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While reading this answer, I stumbled upon a referral link for a service similar to Dropbox. The link is one of those kind "Click my link and register, so I get more free space"

Should I remove them?

The rest of the answer seems somehow useful and the user tried to give a worthy answer.

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  • 6
    Fwiw there's disclosure.. I think it should be okay. Let's see what others think
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Oct 17 '13 at 8:47
  • @Sathya: Agreed Oct 17 '13 at 10:45
  • 1
    To be honest, I had never heard of the service he posted a referral for, and I'm glad he did; it's a pretty useful service.
    – user201262
    Oct 17 '13 at 15:46
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    Any user that might stumble upon that post and choose that option, with that link, will inherently help/assist the personal interest of the one that posted the answer. Although the answer is relevant, Super User wasn't made to "solve" users' or HVs' referral needs. It's a gray area. The question asked now is how does it affect the answer? and is it done more often than it should?. Oct 17 '13 at 18:44
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Frankly, I think referral (or affiliate) links should be nuked on sight.

Okay, sure, there's disclosure here, so nobody's being tricked. But what if that leads someone to post another answer to the same question, perhaps with some more detail so it's more valuable, with a referral link of their own? It's a better answer, so why shouldn't it stay?

More likely, someone posts a good answer that contains a referral link, but six members of the community flag it as spam. Then that answer owner comes over to Meta to complain that their post was wrongly flagged, especially since here are these other answers that also have referral links. Why haven't they been deleted/flagged? Where do you draw the line? How much disclosure is enough? How much detail in the answer is enough? Is each person allowed to post one answer with a referral link? One link per service? If I post a lot in the Dropbox tag, why can't four or five of my answers have referral links?

No, I think allowing referral links is more trouble than it is worth.

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  • I think the same. Where do we draw the line, is the question. Can he repeat that with more valuable answers? Is it a bonus he's allowed to put in? I wait some days and see the up/down votes
    – nixda
    Oct 17 '13 at 13:40
  • See also: Affiliate links (Amazon and others)
    – ale
    Oct 17 '13 at 14:40
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As commented above, as long as

  • it's a one-off thing
  • there's explicit disclosure
  • the answer is a good quality one and stands on it's own

then I don't think there's a need to remove the referral link. If the referral link is the only thing that's being blasted across - then you know where & how to make use of the spam flag.

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