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

The SO FAQ on self-promoting answers does not allow too many answers from one person that promotes his/her product as a solution to the question asked, even if it has full disclosure, wasn't framed like an ad (rather than an answer to the question) AND on-topic.

So, I'd like to make a suggestion for a new feature. Why not try the following?

  1. There should be a way for the person answering to mark or tag his/her answer as an on-topic self-promoting answer to the question (with full disclosure).

  2. Such marked answers will be hidden, but there will be a link at the very bottom saying "There are one or more answers marked as on-topic self-promotion of products or services. Please click here to reveal them." Clicking this will reveal them temporarily.

  3. If such marked answers are accepted or receive a minimum of 20 upvotes, they will be permanently revealed.

  4. The moderators can still remove such answers if they do not contain full disclosure or are not answering the question.

share|improve this question
What isn't working on the current solution? – juergen d Mar 1 '13 at 7:53
The current solution is that many such answers will be deleted by the moderators, even if they are on-topic and valid with full disclosure. – ruben2020 Mar 1 '13 at 7:57
If these posts get removed they don't belong on SO. If the answer is good it won't be removed, even if it contains a necessary link to a product. – juergen d Mar 1 '13 at 8:01

Disclosure: I flag a lot of spam/self-promotional content.

I don't think this would be terribly useful, because in essence, Stack Overflow isn't here to help people promote their stuff. That said, there are certainly times and ways that people can post links to their products/websites. I don't think anything different is needed to allow this.

First, 'shopping' questions are not generally accepted here, because they invite spam, and lots of answers, all which are generally 'equal'. For the most part, shopping questions are the primary place where 'advertising' answers are 'on-topic'.

However, sometimes a question does legitimately lead to a product recommendation. In such cases, the answerer should post a useful, relevant answer that is more than just an advertisement. At bare minimum, an example usage, an explanation why their product would be useful (one that doesn't sound like a brochure), and plenty of useful content in their answer, here on this site.

So, the problem I see with your solution is that it's basically not needed. If people are answering properly - and not just looking to promote their product - nothing more is needed. This would only make things more complicated, and would legitimize some actual 'spam'.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

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