I got an email from a company asking me to use my established reputation to recommend their product on Stack Overflow:
My name is [withheld], and I’m Sales & Marketing Manager in [withheld]. I found your contacts on stackoverflow.com. We are impressed with your activity on this website. Our company would appreciate if you could help us to promote our tool and services on it.
We would be grateful if you could post a few answers mentioning our company’s name, tool or services. Can this collaboration be interesting to you? Under what conditions would you agree to do this?
I look forward to your reply.
Sales & Marketing Manager
The comments have got somewhat bogged down in a copyright sidebar (probably totally my fault) and somebody has also reported the company on MSO so for the benefit of the network, it would be good to discuss what users should do if they're contacted like this.
- Should we yell about it on the relevant meta site?
- Isn't all PR good PR?
- And couldn't public report be abused (competing companies reporting each other for abuse, various litigation against the reporter, etc)
- Or should this be handled in private directly with SE Inc?
This isn't the first solicitation through my SE profile I've had (I've just binned them up to now) and I'm certain other people are getting similar things. I feel like there should be a well reasoned policy on what to do in the event that another person is trying to coerce you into making Stack Exchange worse.