14

Suppose I am affiliated with a product or service. I know that making no-disclosure promotional posts constitutes spam, so I don't do that, but instead I decide to clean up existing posts on my product. That is, I look for posts by other authors that reference my product and fix them up - improving spelling, grammar, formatting, and clarity in order to make these depictions of my product seem more "professional", but I refrain from adding "spammy" content - I'm just making these posts as best as they can be according to the intents of the original authors and in keeping with good style.

Is this spam?

If it is spam, can it be done if affiliation is disclosed? Would it be sufficient to include such a disclosure in the edit comments, or would such a disclosure need to be added to the body of the post?

For example,

Fixed spelling and punctuation, indented all code blocks, removed "thanks in advance", changed "conglomo gizmo" to the official name of "Conglom-O® Gizmo® brand self-sealing stem bolt". Disclaimer: I am a marketing manager for Conglom-O."

  • 2
    Do you mean the fact that a lot of post with "x" product being bounced to the top of the page will look weird?" – Henry WH Hack v2.1.3 Dec 18 '18 at 2:27
  • @Henry that is one effect, yes, and the way that a case of this would likely be discovered, but I'm asking about the serial edits themselves - is targeting a product for serial editing essentially equivalent to making posts about it? – Columbia says Reinstate Monica Dec 18 '18 at 2:29
  • 1
    On the other hand, if the product were reasonably well known, so that "Conglom-O Gizmo" is sufficient to know what it is, I'd judge the added verbosity of "Conglom-O (R) Gizmo (R) brand self-sealing stem bolt" as being useless and reject that edit for being harmful, or improve edit if the rest of the changes were good enough and trim it back to "Conglom-O Gizmo". – muru Dec 18 '18 at 4:23
  • 3
    marketing manager that also takes time to fix other issues in the post? sign me up – Magisch Dec 18 '18 at 7:42
21

Editing questions because they are related to your product is not spam. As seen here:

Stack Overflow gets thousands of questions every day and they are often answered within minutes. Be responsive: monitor the tags related to your product, search for questions that might not be tagged correctly and improve them, and review and improve answers.

This means you can edit questions related to your product in order to support it.

13

Judge the post, not the action. Well, in the case of spam anyway.

Bulk edits might be seen as vandalism, and flooding the front page with edits just isn't done on most sites.

The right way to do this would be to raise a meta post bringing up the problem.

Something like

I've noticed that "Conglom-O (R) Gizmo (R) brand self-sealing stem bolt" is often misspelled to "conglomo gizmo". I'm an employee of Conglom-O and would like to have the spelling fixed if possible. Would there be any issue with me editing it, and fixing up the spellings on the tag wiki?

Would be great, as would waiting for community consensus.

Adding a disclaimer might be nice as part of the edit comments, but where it's a typo being fixed in a responsible, non disruptive manner, I think considering it spam (and the traditional spam flags) wouldn't work.

Considering that the OP here is made of meat, we can probably have a conversation if there's an issue and sort things out too. If you think there's an issue of disruption or bad faith, it's worth custom flagging for a moderator to take a look, especially if it's not the OP's own posts.

11

changed "conglomo gizmo" to the official name of "Conglom-O® Gizmo® brand self-sealing stem bolt".

Correcting the spelling to "Conglom-O Gizmo" is good, but adding "®" markers and a "self-sealing stem bolt" slogan is too much. To mostly everybody that's just visual noise that doesn't improve the post. Keep it to a level normal people unaffiliated to your product would use.

Even adding "Conglom-O" to every mention of "Gizmo" would probably look like spam if "Gizmo" on its own is commonly used. We probably wouldn't want to replace every mention of "Visual Studio" with "Microsoft Visual Studio IDE", even if that's the full official name.

If you simply do the same kind of edits that you would also do on "neutral" posts, then you will be fine.

6

I think the type of editing that you describe, except the adding "®" markers and a "self-sealing stem bolt" bit, by anyone, to improve the professional appearance of our posts, is to be commended irrespective of whether the editor is associated with the product being asked about.

I do not think that there is ever a need to include a disclosure statement in the question body when editing someone else's post. That edit will appear in the post's revision history and is linked to your user name, which is enough.

I think that disclosure only needs to be made when your edit suggests using a product that you are associated with. Doing that within someone else's post should not be done, so not doing it removes the need for disclosing that you did it.

With respect to serial editing posts about your product I would recommend refraining from doing more than a few per day so as not to excessively bump posts related to your product.

You must log in to answer this question.

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