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I recently rejected an edit to an answer by @Paul Gessler where the main thrust of the edit was editing out:

(I'm on support staff at Overleaf.)

at the beginning of the answer. I rejected it as I thought that declaring interests in answers, particularly to a potentially paid-for service like Overleaf, was appropriate and potentially even mandatory. It has since been approved which is democracy but now I am confused.

What is the correct protocol for edits that edit out someone's affiliation to a company, product or service please?

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    I imagine that the point is it's not itself part of the answer, so likely belongs as a comment or perhaps at the end of the answer as a footnote
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 13:37
  • @JosephWright I understand that but at the start of literally every answer Paul has about Overleaf, the same text is written clarifying they are a member of Overleaf and I have seen other people with the similar disclaimers right at the top of their answers, hence my confusion.
    – JamesT
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 14:00
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    I'm just trying to understand the people who made and approved the edit; personally, I agree that 'up front' notification for affiliation seems entirely reasonable
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 14:06
  • @JosephWright Yes, that was the reason why I made the edit. I agree that the disclaimer was reasonable, but that doesn't mean that it contributed to answering the poster's question. Commented May 10, 2023 at 15:30
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    Note that tex.stackexchange.com/help/promotion says "However, if you mention your product, website, etc. in your question or answer (or any other contribution to the site), you must disclose your affiliation in your post." This wording would suggest that a comment is not acceptable disclosure if you write an answer. I personally think it is best not to remove the disclosure notices.
    – moewe
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 7:28
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    As someone who worked for Overleaf-support myself, I always included this notice if the question or answer were Overleaf related and think that's the correct thing to do, if there are commercial interests in an answer this should be disclosed as part of that very answer. The disclaimer is not meant to directly contribute but as a sort-of-warning so that others can see the presented information in the correct perspective (so in a sense does enhance the answer, but not in an objective way).
    – Skillmon
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 13:43
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    I'd like to stay out of the way and let the community do what they think is best, but I'll just note that I don't work at Overleaf anymore. I didn't go back and edit my past answers because they were accurate (to the best of my knowledge) at the time they were written, and I didn't want to bump them to the top of the homepage for a minor edit that doesn't really change the meaning of the post. Commented May 17, 2023 at 2:16

1 Answer 1

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Based on the 7 upvotes, comments, SE guidance and time elapsed since the question was asked, I think the correct course of action is to not edit out professional/financial disclaimers declaring interests.

I propose that edits that remove professional/financial affiliations to a product/service should be:

  1. Outright rejected if they solely edit out the disclaimer
  2. Approved but edited to re-include the disclaimer if they remove the disclaimer whilst improving the rest of the post

The edit by @Chris Chudzicki to the linked question acts as a good template for using when reverting or editing back:

Restore Overleaf disclosure as required by https://tex.stackexchange.com/help/promotion ; see also https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10072/editing-out-someones-professional-affiliation-to-a-company?cb=1

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    Excellent: next time it happens we have a clear statement
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 12:26
  • @JosephWright "Outright rejected if they solely edit out the disclaimer" My edit did not solely edit the disclaimer though. Commented May 16, 2023 at 15:45
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    @MehdiCharife Indeed: as stated here, for that case 'approve but re-include the disclaimer'
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 15:46

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