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This question already has an answer here:

(note: this is different from Is it inappropriate behaviour to post links?; I am now asking for a debate on the existing policy, rather than asking whether the policy exists. I would be fine if this is closed, but only after a moderator confirms what tpg2114 says below.)

Kyle Kanos's answer to the forementioned thread claims that it is not allowed to post links to other Q&A sites outside the Stackexchange network, and that it's up to a moderator to suspend a user for doing so. While he has not been able to cite the link to this policy, no moderator has corrected him, and his answer is gaining upvotes, so I'll assume that this is indeed policy.

I feel this is a bizarre policy to have. What's the reason to maintain such a policy? Is it a network-wide policy, and is it irrevocable like "Be Nice"?

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marked as duplicate by innisfree, John Rennie, Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir, ACuriousMind, Kyle Kanos Apr 26 '15 at 19:01

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    $\begingroup$ Regardless of what you're posting, if it's annoying folks and they ask you to stop it's not really polite to then keep doing it. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Apr 23 '15 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ I believe suspension != ban $\endgroup$ – jiggunjer Apr 23 '15 at 6:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9 could you be less cryptic? What are you talking of? Comments linking to direct answers on PO, or these meta posts? $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 23 '15 at 7:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9 If you're referring to the comments - I don't know who these "folks" are. Most of those comments have a couple of upvotes, it's often appreciated by the OP, and so on. It's just a handful of users on meta who dislike the practice for whatever reason (and I think it's an unfounded dislike for PO). It's also rather strange, that while on one hand you claim, that it's annoying people, and on the other hand, the linked answer says that the comments are detracting users for PSE and encouraging them to join PO. $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 23 '15 at 7:53
  • $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of Is it inappropriate behaviour to post links? $\endgroup$ – innisfree Apr 23 '15 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ despite the note, I think this very much overlaps with a meta.physics.stackexchange.com/q/6727 it might be easier to keep all the discussion in one place, so i've voted to close $\endgroup$ – innisfree Apr 23 '15 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ @innisfree I don't think it's a duplicate (because a discussion post is supposed to try and change policy), but I'm fine with it being closed if a moderator can confirm what tpg says below. $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 23 '15 at 11:06
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    $\begingroup$ You asked if this was a network-wide policy. I outlined a scenario where it in theory could be. If you want feedback on a specific instance then you'll have to be more forthright as to the details. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Apr 23 '15 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ Thought my comment was clear enough, but I'll write an answer if you're serious about this. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Apr 23 '15 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ Also curious that there are 3 other answers there, all whom more or less agree with my point on the repetitiveness of the action and yet these guys were not called out as well. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Apr 23 '15 at 23:27
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    $\begingroup$ I'll vote to close this, because Manishearth responded (and it's OK, not hostile at all, thanks). $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 24 '15 at 7:50
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$\begingroup$

So I've read his answer many times now and I don't see how you reach the conclusion you reached here. It says:

Posting links in comments is not banned, nor should it ever be banned. What should be banned is the repeated posting of a link to an alternative physics Q&A site (such as PO, PF, Quora, etc)1. It is the repetitive nature of the act that is considered as spam,

it is lost in the formatting here, but he even emphasized "repeated" twice as the problem. Since the italics didn't seem to convey the message, I will just repeat it here using bold instead:

Posting links in comments is not banned, nor should it ever be banned. What should be banned is the repeated posting of a link to an alternative physics Q&A site (such as PO, PF, Quora, etc). It is the repetitive nature of the act that is considered as spam.

Hopefully bold makes it clear for you. The problem is doing it repeatedly and as the bulk of your contributions without disclosing your affiliation.

Since your question there focused on Q&A sites, he mentioned Q&A sites. I would say that repeated posting of links to any other site is spam.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, this is more useful. So, do I understand it right, that it's OK if I disclose my affiliation in the comments, and also post some other comments along with the PO links? $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 23 '15 at 7:49
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    $\begingroup$ It still will fall under the "if your only purpose is to leave links to your" other website, you're still a spammer. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Apr 23 '15 at 11:41
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    $\begingroup$ And honestly, I'm confused what your motives are here. You guys didn't like playing in our sandbox, so you went and made your own sandbox to play in. So why do anything here? If you cared about this site, you wouldn't just leave comments with links to other places, you would contribute great questions and answers. So if all you care about is the ability to leave links to PO, then you are just posting spam. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Apr 23 '15 at 11:43
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    $\begingroup$ ??? I was asking if it's OK if I were to leave links to PO answers (with brief explanations), but also other explanatory comments. I don't see how you fellows can deduce my purpose - as far as I know, you can't hack into my mind (?). Regarding your other (a bit ad hominem, don't you think?) comment, my answer to that is simple - (a) PO is the most likely place other than PSE where PSE questions can be answered, thanks to the import process, and (b) I'm active on PO, so I know exactly what answers are being posted on PO. $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 23 '15 at 11:47
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    $\begingroup$ Also, the purpose you deduce out of it is simply incorrect, you might be surprised to know how few users have decided to start participating on PO because their questions were answered there. If I recall correctly 1, or maybe 2. And neither left PSE as far as I know. $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 23 '15 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Dimensio1n0 No, it is not okay if you disclose your affiliation and still repetitively post links. The occasional link is fine, but if you're doing it often and/or it is the bulk of your contribution, you are probably here for the wrong reasons. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 24 '15 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ I'd also argue that since it took 24 hours before a physics moderator responded and yet you got many responses from regular community users, that means the model works. The users are clearly annoyed, not just moderators. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Apr 24 '15 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ Response on the wrong comment thread but I'm on my phone and don't feel like redoing it. And since it's my own answer, I also don't care that it's not exactly related to this thread... $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Apr 24 '15 at 2:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth OK, fine - so it's OK if I also post other useful comments, and these comments form a minority of my posts? What I find strange, though, is that upon my suspension, you claimed that it would be OK to link to PO after the question has been answered... $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 24 '15 at 4:15
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    $\begingroup$ @tpg2114 Which users? The OPs aren't getting annoyed, and most linking comments have a significant positive score. The community active on meta is usually not representative of the community at large. Besides, I can't seem to understand how suspensions should depend on popularity contests. $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 24 '15 at 4:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Dimensio1n0 Not exactly, your intention here still seems to be primarily to post links, and you're just trying to find a way around the system. Upping your other comments is nice, but it doesn't get around that. Yes, I had said that it would be okay to leave comments like that after the suspension. I did not know at the time that you would be doing it often. I never said that posting such comments is okay in all circumstances. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 24 '15 at 4:50
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    $\begingroup$ You seem to be approaching this with the attitude "Give me a set of rules and I'll find a way around them". Don't do that. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 24 '15 at 4:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth OK, thanks for the clarifications, and I'm sorry for claiming that the moderators are deliberately avoiding to show up in the discussion. My intention is not to post links to PO exactly, but rather to post links to any useful information on PO, Quora, the nLab, Wikipedia, wherever - the point of adding comments regarding the other sites is just to make this clearer, it's not to avoid the rules as such. I wouldn't contribute stuff that takes significant time any longer though, not because I have a problem with SE (I really don't, any longer), but because there's no content protecti $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Apr 24 '15 at 5:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Dimensio1n0 "My intention is not to post links to PO exactly, but rather to post links to any useful information on PO, Quora, the nLab, Wikipedia, wherever" is exactly what we keep telling you is probably not OK. If you are only here to post links, you may be here for the wrong reasons. The idea is not to create a directory of places that may have answers (before link rot sets in, that is), it is to create a repository of actual answers without sifting through ten pages of physicsforums discussion or embarking on a subsidiary internet quest that may or may not work. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Apr 24 '15 at 13:00
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    $\begingroup$ And as we keep telling you, the purpose of this site is not to emphasize the links. In the long term they are not the 'trade routes' of the internet; they are much more like air traffic corridors and subject to change if ATC feels it's less cloudy over there. (See e.g. this thread.) I do not understand your fear of content deletion - show me any valid answer that's been railroaded and I'll be the first to vote to undelete. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Apr 24 '15 at 15:27

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