I flagged this answer as Spam a while back because

  • The answer links to a book in Amazon.
  • The author of the book has the same name of the user - Stephen Disraeli.
  • The user didn't disclose the affiliation.

The spam flag was rejected.

Is it not spam?

2 Answers 2


Though we're usually quiet about attribution of Moderation actions, for the record it was me who dismissed the flag, as it felt like a genuine attempt to answer the question, not 'Spam' in the classic sense.

However, I hadn't picked up on the post author being the same as the book author - perhaps a custom flag would work better next time if there are specific details you need to highlight?

As this post's author is new to the site, they probably don't know that not disclosing that attribution is an issue - I'd suggest Proposing an Edit and leaving a Comment to explain the issue to the user, so they know what to change next time around. In this case I've now done that.

Site Moderators are the (second) last line of defence in content quality issues - do feel free to try and help/coach new site users in improving their content. But you've done the right thing in raising the flag. Thanks!


User shares link for his book without disclosing affiliation Is it not spam?

No, it is not. I agree with Steve's remark that the author's genuine intent is palpable in his answer and precludes a conclusion that the answer "constitutes spam".

But I need to point out that, in this case, a disclosure of affiliation would actually be redundant because the author's SE username and the name in the Amazon site are transparently the same.

  • Interesting take as well which haven't considered before... but I disagree with the redundancy Nov 16, 2022 at 17:33
  • @TiagoMartinsPeres "I disagree with the redundancy". That's fine, but you might want to explain to the audience why a disclosure equivalent to "I'm XYZ and I'm affiliated to this book authored by XYZ" is not redundant, especially where the name XYZ is not very common and is clearly displayed beforehand. Nov 16, 2022 at 20:31
  • When reading a question or answer (which is why one normally comes here for), the default assumption is that the user is not affiliated with the product/service unless told otherwise. Note that one comes here to check a question or an answer, not the username or the about page of the user. Nov 16, 2022 at 21:51
  • @TiagoMartinsPeres That default assumption is defeated where the author's username is so visible in the answer and matches the name in the product page. "one comes here to check a question or an answer, not the username". Your comment "Thank you Steve!" (emphasis added) contradicts the idea that you or others typically don't look at something (here, the username) that is clearly and conspicuously displayed right after an answer. Nov 16, 2022 at 22:20
  • It doesn't. Hence the word "normally" Nov 16, 2022 at 23:15
  • And for me the expectation still applies -> clarifying in the answer is different than having it in the username OR in the user's about page Nov 16, 2022 at 23:23

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