Can amazon.com (and other) referral tags be automatically removed from the posted links ?

Referral links may form a perverse financial incentive to post random answers to story identification threads even if they're likely to be false (e.g. https://scifi.stackexchange.com/a/63388/22506 - not claiming that it's really the case, but it's certainly a "conflict of interest") - the poster could hope to possibly earn money if people buy that book, but it motivates to 'advertise' popular (likely to be bought) books instead of the correct answers.

It could be better for the community if those links were 'clean' - preferably cleaned automatically, I believe there is public code that cleans the links of most popular web stores.

| |
  • The link in that answer doesn't have an Amazon affiliate tag. – user8693 Dec 2 '14 at 4:09
  • @MichaelHampton because I edited it to remove it, that was the reason for asking this question. The original link can be seen in the edit history. – Peteris Dec 2 '14 at 4:14
  • @Peteris I have been informed that the amazon referral tag is tag=, not ref=. That wasn't a referral tag. – Kevin Dec 2 '14 at 4:15
  • Ah, then it was just a false alarm - and possibly the proper tags get stripped by stackexchange for a long time already. Sorry for the disturbance. – Peteris Dec 2 '14 at 4:17

Normally, all Amazon links should be auto-converted to an affiliate link which credits Stack Exchange. These are obvious, as in-text they will link to rads.stackoverflow.com. When you follow such a link, you will be redirected to Amazon and find that Stack Exchange's affiliate tag, tag=stackoverfl08-20, has been added to the final URL.

An example can be seen here: I linked to http://www.amazon.com/dp/0321492668, SE converted the link to http://rads.stackoverflow.com/amzn/click/0321492668, which when clicked redirects to http://www.amazon.com/dp/0321492668/?tag=stackoverfl08-20.

However, this doesn't apply to non-US Amazon links. Because SE doesn't have affiliate relationships with Amazon outside the US, it does not convert these links. And since the link in this particular example was to amazon.co.uk, it was not touched. (And it had no tag=, so it was not an affiliate link to begin with.)

| |

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .