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I just noticed that this post: asp.net mvc captcha as well as every other answer by http://stackoverflow.com/users/446532/konstantin-nizhegorodov has been deleted after being flagged as spam.

For reference, here's the contents of that post:

Here is free MvcCaptcha library: http://www.smartsoftwarebits.com/mvccaptcha

And [here][1] is the article how to use it. 

  [1]: http://www.smartsoftwarebits.com/mvccaptcha/91-mvccaptcha-getting-started-howto

If you can't see all of his posts at http://stackoverflow.com/users/446532/konstantin-nizhegorodov?tab=activity then here are all 4:

While the author of the post may be the author of the product (I can't tell), the post seems to directly answer the question, it doesn't read like an ad, and there's no obvious profit motive. Indeed, there's little to distinguish that post from any of the other answers to that question.

Were his posts wrongly deleted?

EDIT

More importantly, is there anything in the deleted answers that says that I should not repost them as myself? If I do so, should I mark them CW?

share|improve this question
    
So you're saying they never posted any other answer type? –  random Mar 23 '11 at 20:30
5  
All of my answers are really spam. It's all subconscious and stuff, though, so you'll never be able to tell. Also, you can thank me for the craving you have for cheetos after reading the prior sentence. You're welcome. –  Adam Davis Mar 23 '11 at 20:37
    
The user posted 4 answers, all of them similar, and all of them directly answering the question. –  Gabe Mar 23 '11 at 20:38
    
The "user" is you, right? wink wink –  jmfsg Mar 23 '11 at 20:40
1  
@Juan: If the user was really me, I would just use my "Gabe" sockpuppet account with 20k rep to make undelete votes on them all! –  Gabe Mar 23 '11 at 20:42
    
Well, you'd need two more accounts for them to mean anything though :) –  jmfsg Mar 23 '11 at 20:46
2  
@Juan: Do you really think I'm going to reveal to you all of my 10k sockpuppet accounts? –  Gabe Mar 23 '11 at 20:51
    
Also mind that the second link links against a webpage which uses Google Ads. So spamming that link could be seen as direct profitable interest (users were kicked before for that). –  Time Traveling Bobby Mar 23 '11 at 22:15
    
@Bobby: Thanks for noticing that. I apparently have Google Ads blocked, so I didn't see them. –  Gabe Mar 23 '11 at 22:42
    
@Gabe: Me too, but whenever such things creep up, I check the source for it. ;) –  Time Traveling Bobby Mar 23 '11 at 22:45
1  
Mmm, cheetos... –  Neil Fein Mar 24 '11 at 2:55
1  
Yvan eht Nioj! - –  Pëkka Oct 21 '11 at 20:58

4 Answers 4

It appears that all of his answers have been deleted, so it's hard to say much about him.

However, if all you do on SO is post links to your product (free or otherwise), then you're not really contributing much.

In general, I think people are too eager to flag as spam. But in this case - if this user posted nothing of any real value - then I say it's spam.

share|improve this answer
1  
Related –  Shog9 Mar 23 '11 at 20:34
1  
I have no evidence that the product is associated with the poster, and the answers directly answered the questions so as far as I can tell they certainly added value. There was also no promotion (like "this is awesome" or "you gotta try this!"). –  Gabe Mar 23 '11 at 20:36
2  
It's a grey area. If the user posts other answers not plugging their library/whatever then leave them be. But if 90%+ of answers are the same then it is spam. –  ChrisF Mar 23 '11 at 20:44
    
@ChrisF: Sure, if the guy has dozens of posts that are all plugging some library -- but the guy only had 4 after being a member for a year. –  Gabe Mar 23 '11 at 20:50
1  
@Gabe - it's an edge case. Not many posts, but all identical - personally I'd say spam, but it does look like he's looked for appropriate questions. In conclusion - there's no right answer. –  ChrisF Mar 23 '11 at 20:55

This is in the FAQ now:

May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here?

[...] Post good, relevant answers, and if they happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.

(emphasis mine)

He does not disclose any affiliation, yet there is strong evidence of such an affiliation:

  1. He has linked to at least two distinct products from the same vendor/site.
  2. All of his posts (few as they are) have such a link.
  3. He has never linked to any product from any other source.
  4. The broken English on the site he links to bears striking resemblance to his own.
  5. 3 out of the 4 answers are identical, word-for-word.

Part of the problem here is that all 3 CAPTCHA questions are duplicates. This is what happens when people don't vote to close. But that is beside the point, which is that he is promoting his own products without disclosing his affiliation.

That's against the rules. It's that simple.

Of course even if he had disclosed it, there would still be the issue of copypasta and not contributing anything other than links - but better to take these cases one step at a time.

share|improve this answer
    
I don't blame the guy for posting duplicate answers to duplicated questions. I voted to close the two duplicates. Care to vote/flag them, too? –  Gabe Mar 24 '11 at 2:28
    
@Gabe: I've added my vote to close, but duplicate questions are not an excuse for blatant copypasta - if you see a duplicate, vote to close or flag it, don't copy/paste your answer from another question (especially if it's your only other answer on the site that just so happens to be advertising your product). –  Aarobot Mar 24 '11 at 21:41
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It turns out that spammers are some of the very best duplicate finders! We should get some more of them. They look for every single post relevant to their product and spam it, so what do you do? Find all the spams, delete them, then close the dupes. –  nhinkle Oct 21 '11 at 21:07

Thanks, Gabe for trying to protect my posts. I have just found this thread in Google. It is funny.

To clarify the situation.

  1. Yes, I was looking for questions about captcha solution for ASP.MVC framework.
  2. Yes, I was answering this questions pointing to the free library that does the job.
  3. Yes, I am the author of the library.
  4. Yes, my English is broken. (shame on me :-) )
  5. Yes, all my posts about captcha for MVC that were deleted are still valid.
  6. Yes, it is a pity that someone decided to hide this information from SO users.
share|improve this answer

Maybe it got deleted because it's a sucky answer? First google hit for "free mvc captcha library", nothing else in the post that would help anybody judge the value of the library.

Hanlon's razor applies.

share|improve this answer
    
I'm not saying it's a good answer, but it didn't get deleted randomly. It was flagged several times as spam, while the other answers on the page which are arguably suckier were not flagged. –  Gabe Mar 23 '11 at 21:59
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If it was sucky then surely it should be down voted. If its relevant and attempts to answer the question directly I don't personally see how it can be spam. –  Rob Mar 23 '11 at 23:31

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