Answers involving adverts are allowed on SE. But do we need to be careful about what ads are allowed, or do we allow users to decide on the safety / efficacy / legality / etc of any linked service?

Or is this something that is supposed to be sorted out with voting?

For example, one Parenting SE user has given 12 answers. Of those 12 answers 1 includes a link to their self-published book, and 8 include a link to their commercial self-developed un-proven un-researched "treatment" programme for various disorders.

I'm concerned by that. I'm worried that the SE name is being used to provide legitimacy to something which has no evidence base, and which could be harmful.

1 Answer 1


Self-promotion of products or services is acceptable, if it is directly relevant to the question.

Per our FAQ:

May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here?

Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.

If a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons. Our advertising rates are quite reasonable; contact our ad sales team for details. We also offer free community promotion ads for open source projects and non-profit organizations.

If you see self-promotion that does not directly answer the question (e.g. "How can I help my child's gas pains?" receives an answer of "As a pediatrician and nutritionist (here's my website: www.hire-me.now), I suggest you stop feeding the child beans."), then by all means either vote it down, edit it, or flag it for a moderator (or, if you feel particularly strongly, do all three).

If you see a string of valid, relevant answers that seem to indicate a pattern of targeted self promotion, flag one of the posts and explain your concerns to the moderators. We do make an effort to police this sort of behavior, but it never hurts to bring it to our attention.

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