We have a new user and he answered some question (eight, almost the same, answers in one hour) to promote his product (Example). He added a disclaimer to the answers after a while. But it is very obvious that he promotes his product.

I've encountered a situation like this in GIS SE before, and I flagged the answers as spam. But they were rejected by the moderators (or reviewers). After a while, those answers (1, 2) were deleted by the moderators (or reviewers) as spam.

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What should we do if we encounter such a situation (serial promoting a product)? Or what should the moderators (or reviewers) do if they encounter such a situation (serial flagged post as spam)?


3 Answers 3


I think promoting a product is totally fine as long as this product is an answer to the question. However, if one is associated to that product, one should also state that in the answer, so others are aware that this answer may be influenced by the personal reference of the author to their product.

I have also reviewed severeal of their answers. After the third same answer I left a comment:

You have posted this or a similiar answer several times. In case this is your development or you are associated to it, please add a disclaimer. Otherwise this may be detected as spam.

After that they added a disclaimer to their answers, so I was fine with it. If they don't respond, downvoting may be a good choice.

If the product is absolutely not an answer to the question, I think it should be flagged as spam. If you are unsure about whether it answers the question, just leave it as it is, skip that review, ask for clarification via comment or use a downvote.


I'm not sure these are "real" spam as they actually answer the question and (now) have a disclaimer on them.

I'd be tempted to leave them as each one is adjusted to the question they are answering, rather than just being spammed across all questions with a tag.


When a new user appears to be from the GIS industry and is using GIS software and services that are their own in all or most of their answers, I try to first educate them in our expectations rather than labeling them as a spammer from the outset.

The flags you mention fall into that situation. The problem with marking a spam flag as helpful on a user who may be innocently crossing the line on promoting their product is that each spam flag marked helpful adds to the chances of preventing them, and even others from their IP address, ever posting again.

It is only when the behavior of that user, and whether they are going to repeat it, is better understood, that I will start to treat their posts as deliberate rather than inadvertent spam.

I appreciate you bringing such posts and posters to our attention, but I suggest using spam flags only on blatant spam. A safer route to eliminating such posts is to comment to tell them to disclose and/or, if you think they are not useful, then downvote. I think downvoting is the most effective and least effort to do. Just a few downvotes on any "spam" posts by a new user will quickly lead to them being post banned.


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