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This may be a very subjective impression, but I have a suspicion that there have been two accounts created on Aviation.SE which are affiliated with a service. ProPilotNetwork and CareerPilotNetwork. In one of the answers to
Is joining the air force a good way to become an airline pilot?

The user giving the answer has referenced an external website, which does not contribute much to the answer, but to me looks like subtle advertising. I am giving the user the benefit of the doubt, since other answers met our quality requirements and have a positive vote count, but my question is:

How do we deal with subtle advertising?
Where do we draw the line?
Do we need to have this in the help centre?


I know that some answers on Aviation.SE have been created by using material from VATSIM and could this be considered precedence cases. However in these answers, the reference to VATSIM provided a contribution to the answer. I am mentioning this, since I use VATSIM for reference and material as well and don't want to sound like I was creating double standards.

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As the owner of both of those logins, I think I can help here. I closed the first login because within a day and trying to answer two questions, I was locked from answering questions which made it useless (feel free to delete it.) I was disappointed and frustrated by being shut down. As a long time fan and consumer of SE on the development side, I almost left SE entirely here. I thought that I had something to contribute here. Aviation has been my primary employment for 20 years now and I've learned a few things along the way.

I decided to put my big boy pants on and try again. I took another look at the rules and have since earned a few good reviews today alone, which I hadn't expected but am gratified by. I did remove that link you cite. It was intended to provide more insight but after considering it, I removed that link about 15 minutes later. The intent is to have relevant sources at that site eventually but as you well know it takes time to have all the content out there that you want to have. Reading the SE requirements cited above, I think they are fair and reasonable and address your concerns. Links shouldn't be gratuitous and shouldn't be there at all if they don't add to the discussion. In this case after further consideration they didn't.

Just because someone is part of a business, doesn't mean that they don't have something to contribute. It also doesn't mean that they don't have resources available to help with the questions being asked.

I hope this provides another perspective. I think SE provides a great service to the community and I hope that I can bring some expertise to help with that service. I'm also hoping to learn something in the aviation space and what people don't know or have questions about just as I have learned an immense amount from SE in its original incarnation. I never had anything to add there. Here I feel that I do.

Thank you.

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    $\begingroup$ I have changed my login to reduce the appearance of impropriety. $\endgroup$
    – SOCPilot
    Apr 30 '15 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for taking the time to reply, I saw you remove the link some 10 or 15 min after I had posted, but I kept the question here to see what the general consensus is. $\endgroup$ Apr 30 '15 at 21:01
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for commenting, this is very helpful feedback and I hope you'll stick around! $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 30 '15 at 23:23
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, right! @SOCPilot, don't let my Meta post here scare you off, some of the answers you provided were quite good, as I mentioned already. Stick around, find your way and contribute to Aviation.SE as much as you want and can. :) $\endgroup$ May 1 '15 at 5:22
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. Appreciate that. $\endgroup$
    – SOCPilot
    May 6 '15 at 16:57
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How do we deal with subtle advertising?

This is subjective but I think it comes down to intent. If we believe that the main purpose of the answer (or question) is to advertise and generate business - including pageviews - then we should edit, close or flag it as appropriate. For example, this question was posted by a rep, apparently to draw attention to their products. I edited it to remove the person's name and title, but the question itself still seemed to be valid, so I left it and answered it. But if he had asked something more blatant like "what are some advantages of brand X airport lighting?" then I would have voted to close it.

Where do we draw the line?

This will always be debatable. Again, if the intent seems obvious then go ahead and edit/close/flag. If in doubt, I would bring it up in chat to get other opinions.

Do we need to have this in the help centre?

According to this meta.SE discussion, it's already in the FAQ for all sites, I think it's referring to this item. That's not very obvious and probably no one will see it, but at least it's there to refer excessive self-promoters to.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the meta.SE discussion link, this is a good starter for making up my own mind about this... $\endgroup$ Apr 30 '15 at 13:38

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