This answer mentions concepts ("canonical particles" and their "radius of hardness") that only appear in the website it links to and in a book recently published (by a company of questionable reputation, see here and here).

Besides the crackpot smell of the answer, to me it seems to have been posted with the only objective of, without disclosure, advertising. Isn't it spam?

  • $\begingroup$ What Taylor and Francis did is almost prostitution, by any standards. Even for an e-book (thus no paper is wasted), it's appalling to have it associated to your name. $\endgroup$
    – DanielC
    Dec 1 '17 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielC, I was also surprised by seeing a name I recognize associated with such practices. $\endgroup$
    – stafusa
    Dec 2 '17 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ Researched more, it is also published on paper and is for sale for about 90 British pounds through the CRC website. :D This guy is wacko, skim through his personal website for your (sad) amusement: inerton.kiev.ua/interest3.htm $\endgroup$
    – DanielC
    Dec 2 '17 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ For those wondering who the heck is Taylor and Francis, it is the Taylor & Francis Group. $\endgroup$ Dec 4 '17 at 15:53

The description of the spam flag is

Exists only to promote a product or service, does not disclose the author's affiliation.

In this case, the answer does appear to legitimately (note I'm not saying "correctly") address the question, so it doesn't exist only to promote a product or service.

There also doesn't seem to be any sign that the author of the answer is affiliated with the website.

Based on those factors, the answer doesn't seem like spam to me.

The only basis for even thinking it might be spam is the link. But this strikes me as a perfectly fine use of a link. The answer references some concepts that the author believes may be unfamiliar to readers, so it links to a website to provide further information on those concepts. Which the website does. That's exactly how links are supposed to be used. Now, the concepts in question may be totally wrong, sure, but that doesn't make the link (or the answer) spam. It just makes it eligible for a ton of downvotes, and that is exactly what has happened.

  • $\begingroup$ You're right. Could it still be deleted on the basis that we only deal with mainstream physics? $\endgroup$
    – stafusa
    Nov 24 '17 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ @stafusa Sorry I missed your comment before, but I would hesitate to do so. The problem with non-mainstream answers is that they're wrong. Granted, they are typically wrong in a way that can sound convincing to anyone who isn't an expert in the field, which is the only reason the answer to your question isn't an outright "no"; still, in general, it's better not to put moderators or a few high-rep users in the position of deciding (in)correctness on behalf of everybody. If the answer is highly downvoted it probably doesn't really need deletion. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Dec 7 '17 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply. That's a judgment call, I'm not sure I'd do vote the same way, but I'm also in favor a avoiding over-moderation, so I fully understand. $\endgroup$
    – stafusa
    Dec 7 '17 at 10:28

to me it seems to have been posted with the only objective of, without disclosure, advertising. Isn't it spam?


David Z's answer is correct, and I'd add two remarks:

  • the post in point addresses the question and consequently doesn't strictly fit the definition of spam, but, it's still likely to have been spam in spirit, that "legally" made use of the (unavoidable) loophole that allows advertising as long as it answers a question;

  • the keywords above, though, are "seem" and "likely": we don't have compelling evidence; we have, at most, circumstantial evidence $-$ so, in order to respect the sacred principle of Presumption of innocence, that post should indeed not be considered spam.


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