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Policy on display names.

I know the concept of what is and isn't spam is fluid and subjective but my question relates to usernames, not content. As an example this ServerFault question is posted by a username clearly designed to try and attract web traffic. My personal feeling is that doing so constitutes spam, even though the question itself certainly is not spam. I'm interested to see if others interpret it the same way or not.

In short, should questions or answers by people using "spammy" usernames be flagged as spam?

  • 1
    the SOFU trilogy seems to focus on the content of a user's post over the user themselves. if the post is not spammy, don't flag it as spam. if the user is being spammy, flag a post for moderator attention and explain your concerns. Commented Mar 9, 2010 at 20:25
  • I asked this question, because I had this problem in my real life and I needed solution. My intention was never to spam the site.
    – gyurisc
    Commented Mar 17, 2010 at 17:57
  • @AskAboutGadgets, I used yours as an example because it was the most recent one but there are a bunch of others. Commented Mar 19, 2010 at 0:48

3 Answers 3


Its not uncommon for companies to have a single shared username to use almost any kind of web site, SO/SU/SF included. This serves two important purposes:

  1. An employee's personal reputation is not enhanced (or degraded) while doing company business
  2. When employee Joe goes home, employee Sara can still comment on answers, update the question and try the suggestions that have been posted

While companies operating as a single, unified person is a subject of contention in many circles, I really doubt that its anything sinister when it comes to participation in Stack Exchange sites.

Beyond that, I'd kind of prefer companies to use "My Name, Inc." rather than "MyName.com", but that's just splitting hairs, really.

To me, SPAM is links in questions and answers that serve no useful purpose to the question or answer at hand. Then again, a question from a prince in Nigeria asking if anyone can receive his dead aunt's fortune would likely find me clicking the flag link.


I already asked this here. When in doubt though. Flag a post by the user and mark requires a mod's attention.


This is even more nebulous in that the site he's advertising is Askaboutgadgets.com a Stack Exchange site.

  • And if you looked at the question I had asked it was in reference to a user who has a stack site as well. Commented Mar 9, 2010 at 12:49

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