User amrith has posted several answers, all of which are on-topic but are essentially advertisements for software his company has for sale. They are also formatted like an email instead of an answer. For example:

Alexey, one solution you should consider is a horizontal scalability solution that will take care of all of these problems for you. Full disclosure: I'm founder & CTO of a company called ParElastic and we offer a product that provides horizontal scalability with MySQL and we fully support the kind of multi-tenancy you support. Please check us out at www.parelastic.com. You can read about our testing and performance characteristics on our website and we've shared some benchmark information as well.



When I encountered the first answer (now 10k only) in the first posts queue, I edited the post, and tried to make it seem less promotional. The user does mention that founded the company, but now after seeing that all of his answers are self-promotion like this, I'm wondering if I should have flagged as spam instead.

The other key point is that the user answered a question where the OP specifically asked for a free/open source solution.

Should questions like these be flagged as spam, or just edited?

UPDATE: It looks like his answers have already been deleted, so maybe the solution is to flag as spam, but I'd still like clarification on this.

  • 9
    Quantity is the key - mentioning it in every post - then it is SPAM. Mention it when it doesn't really anwser the question - then it is SPAM. Answering with disclosed commerical self promotion occassionally and when it directly answers the question - then it is ok. (This assumes that the answer is a valid answer and not just a link. Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 21:07
  • @psubsee2003 So, besides the format of the post, it sounds like there are two key points here: 1. All of the user's answers consisted of self-promotion. 2. The answers were not quite on topic, since they pushed a commercial solution when the OP wanted a free/open source one. Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 21:10
  • Posting a spammy answer to an old question is another standard red flag. It gets picked up by a review queue. Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 21:14
  • When it's a brand new account then typically it is spam.
    – user159834
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 21:27
  • Personally, I don't think the commercial solution when asking for free/open source is a problem. The quantity and on-topiciness is still the trigger for me Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 21:41
  • Jeff's position expressed on the page @psubsee2003 linked to used to be in our FAQ, but it seems to have disappeared with the change to the help center... Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 23:44
  • I deleted these because once you ignored the self promotion they were still terrible answers that added no value. Factor in that all of them seemed to exist only to promote and then it's the only option. In the quoted text there's barely one sentence of actual answer.
    – Flexo
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 4:14
  • 1
    In terms of how to flag I would probably use a custom flag and explain the whole situation once though since it's more complex than NFL discount handbags.
    – Flexo
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 4:23


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