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After reading this thread I came to the conclusion that one of persons who posted an answer to my question on this site was engaging in inappropriate advertising behavior. Because his answer was the only one to my question, I wanted to warn others so they didn't fall into the same trap I did. (Namely, the answer did not provide any detailed help but essentially linked to the site selling the product. While that site appears to provide a lot of very nice detailed help, the instructions did not work for me so it represented a lot of wasted time).

My question is: What is the best way to warn others about this situation? The typical user coming to help from this site could easily fall victim to the scheme, and my question therefore provides an effective advertising platform for their product.

Because I could not find how to complain or warn others, I responded as you can see here. But I would appreciate someone in authority at the site to provide me with a proper way to complain about this situation and warn others.

  • 1
    No time for a proper answer here, but use your vote and flag buttons. – Michael Frank Mar 27 '18 at 18:29
  • @MichaelFrank - Got you covered – Ramhound Mar 27 '18 at 18:31
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    Super User is not a forum. It is a Q&A site. – Peter Mortensen Apr 7 '18 at 19:22
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What is the best way to warn others about this situation?

You should flag the contribution for moderator attention by using a custom flag. If you believe the contribution to be spam, you should flag it as spam, if a moderator does not agree they will simply decline the flag.

The typical user coming to help from this site could easily fall victim to the scheme, and my question, therefore, provides an effective advertising platform for their product.

Leaving a single comment saying the answer was unhelpful. You should avoid having a discussion if the other person believes your comment isn't helpful. If they leave a comment you believe to be rude, you should flag the comment, so a moderator can deal with that behavior.

Because I could not find how to complain or warn others, I responded as you can see here. But I would appreciate someone in authority at the site to provide me with a proper way to complain about this situation and warn others.

Creating a meta question will also bring the unhelpful contribution to the attention of others. There is nothing else that needs to be done.

I do not see how to use "a custom flag" on an answer.

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You should be able to select that option.

  • Thanks, but I do not see how to use "a custom flag" on an answer. I do see how to do it on a comment, and since the user also added a comment I was able to flag it as you described. But I now want to know how I would use the "custom flag" you mention if the user has only posted an answer and not a comment? Regarding using the vote button, when I tried that a brief note flashed indicating I can't really vote since my privilege is inadequate. – Tony M Mar 27 '18 at 18:53
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I see that post as mainly a low quality, phoning-it-in answer. The instructions are all in a link, and what's contained there isn't clear. It looks like he didn't fully understand your issue, and posted a quick answer that he thought would be adequate. Maybe he even concluded that you hadn't done any basic research, so he posted as an answer what might have been better as a comment to point you in the right direction.

Steve should have disclosed his affiliation, and as a long time member should know better, but he doesn't make a habit of spamming the site. Personally, I'd extend the benefit of the doubt and view failing to disclose his affiliation as more of an oversight in this case.

So what's an appropriate response? Someone who comes here as a spammer needs to be seriously discouraged or blocked. Steve is a frequent contributor, with a lot of answers that have been valued by the community. He has some specific expertise that is valuable (when he applies it). He might even be the person who could give you a good answer.

He provided a problem answer that should be addressed, but I don't think a big spammer hammer would be the best tool in this case. Voting and comments, and maybe deletion of the answer and a disclosure reminder if he doesn't go back and fix that, seem like an adequate a response. There isn't really a need to warn others.

You added an explanation of why the advice was inadequate, so the ball is in Steve's court to improve the answer to address your question and disclose his affiliation, or delete the answer, or live with a bad answer and its downvotes (unless a moderator decides that the non-disclosure warrants deleting the answer).

But if you want to warn others, leaving the answer there with downvotes and negative comments serves as a warning that won't be there if the answer is deleted, and deletion would return the lost rep, so there would be a reward rather than a cost to Steve.

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