I posted an answer to a question here. Kendo UI Template: Invalid Template Error. A moderator deleted my post, saying that I was "promoting my site" and they don't allow external links. a) I see external links to blog posts that answer a question in more detail ALL THE TIME. b) I don't own github, and linking to a Gist that solves the problem is not self-promotion in any way.

The post contents:

For those of you on this thread, I've [posted a solution to this problem here][1]. Please let me know if you have any questions.


[1]: https://gist.github.com/advancedrei/5724537

There were 15 different forum posts across different sites that complained about this problem, plus I ran into the problem myself. So I solved it, posted the code in a way that makes it easy to incorporate into a project with the offending project, and then linked to it from all of those different forum posts. How is that "self-promotion", and what I wrong with that? NONE of the other posts have ever been moderated that way.

Please un-delete my post. It is a valid answer to a long-standing problem many have seen on the internet. If you want me to elaborate in my post, then fine. But deleting it without asking me to change it first is kinda BS, especially when it is an accurate solution to the problem.

  • 10
    Please post the full answer here, including the code. The link should only be for reference. People shouldn't be required to click on it to get part of the answer. Jun 7 '13 at 23:25
  • 1
    How is a link to another site not an answer if IT SOLVES THE PROBLEM? All of this is just semantics. The solution I provided solves the actual problem. If you don't like the way I posted it, ask me to fix it, don't just delete it. Jun 7 '13 at 23:25
  • 5
    No, you need to fix it before it will be undeleted. We're not going to leave spam on the site and hope people will fix it later. We try to be more proactive than that. Jun 7 '13 at 23:27
  • 9
    I know this seems kinda picky, @AdvancedREI - but links do break. It's become enough of a problem that we're building a tool specifically to track broken links in posts, so I think you can understand why folks have become more insistent on answers that can stand on their own.
    – Shog9
    Jun 7 '13 at 23:39
  • 1
    I posted the answer in a different, more thorough way. Thanks for the feedback. And thank you Shog9 for having the only answer that was logical and not subjective. Jun 7 '13 at 23:58
  • IMHO this is not much of a self-promotion issue, but rather, as mentioned in Martijn Pieters's answer, link-only answers are not welcome. In case you have a site/blog/gist or anything that actually relates to the issue there's no problem linking to it as well, as long as your answer solves the issue on its own without relying on external resources. Jun 8 '13 at 0:20

You posted a link-only answer. Don't do that, post answers that can stand on their own.

The moderator would have responded to flags on the post; someone probably flagged it as spam, perhaps thinking you were linking to your own GitHub repository.

You can edit the post and request (politely) that it be undeleted by flagging it. I'd copy that gist wholesale into your answer, and format the code block.


Your answer was:

For those of you on this thread, I've [posted a solution to this problem here][1]. Please let me know if you have any questions.


[1]: https://gist.github.com/advancedrei/5724537

Andrew commented:

Please note that bare links to your own website/product are not encouraged here for two reasons; First, an answer should be posted as a self-contained answer, not a mere link to an external site. Second, self-promotion tends to be frowned upon here, and often is flagged as spam (especially if there is no disclosure that you are linking to your own site/product).

You may not have intended it but you've effectively posted spam. As Andrew commented the way he did I assume that your answer was flagged by other community members as spam.

Stack Exchange is trying to build an archive of canonical answers to questions, not an archive of links. Your answers are gratefully welcomed but please try to include all the information necessary to solve the question in the answer itself, without recourse to external links.

External links are by no means forbidden but they shouldn't be the only thing in the post.

  • I would agree with any of that if I didn't see posts like that on here all the time. If you are going to have a rule, be consistent. Jun 7 '13 at 23:19
  • Then I have fixed the post to provide more explanation. Please undelete it. Jun 7 '13 at 23:20
  • 3
    Oh believe me we try to be @AdvancedREI, there are hundreds/thousands of us trying to remove posts like this and we have a modicum of success. We're not always successful though as Stack Overflow is so big. Jun 7 '13 at 23:20
  • 6
    @AdvancedREI: We are doing our best to be consistent. Why don't you help out? See A Theory of Moderation; we'd love to hear about any posts you think violate the no-link-only-answer policy. Jun 7 '13 at 23:22

Answers should be posted on the site without having to go to an external resource. Basically you posted a link. If the link goes bad what happens then? The answer is useless since there is no explanation.


I promote myself around the web too, so please understand me, I know what you're doing, and why you doing it, and in the grand scheme of things I don't fault you for doing it.

However, the Stack Exchange sites' communities have a much lower tolerance of self-promotion than on many other sites.

You've already crossed the line, unfortunately. On your profile, you list AdvancedREI as your website, and mention it in your profile. Your username is AdvancedREI. And then you post an answer with a link to that same website your GitHub profile.

What is semi-acceptable in a blog comment or a forum isn't acceptable here. Sorry about that.

  • 1
    Oh, so you're the "John" who's been spamming my blog comments! ;) Jun 7 '13 at 23:31
  • Just to be clear, he linked to something on his GitHub profile in the answer, not his own website.
    – Shog9
    Jun 7 '13 at 23:37
  • @Shog9: Fixed. My bad.
    – John
    Jun 8 '13 at 2:45

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