Are there any guidelines or direction as to the appropriateness for folks to embed referral codes, affiliate sale codes, or similar things into links given in answers?

What prompted this question was that I noted in this question about photo sales sites, Pearsonartphoto responded with a list of services and each of the links includes a referral or affiliate code. Presumably he would receive some sort of credit or commission for folks who click through to the site and register.

I can see two viewpoints: one, being that as long as it's a quality answer it'll get voted appropriately and that there's no harm in rewarding the one who provided the answer. On the other hand, I could see folks rushing in to throw affiliate code answers when they might not be the best response.

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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

We don't allow linking to affiliate accounts any more than we allow people to post overtly commercial links to their own stuff. In your own profile, you are free to do that of course. But please refrain (and flag/remove) affiliate links in posts. Ref: http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/2716/amazon-affiliate-tags

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Thanks for a pointer to the official stance. I've removed the affiliate links from the answer in question but left it otherwise intact since it's a good answer. –  ahockley Jan 24 '11 at 5:55
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Wow. When I asked this question ( Is it bad etiquette to include Amazon affiliates tags in links? ), I was told that the get removed / converted automatically. Is that true?

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