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I'm not talking about those "use the HCG diet, it will change your life!" people that bluntly advertise their product all over the site whenever some says "calories".

The case I'm referring to is a bit more subtle, in that the user doesn't really spam, but keeps recommending products of a single brand in a way which makes me think he might just be here to advertise those products. The answers of this person are not bad per se, but seldom provide more information other than "this (BRAND)-product should provide what you're looking for".

So what's our code of conduct regarding such users? Should one just treat their answers as normal, i.e. ignoring if they're okayish, downvoting if they're bad? Or would we want to discourage that form of advertising by downvoting more aggressively?

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If the answer provides a thorough and detailed explanation that also happens to be tailored and contextual to the question being asked, that's generally okay. If the person answering the question has provided some anecdotal evidence but also other sources to back the claims up, I would give that more credibility that just an uninformed blanket recommendation.

It can be a blurry line, but in that case that someone is doing such a thing, I would use this approach:

  • Figure out if the person is spamming and flag as such.
  • Leave a comment encouraging the user to provide more information in the answer
    • Mods can also leave post notices in these cases.
  • If you are unsure, then you can always flag the answer for moderator attention.

I personally tend to not downvote unless the answer is very, very bad (or harmful) or completely wrong, but you can use this at your own discretion.

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    It may be useful to ask repeated "offenders" to disclose their affiliation, if any. If somebody just likes something and keeps recommending it, that's no problem at all (if the answer explains benefits and drawbacks sufficiently). Whether "advertisements" with proper disclosure are tolerated is probably a community decision to be made. (Arguably, a fitness community would benefit from having fitness experts on board and they would probably recommend their stuff, with good reason and intention.) – Raphael Aug 4 '14 at 21:03

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