Earlier today a number of old questions have been brought up again by a user called EDtreatment. The questions A, B and C all relate to erectile dysfunction as does his user name and user profile. This seems like a spam profile promoting a site although his answer were not spam answers. I have a couple of questions:

Is this against site rules in some way?

Generally is there a system in place to flag users that seem like spam or post offensive answers or is that just left up to mods?


There are three issues here.

  • The quality of the answers is (in my opinion) not terrific, but on the other hand not bad for a first time user - probably better than my first answers. I have put a notice and comment on one of them, and the community seems to be dealing with them fine. I hope they will improve with feedback about our (unusual) expectations here.

  • There's the question of whether it is a spammer.

    There is some guidance on the How not to be a spammer help page.

    The community here tends to vote down overt self-promotion and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, that’s okay. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.

    Here are some specific behaviors to avoid - even with the best of intentions, these will nearly always result in your posts being flagged as spam:

    • Don't talk about your product / website / book / job too much. Folks will read your answers for their ability to solve a specific problem; if you're good at doing that, then they'll find themselves more interested in who you are and what you're working on. If you respond only to questions where the answer can be something you're selling, they'll assume you're just here to sell.

    We seem to agree that his answers aren't spam. His profile references his site, which is absolutely fine and within the rules. One of his answers references his site - there is some level of declaration of this ("we found" and the handle matching the name in the reference) but a more explicit declaration would be better.

    I want to give him the benefit of the doubt - that this is a genuine person with interest in the field. We should welcome experts - the fact that they are paid for their expertise doesn't invalidate their answers, as long as they are well-referenced, well-structured arguments.

  • Finally, there is the question about whether there is a system in place. Yes. Anyone with 15 rep or more can flag a post. The first entry in the list of flag reasons is "Spam". The Stack Exchange system has some way of weighting the flags and automatically delete them if they get enough flags, even without moderator interaction.

[Pssst: There is a cabal of anti-spammer volunteers who have software to detect spam on the Stack Exchange network, and swarm in with flags once it is confirmed. See Charcoal-SE for more. I hope they don't ping me for spamming this link :-) ]

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