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June 13: I answered several questions related to "how to make a carousel view (UI element) for Android OS" by giving them a few hints and a link to my blog: or the open source project location on google code: , instead of including the 37KB source code on SO, which in my opinion is not practical.

June 14: ChrisF issued a warning :


I'm writing in reference to your Stack Overflow account:

We noticed that a substantial proportion of your posts seem to exist only to promote your product or website. Per the 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 some (but not all) 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. Our advertising rates are quite reasonable; contact our ad sales team for details.

Any type of "astroturfing" promotion is not acceptable. It brings down the overall value of genuine recommendations for everyone on the site.

If you can stay within the above guidelines, and offer questions and answers of genuine benefit to the community which happen to mention your affiliation or product in context -- and with full disclosure -- then your future contributions are welcome.

Regards, ChrisF Stack Overflow moderator

I replied asking if I should have posted the full 37KB source code , the relevant images, and the entire explanations instead of simply giving the short hints + link to code. No reply!

June 15: Out of the blue, without posting anything else from ChrisF's warning, I get another message, this time from Andrew Barber, who decided to take ChrisF's action further, and lock my account, saying:


I'm writing in reference to your Stack Overflow account:

We noticed that a substantial proportion of your posts seem to exist only to promote your product or website. Since you have been warned about this multiple times in the past - including just a couple days ago - and continue to make these posts, I am suspending your account temporarily for 30 days.

When you return, if you can stay within our guidelines, and offer questions and answers of genuine benefit to the community which happen to mention your affiliation or product in context -- and with full disclosure -- then your future contributions are welcome.

Regards, Andrew Barber Stack Overflow moderator

I feel uncomfortable with Andrew's attitude, of suspending my account after I already got a warning from ChrisF. I feel bad about not getting an answer to my reply after the warning, especially when the effort I put into creating the carousel tutorial was for helping others.

If they are not happy about putting links, ok , be it so, but at least they should have answered saying "stop putting links. we don't like that. instead flood SO with hundreds of line of code, and waste additional hours of your precious time into duplicating your original tutorial, because that is what we like".

C'mon guys, this really seems to be the wrong attitude, and I don't think I will feel like helping others around here again. A warning might be ok even regardless of motives and facts, but what Andrew did seems to be an error.

share|improve this question
The moderator most likely responded to additional flags on posts that had not yet been flagged when ChrisF responded; this would at least look like you were not heeding the warning. – Martijn Pieters Jun 15 '13 at 13:08
From what I can see, you are digging through old posts about carousel view and spamming links to your blog without any affiliation disclosure, which is stated quite clearly in ChrisF's message. – Antony Jun 15 '13 at 13:09
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself "Would this post answer the question even if the link was removed or the site it points to disappeared?" If the answer is "no", you probably shouldn't post the answer as such. – Juhana Jun 15 '13 at 13:12
In addition to promoting your blog without proper disclosure, your answers are link only and we do not want these:… – Gordon Jun 15 '13 at 13:24
Only a one-month suspension? You got off light. – LittleBobbyTables Jun 15 '13 at 13:43
Thanks for all your comments, gnat's was very useful. Antony: there are multiple questions on the very same subject, don't they deserve the same answer, or should I have invented a different kind of carousel for each? @Juhana: true but this doesn't answer the problem of posting a very long and structured answer, where there are sample images and source code to be attached. Gordon: like gnat's: At least this is a clear description of what CAN be posted and HOW, much better than the vague FAQ, that seems to be invoked so very often. others:why downvoting? it's the only way to make them reply – radhoo Jun 15 '13 at 15:32
If you feel that the answer needs to be of that caliber, chances are the question should be flagged to be closed as not a real question (too broad) anyway. – Juhana Jun 15 '13 at 15:34
@Juhana maybe , but I wouldn't say it was too broad. Users were asking "how to create a custom carousel view for Android?" . It requires a very specific answer, but a long one. – radhoo Jun 15 '13 at 15:40

You've been contacted 4 times by moderators (3 times for self promotion), going all the way back to 2011. It is not as if you hadn't been asked nicely before.

If you ever feel like you are experiencing moderator abuse, your best bet is to contact the community team by using the help link on any Stack Exchange site.

We are not normally in the business of discussing user history. In this case, only part of the story was told, so I feel that full disclosure is warranted.

share|improve this answer
I apologize for the lack of my normal content in this post. I'm on my iPhone, so it takes a little longer to write things and link to things. – George Stocker Jun 15 '13 at 13:34
@GeorgeStocker and yet not a single clear methodical indication on what's wrong on posting a link, as I clearly asked them before I got slapped in the face by Andrew. – radhoo Jun 15 '13 at 15:33
@AndrewBarber my posts were on 13th. ChrisF warned me on 14th, while also deleting the answer you've indicated. Please pay more attention before applying penalties. Then it was your action on 15th, but why, I still don't know. – radhoo Jun 15 '13 at 15:35
@radhoo With regards to link-only answers, read this:… Though this does not go into the additionally frowned upon self-promotion. – Bart Jun 15 '13 at 15:40
@Bart thanks for the read, sorry this is taking too long already. Even Andrew's link given above, where my answer was deleted by ChrisF, contained an approved answer, that contained ... very much just a link. But for me seems clear now (consistent with your link and also gnat's) that an answer should reply the question, and provide the link ONLY as an additional source of information in regards to the topic. Does this sum it up? – radhoo Jun 15 '13 at 15:45
@radhoo Yep. Basically imagine this: is the question still answered if you remove the link completely? If so, you've avoided the "link-only" answer. – Bart Jun 15 '13 at 15:46
All clear, thanks for your time. – radhoo Jun 15 '13 at 15:50

I have looked back at your posts and contact, and I realize I made a mistake. I apologize for that, profusely. Your last post was made on the 13th, and ChrisF warned you on the 13th, about 40 minutes after your last post. This is just as you have claimed.

Why did I make this error? Because the relative times were displayed different between the post and the contact. The contact showed the date of the 13th, whereas the post said (and still says) "yesterday". Since I sent my contact and suspension on the 15th, I assumed that meant the 14th.

I should have hovered to double-check the exact date and time.

I am removing your suspension, and again, I am sorry. Otherwise, please keep in mind what you have been told here.

share|improve this answer
Fair enough - thanks for taking this seriously. I have no intention in violating the rules, and will be more careful next time I post something here. – radhoo Jun 15 '13 at 17:20

I didn't see your reply.

We get notified of all messages from moderators and replies to those messages, but if there are more than a few then yours wouldn't stand out. I haven't had time to read all the messages over the last couple of days which is one reason I didn't see it (but not an excuse).

share|improve this answer
Glad I'm not the only one who goofed here, though mine was bigger, for sure! – Andrew Barber Jun 15 '13 at 21:40

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