I just raised a flag for "moderator attention" on this answer with the following message
This answer from a Microsoft employee recommends Azure without any kind of disclosure of conflict of interest in it. I do not consider the user profile and bio to be sufficient disclosure here because they are not permanent and can be changed without any notice (unlike editing which bumps the post).
This tag was declined with the following comment
declined - His username says Microsoft. Recommending his company's services is hardly a conflict of interest.
I disagree on both parts however, so I wrote this post on meta to ask for further explanation and for the opinion of the community on this matter.
- Recommending his company's services is hardly a conflict of interest: well, it is, in my view. The accepted answer to this relevant meta question states that If your answer tends to promote usage of a product, website, or technology where the you stand to benefit from that usage, then a disclosure [...] should be added to the post. In my view the answer promotes Azure, since OP speaks generically of "a cloud service", and the answerer is the first to mention Azure and suggest an Azure product for that task.
Also, From https://dba.stackexchange.com/help/behavior (emphasis mine):
Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, that’s okay. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.
- His username says Microsoft. Well, it does now. One of the arguments against disclosure in the profile here is that profiles are not permanent, and could be changed at any time without notice or history. The same objection applies to usernames (display names, actually). If one deletes a disclosure statement in the answer, (1) the post is bumped to the homepage for others to review, and (2) the statement is still there in the post history. None of these applies if a profile or a username gets edited.
[EDIT to clarify: a perfectly legitimate reason why the answerer could change his username and profile, for instance, is a job change.]
Is there a policy on this? What is considered sufficient disclosure for this site? Is a username sufficient?