There has been some controversy about a few recently posted questions. The title of the post may be phrased as a question, but the body of the question features a link to an article that discusses the question on another site. Sometimes the body of the question also contains an excerpt from that article.

See for example https://sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/2528/does-selenium-support-testing-siebel-application and Testing PDF files with Selenium.

These questions seem to depart from the conventions we follow on SQA. We encourage everyone to participate here, but we want participants to follow the conventions we believe facilitate the goals of SQA, e.g. we follow a question/answer format rather than a conversational forum format.

My sense is that the questions at issue are written in the form that a content aggregator (e.g. BoingBoing) would use, i.e. introduce the subject, show an excerpt, and then point the reader to the full article on some other site. In contrast, we want people to ask a question and if possible tell us how they tried to figure it out for themselves. The goal is not to advertise what they have written but rather to introduce a non-trivial question.

Is there something we need to say in the FAQ to clarify the manner in which questions are phrased?


Since the consensus was that there as no question in the second post, I closed it as "not a real question".

In general, posting content for the sake of promotion rather than to ask good questions or give good answers is frowned upon. If someone attempts to post promotional things, you (well, the moderators) could send them a warning and/or issue a suspension if needed.

As a regular user, you could flag posts you think are problematic for moderator attention or leave a comment pointing the offender to the Promotion section of the FAQ.

There's also this post describing guidelines for linking to external sites that may be helpful.

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