I just saw a user on a small site posting a bunch of uncited AI-generated posts (which is plagiarism) that all promote the same thing. They properly disclose their affiliation in each post.

I read What are the “spam” and “rude or abusive” (offensive) flags, and how do they work?. My evaluation is that the promotion is not unsolicited, since it seems (from my outsider perspective, not being an SME) to be relevant to the question, and the user properly discloses affiliation. According to the guidelines there, I should not flag it as spam.

But what confuses me is that "How to not be a spammer" says this:

Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, that’s okay.

The emphasis isn't even added. It's emphasized like that in the Help Center page itself.

I could flag for plagiarism, since uncited AI-generated content is plagiarism and also a Code of Conduct violation. Nonetheless, I want to know if I can flag this as spam.

  • 1
    If all (or nearly all) of their posts include their tool/product/whatever, and they disclose it, but you're concerned about excessive self-promotion, I'd lean toward a custom flag. It might be better to have a moderator look at the bigger picture and decide how to handle it, such as if they think it's in good faith and a mod message would resolve the situation. While it's not always great to consider red flag penalties when flagging, this is a situation where I'd lean toward a mod addressing it.
    – cocomac
    Nov 29, 2023 at 19:35
  • 3
    I would say yes. On the "How to not be a spammer" help center page, under "specific behaviors to avoid", two of these behaviors are "Don't talk about your product / website / book / job too much", and "Don't include links except to support what you've written." The first definitely applies to this case. If all of their answers are promoting the product, I would say that's "too much". The second also very likely applies in this case, because if all of their answers are promoting the product, it's likely that their answers are about the product, and not supported by it.
    – Jesse
    Nov 29, 2023 at 19:36
  • 1
    Also the description of the spam flag says "Exists only to promote a product or service". If all of their answers are promoting the product, I would say that not only do the answers only exist to promote it, but it's likely their entire account exists to promote it.
    – Jesse
    Nov 29, 2023 at 19:37
  • 4
    there is also this post from earlier days: What is good self promotion?
    – Vickel
    Nov 29, 2023 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


In my experience, it's best not to flag a post like that as spam. A ♦ moderator would see only a single post in the dashboard, with disclosed affiliation, and may decide it's not spam on its own. Of course, if you raise multiple flags, it may become more obvious, but posts take up quite a lot of space, so moderators may see only one post at a time, so I would always raise a custom moderator flag (I did that today, very likely for the same case as you're describing).

I do remember a discussion from a couple of years ago between Charcoal and the Software Recommendations moderators, where a user did about the same: write half a dozen answers mentioning their product, with full disclosure. Of course, they weren't AI generated. Many Charcoal members considered that as spam, which is definitely true according to Stack Exchange rules. However, on a site like that, which is literally asking for products as answers, it may make sense to deviate from the standard rules. Such kind of exceptions are certainly possible; e.g. on Stack Apps, we use questions as announcements for apps and scripts, answers to ask questions about them, and comments to answer those questions.


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