I recently answered a question, and included a (fully disclosed) affiliate link in my answer. Prior to doing so, I checked the FAQ here, and found nothing, so I checked the main SO FAQ, and found a section basically saying to be careful because that can be frowned upon, but that it is OK if the links are disclosed.

Not surprisingly, I got downvotes (and later a couple of upvotes for the disclosure), and someone commented with a link to this thread on meta. I will be very candid and say that I don't like Robert's answer. Not because I want to be able to post affiliate links and profit from this site (greedy capitalist pig that I am), but because it is such a broad statement leaving no room for us to discuss how our community should work. Furthermore, the question linked to only referred to Amazon affiliate codes, which are auto-changed to the SO affiliate code anyway.

Because my comment on Robert's answer hasn't been noticed (as it shouldn't be, on an old question with an accepted answer), I'd like to bring the issue up for discussion here.

Are there any cases in which affiliate links will be considered appropriate in this community?

(again, for me this is not about my answer getting downvotes - it's about us as a community deciding how we want things to work here, and purposefully considering the issue and how we want to handle it)

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The section in the SO FAQ, as far as I can tell, is for products which you are directly affiliated with, something you actively have a part in, not affiliate links. –  Thomas McDonald Aug 18 '10 at 13:29
    
That could very well be the case - good point, I didn't read it like that the first time around. I suggest we determine what we want the rules to be here, and acting accordingly. –  tnorthcutt Aug 18 '10 at 14:10
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It was decided that affiliate links would be okay, if fully and clearly disclosed. But Stack Overflow reserves the right to rewrite affiliate links (which they already do with Amazon links on some of the sites). –  Robert Cartaino Aug 20 '10 at 3:56
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would not support affiliate links. As Thomas noted, the SO FAQ refers to affiliations with products and companies you are involved in ("The product our company created seems like a good solution to your problem."), not affiliate links to third parties.

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