This morning I noticed a low-quality question with a comment written yesterday by the user MathKid containing the text:

you may ask such questions at websites like [other site] and get it answered there.

Given the shady business model of this other site, I was surprised to see it recommended by a member of this site. A glance at the user's activity tab reveals that they made 14 such comments about 23 hours ago. The text is very similar to the 36 comments made by the user Mike Williams in three bursts last year:

MathStack Exchange is not for homework problems. You may ask such questions in websites like [other site] and get quick answers.

I suspect that these two accounts belong to the same person. Whether or not this person is affiliated with that website, their comments on M.SE sound like advertising to me (especially the "quick"). Is this behaviour allowed?

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    $\begingroup$ Such comments should be flagged as spam. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 18:19
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson You can't actually flag a comment as spam. You could use the semi-equivalent of "It contains harassment, bigotry, or abuse." It would probably also be a good idea to raise a custom mod-flag on one of the user's posts to explain that they are posting spam in comments. The flags on the individual comments may make them disappear, just based on those flags. The custom flag on a post will be sure to let moderators know that there's a general problem with the user that should be addressed. $\endgroup$
    – Makyen
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ Post on Meta Stack Exchange related to the previous comments: How to flag comments as spam? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Makyen I was thinking "Something Else", then write "spam" in the box. Of course, "harassment, bigotry, or abuse" can cause the comment to be deleted without moderator intervention, so this might be preferable. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 21:51
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson I think those comments should be an answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 22:50
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    $\begingroup$ "I was surprised to see it recommended by a member of this site" Membership is free! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 3:42
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    $\begingroup$ All these comments have appeared under low quality questions. Of course, that's the potential user base that can be attracted, isn't it? Find a user who is "disgruntled" with MSE because they aren't answering their low quality question, and send them over to that website. It's advertising. It's spam. It's not allowed. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 5:22
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    $\begingroup$ It might sound a little silly. But sharing this problem also advertised the site thoroughly :) Make money by solving questions, huh? It was the first time I encountered it. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 8:48
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    $\begingroup$ @光復香港時代革命FreeHongKong Good point. I have edited the question to avoid naming the other site. I also see now that all the user's offending comments have been deleted as well. $\endgroup$
    – Unit
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 16:26

1 Answer 1


In your particular case: yes, they should be removed.

As a general rule: No. If the comments (answers for that matter) are helpful and linking other sites contributes to that helpfulness, no.


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