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We had some nice Spammers around, that gave pretty decent answers, but always included a spam link at the end.

After some posts, I started invalidating the links, either by removing them or by surrounding them with square brackets. Needles to say that I also flagged and downvoted.

How should we handle this?

By the way, I am strictly against removing the link and keeping the answers, I doubt that they are not simply copied from somewhere else.

One example of the 'good content - bad link' posts as a picture, this was taken from the edit history, to show what it looked like before my edit and before it got removed.

spam posting

This was not the only post in that style by this user, and even other accounts were used (today and yesterday) in the same manner, linking all to the same or similar sites.

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  • I've deleted them for now, which sadly means not a lot of people will know what posts you're talking about
    – Ivo Flipse
    Apr 3 '13 at 8:47
  • @IvoFlipse No problem. Screenshot to the rescue!
    – Baarn
    Apr 3 '13 at 9:07
  • Flag away, we'll strike the spammers down with the fury and vengeance of... well, somebody will close/delete the posts. :) Apr 3 '13 at 15:57
  • Another example: fitness.stackexchange.com/a/12127/22
    – G__
    Apr 4 '13 at 18:17
  • @Greg that guy only tries to promote using the backdoor; There are some people that do this more or less active. I think we should separate those people that try to promote their own page on a low level (one post every few days), and those who post five answers with semi-intelligent content in short frequency.
    – Baarn
    Apr 4 '13 at 18:25
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If the answer (aside from spam link) has substance, perhaps we should not delete the whole post and only remove the link. It's possible that they have plagiarized the text, but we are not copyright police. Some of the answers in this category certainly do seem to be well-fit to the questions, even if they are sourced elsewhere, and must have required some thought.

As far as whether a link itself is spam, I guess the duck test applies...

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  • 1
    I'd remove the link minimally, and point the person to the faq which outlines self-promotion. They should be disclosing their affiliation if they are providing good information. However, no one should be answering to the point where the site becomes a link farm.
    – Matt Chan
    Apr 4 '13 at 23:33

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