We've been getting a rash of people posting for link juice. Nothing new there, except that this is what I call "human automation." Real people posting very short comments in a bunch of threads. Read individually, they look relevant. Looked at in the aggregate, they're clearly nothing more than paid posts for link exposure.
Those get removed, along with the people posting them, when we see them.
Another one that's come up again lately is something people seem to think is a clever way to get around the rules. Merchants create template sites which they give to their affiliates to host on their own domains. Often, the sites will start out with something like "From [Merchant Name] and [Affiliate Name]."
Don't bother putting those in your sig file. If it gets spotted, we'll remove it. Keep putting it back in, and we'll turn off your sig file.
The basic concept is fine. It's actually smart. It becomes a problem when a bunch of people use that as their reason for putting up a lot of useless posts. Since that is something we know will happen, we don't allow it. And no, we don't make exceptions based on who's doing it or what you post.
See the earlier comment about "human automation" for an explanation. Same issue.
[Note: If you're a product creator and you tell people to do this, you may want to keep in mind that following your advice could get your affiliates banned at this forum. Other sites may or may not have the same policies.]
If your signature file gets changed and you didn't do it, ask yourself who could have. [Answer: One of the moderators.]
Do you think it would be smart to simply put the same thing back in? That is an excellent way to get your sig file disabled, and possibly get yourself banned for a while. It's treated much the same way as re-posting a thread after it's been deleted.
Note the relevant part of the rules: "If you want to promote an affiliate program do it on your own domain. Your own web site. Not a 'pre-made' web site. Your own web site, a real one. Then put THAT web site in your sig file."
Here's one more: Creating a review, putting it in your sig file, and then telling people, "See the link in my sig for a review."
One fellow did that a half dozen or so times, each of which was deleted. Then he posted a comment in the review thread for that product, directing people to the link from the body of his post. When we deleted it and disabled his signature file, he posted a thread in main discussion asking people to review the site.
His persistence was rewarded, but not in the way he wanted.
To some, this may look like overkill. That seems sensible, until you look at the impact of these behaviors. We're talking about hundreds of nonsense or content-free posts every day, wasting the time of every member who opens the threads they're in. And these folks tend to work based on keywords, which is how we end up with so many 2-year old threads getting pulled back to the front page, further wasting people's time and provoking arguments over out of date topics. Not to mention that it takes attention away from more relevant questions that people actually need help with.
I guarantee you, none of the moderators wants to have to waste their time with this small stuff. It's such a destructive problem, though, that we have to. The first reflex is "Ban 'em all and save the time." If you value your participation here, you'll want to keep that in mind.
If you've been around a while, there's no excuse for it. If you're new, we have no way of telling whether you're just confused, didn't read the rules, or are purely here as a sig spammer. Since new accounts don't represent a large investment of time or reputation, we're not real hesitant about removing them.
A single drop of rain isn't much to notice. Enough of them at one time, though, and you've got a flood.
PS: For the record, being a War Room member does not make you exempt from any of the rules of this forum. That ought to be obvious, but it seems a lot of people think otherwise.