See this question: https://superuser.com/questions/3049/must-have-android-applications/3284#3284
I answered twice with links to my own Android products that fully met the criteria of the question, and they got downvoted. I do make it clear that I am the developer, and I post regularly about other things too. This is kind of advertising, but they are my favorite. Is this kind of behavior discouraged at SO / SF / SU?

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    For references to astroturfing, see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8323/… Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 20:33
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    Do you know why they were down voted? Maybe, and I hate to suggest it, but it is possible other folks don't like your product as much as you do? Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 21:13
  • @Stu - I agree, but this post is fairly low - traffic and my posts are the only downvoted ones. I am not denying that that may be a cause, I just post here because I would like to know if this is accepted in the community?
    – deleted
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 21:46

5 Answers 5


I think your examples are acceptable as long as you declare your bias. Presenting them as applications you 'found' would be poor behaviour and likely to earn down votes...It would also help if you otherwise were a trusted and helpful member of the community. Jon Skeet would be forgiven a plug for his c# book because he is very helpful to every C# developer in the community, whereas someone who signed up to plug a book would not and would be marked as spam

EDIT: To the posters saying it is astroturfing. It isn't. He declared his bias in the questions and is not trying to pretend it's an organic recommendation. Given the nature of the Question I think his answer is acceptable, more so that he came here to draw attention to what he did.

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    Seriously, why vote this down? Leave a comment if you disagree.
    – Damien
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 20:45

You should probably write in the answer why you like them so much. If you don't say why you like those programs, why would anyone believe you?

If it's just because you wrote the programs, you should probably delete the answers.

You have to remember that your not just continuing a conversation, you are ending it. Saying you like your own programs, doesn't really end a conversation real well.

While you are writing an answer, try to think about what someone reading it would ask you. Then answer that question. Either by adding another paragraph, or editing what you already have. Keep doing that until you can not come up with any more questions.

  • I added some more information to the answers...
    – deleted
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 20:54

I think it would depend on the context and the user's other activity... which sounds vague and woolly, and I apologise...

If an account exists primarily to spot questions related to their product, that is astroturfing and will probably be deleted (post and/or user). However, occasional on-topic posts are probably OK - but the community may decide it is spam anyway, depending on the context. For example, I have no qualms about recommending one of my tools when it is appropriate (but it is open source, so I'm not out to profit by plugging it).

Beyond that; adverts are available on the site.

Making an association explicit is a good idea; people will see through you anyway...


You're probably better off not doing that. If it wasn't on SU, i'd flag them as spam.

It'd be one thing if you were answering the question, "Where can I find an app for Android that'll let me download stuff off of YouTube". But if these "what's your favorite" threads become nothing but a vessel for self-promotion, then expect to see them nuked - and as an early participant, you'll be partially to blame for having ruined it for everyone else.


If you make it look like an advertisement, that's a very quick way to have people flag your post as spam and get you to lose 100 rep. I'm not saying that's the preferred behavior, but that is just what happens.

  • Nooooooooooooooooooo........ not my rep
    – deleted
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 20:55

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