Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Possible Duplicate:
How do I mention my own products in answers?
Limits for self-promotion in answers
How can I link to an external resource in a community-friendly way?

I've come across several answers within a particular tag in which an answerer will recommend a specific product that is made by the company for whom the user works. The answerer does not mention their association with the company. The product addresses a rather niche segment of the developer community. The asker is not asking about the product in particular; the exchange is more of the form:

Q: I want to do Foo.
A: Bar can do Foo for you.

To be fair, the answerer often provides a reasonably detailed explanation of how the product can address the problem.

How does this community feel about these kind of answers? Are they acceptable, or should they be flagged?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Michael Petrotta, Lix, ChrisF, yoozer8, animuson Dec 20 '12 at 22:45

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Some reading on the subject - – Lix Dec 20 '12 at 22:26
It's in the FAQ – ChrisF Dec 20 '12 at 22:28
Need to find 2 more different dupes. – Mysticial Dec 20 '12 at 22:28
I looks bad... I know :P But this topic has been covered... – Lix Dec 20 '12 at 22:28
Yowza. I tried to find previous answers but my search-fu was not strong. Thanks all! – John Hoerr Dec 20 '12 at 22:30

I usually check the answerer's other answers.

If there's only one such answer, I usually assume that they were genuinely trying to be helpful and were unaware of the site's policy about disclosing affiliation. In such circumstances, I'll leave a friendly comment indicating that disclosure of affiliation is required.

If the answerer has multiple answers, all suggesting their product and none (or few) with disclosure of affiliation, I'll usually flag each with an "other" flag*, with the note suggesting that the answer is probably spam. I'm especially likely to flag if I see many such posts in short duration, or the posts are of the form "Bar can do Foo for you" without much explanation.

* I usually (not always) reserve the "spam" flag for outright "click here for cheap watches" type spam.

share|improve this answer

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