure that someone is spamming. I just happen to think this one was clear, given the totality of his activity. –  Andrew Barber Dec 30 '11 at 6:09
    
As of now, his Mar 4th answer (not linked to his library) was left and his others removed. Seems appropriate for the moment. –  Peter DeWeese Dec 30 '11 at 16:06

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