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Based on this answer, how should we deal with self-promotion on this site? The poster does clearly say his involvment, and it does answer the question, but in the answer apart from his company there is only one more link, and that also seems to have an embedded tracker ID (which is somewhat stated in the post as well).

Here is a link on the same issue on Meta.Travel.SE

4

I think the answers need to be taken on a case by case basis. In this case it smells like spam to me since the OP asked two questions and the answer doesn't answer either of them.

The first question is "how do I learn about fees". The answer touches on this a little talking about how fees can be wrapped up in exchange rates. It then provides a link to a website that doesn't cover the countries in questions. It then provides a list of companies with one linked that supposedly have the cheapest costs. No information about how that list was created or what the fees are. The little I know about money transfers is that things are seldom static and that the ordering of the list is likely to change with time. Overall I don't think the answer makes an attempt at answering this first question

The second question is "what rights do I have if the transfer company doesn't deliver". the answer makes no attempt at answering this question. Presumably having a reputable company to do you money transfer is important.

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It's going to be interesting here, so here's a bit of guidance.

Promotional posts by new users are generally suspect

If a new user arrives to the site and begins immediately promoting a product or service, there's a very good chance that they've come here for the wrong reasons, and should probably be destroyed. Flag these as spam.

However, if they've got some good contributions to their credit as well, it might simply be prudent for moderators to contact them and let them know excessive self-promotion is not tolerated. If unsure and you think there might be a real user behind these posts, flag as other and explain, otherwise flag as spam.

If they've actually answered the question, then assume it's a live human being on the other end - mods should start a dialog before doing anything destructive.

Promotional posts by established users are harder to sort

If a significant number of a user's posts do nothing but promote their company, they probably need to have a conversation with the moderators. This is especially true if promotional posts only tangentially answer the question at hand. Flag this as other and let the mods know specifically what you saw, where to look, etc. Please don't go through the user's profile spam-flagging a lot of things, this will lead to an enormous, emotionally-draining explosion later.

Obvious spam is obvious

If the question is about transferring money between countries, for instance, and you see low quality mostly-link answers, flag as spam - enough flags on these automatically delete the post, and feed the spam system.

Pay attention while reviewing suggested edits

Most of the spam that Stack Exchange sees across the network comes in the form of anonymous suggested edits. Watch out for links being introduced (they sometimes use strange formatting to try and hide them), and links being changed. Reject edits that look like spam as spam - this feeds the spam system to keep them from doing it again.

Actually, pay attention everywhere

We're going to get questions where folks are going to be giving honest testimonials of something they've used. Just make certain you've read the question the answer is attempting to answer, and involve a moderator if you're ever uncertain.

After a few months, the most active core community here is going to get a pretty good sense of what's legit and what isn't - I do see the same sort of guerrilla marketing onslaughts happening here as we've seen on Travel in the past. Keep your eyes peeled, but make sure you act with confidence.

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Generally I wouldn't be against self promotion, if and only if it does add value to the answer.

My feeling is, that in this particular case it not only does not add anything, but quite the opposite. First of all, the site in question is completely useless as far as intra-EU transfers go. Secondly it suggest that SEPA transfers are something like world transfers and options other than banks are better, which is completely untrue. It does depend on banks at both ends, which answer completely fails to take into account.

The only reason I didn't outright downvote that answer is the fact that it does explain fees which are applied.

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The acid test should solely be whether or not the answer is a valid, constructive answer, in accordance with SE policy. imho, provided the poster disclaims any relationship, then that should provide readers with enough information to form their own opinion of the validity of the response.

Over on StackOverflow, it is quite common for the authors of software products to post answers related to those products, and they are generally of the highest quality.

  • There is difference between question "Howdo I do something in product X?" being answered by author of X, and question "How do I deal with product of category A" being answered "You should use product category B instead" by author of product belonging to the latter category. – vartec Mar 22 '14 at 21:47
  • Your use of the word "should" distorts the meta topic, and I have yet to see any SE answer use it. The more common case, that I see no problem with, is Q:"how do I xxx?" A:"you can use yyyyyy. Disclaimer I'm the author of yyyy" – pinoyyid Mar 23 '14 at 4:50

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