3

See the answer from "damoncloudflare" on this question. Given the user's activity across several of the SE sites, it's pretty likely he's a Cloudflare employee answering relevant questions he runs across. That's fine, obviously.

But there's no clear in-context disclosure statement, just the likelihood we'd infer the association by the answer being marked as from "[something]cloudflare." (Sometimes he refers to "we," but that's about it.) This seems clear, at the moment, but it's not durable. Keep in mind that:

  1. Users can edit their display name whenever they want. So if Damon later decides he wants to be TrollHunter269, his answers are suddenly all lacking disclosure.
  2. There aren't any restrictions(that I'm aware of) on display names, ie. does Googletorp represent Google? That's a pretty bad example, but the only one I could find quickly. I know I've seen people just type in the name of some service on occasion.
4

I think there's a difference between someone offering technical support on their company's product, and answering general questions (say about CDNs) by promoting their company.

Even if Damon changed his name, if his/her answers helped users with Cloudflare problems I think that would be mostly fine.

If he/she promoted Cloudflare with a changed name, then I think we'd just have to be vigilant and spot that a number of answers were contravening disclosure principles.

  • 1
    +1 If the asker is mentioning the company by name and the answerer is providing links to relevant content, disclosure is secondary to the problem of whether or not the question exists to promote the product or service (which does not appear to be the case there). – danlefree Mar 15 '12 at 18:40

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