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For reducing "self-promotion" spam, it could be helpful to automatically flag posts (especially a new user's first post) which give a link matching the site listed in the user's profile? Most often these are blogs, and the address contains the word "blog".

Alternatively, the user could receive a warning (similar to what you get when you forget to put tags in a new post, etc.), preventing them from posting the answer, which would state the SO "policy", and present an "I understand this" link/button that the user could click if he/she still wanted to submit. Thoughts?

EDIT: Please have a look at the comments before voting on this answer. Remember, this is a discussion.

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What if I like to my twitter account in my SO profile and then like to twitter in a post? This is assuming you consider just the domain of the URL. –  marcog Mar 16 '11 at 16:33
    
@marcog: that's why I'm suggesting this could apply only to new or unregistered user's first answers, or that doing this require a certain reputation level. –  Benjamin Mar 16 '11 at 16:37
    
FWIW, new users are prevented from posting more than one link. If you see a user abusing this, flag the post. –  Shog9 Mar 16 '11 at 17:26
    
As my question to do this for combatting company/product spam got closed :P I'd like to see that added into this question. Also retagged as feature request - It's a great idea! :) –  Alex Angas May 14 '11 at 1:37

2 Answers 2

People who include their SO profile in their SO profile would then be incorrectly flagged as spammers if they linked to elucidation in the form of a related SO question.

And for those doorknockers who are correctly aware to self-declare their affliation, they too would be cut under the gun of automatic flagging for the sake of automating things while plenty of humans already are failing their Turing tests.

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I am suggesting it because I easily spotted more than 10 of these in new answers today, which could have been detected automatically. I'm just saying if we prevent this from happening in a new user's first answer (or first few), we could save ourselves some trouble and make less appealing to spam on SO. BTW, I have no clue what you mean by your first sentence. –  Benjamin Mar 16 '11 at 17:37
    
@Benjamin: he's saying if you link to SO in your profile, this rule would prevent you from linking to SO anywhere else... (FWIW, you should also read meta.stackexchange.com/questions/20553/…) –  Shog9 Mar 16 '11 at 17:41
    
@Shog9: simple exception, linking to SO is clearly not spam. BTW, I'm not saying it's not OK to post a link to your own blog, just saying that often, when it's done in a new user's first answer, then it IS spam. –  Benjamin Mar 16 '11 at 17:42
    
Did you flag as you spotted them? Or were there some that were on the line? @ben –  random Mar 16 '11 at 17:46
    
@random: yes, flagged most of them. Most are new users with no rep that had filled out a profile, including website, and posted a single answer containing a link to that site. Sometimes the username also matches part of the domain. –  Benjamin Mar 16 '11 at 17:50
    
What do you think about the workaround and ideas in my answer? –  Alex Angas May 18 '11 at 12:29

I think automatic flagging would work better since it's a moderator task to deal with these fiends.

It should work well provided the user has a minimum percentage of links that fall into this category before their post gets flagged. If the percentage is at least 51%, that should catch new users doing it (due to rounding), as well as existing. The FAQ states that the community frowns on "overt self-promotion" and I'd say about 50% of posts would be classed as overt.

As random pointed out, the Stack Exchange domain names won't work for this and should be excluded. That's fine with me as the problem I'm more interested in dealing with is spam. :)

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