2

I have experienced that when writing an answer, it is generally a good practise to state the affiliation (or not) with the developer of the 3rd party app/tool if one is recommended as part of the answer.

However, I'd like to know if this is something that needs to be followed to the letter every, single, time?

There are some popular and very widely used tools (most of them generally macOS/iOS exclusive) which users new to Apple ecosystem may not be aware of. I am talking about the apps/tools which are so popular that it practically won't make a difference for them whether I recommend it or not.

So my question is, is it necessary to clearly state my (absence of) affiliation with said app/tool? In the answer, I tend to mention that the app/tool is popular/widely used, but I feel that stating the affiliation may not be needed in such cases.

4

The relevant Help Center article states:

How not to be a spammer

The community here tends to vote down overt self-promotion and flag it as spam. 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.

It's not explicitly mentioned, but this means that if you're not affiliated with a product you recommend, you're not required to disclose so. Especially if it's a widely used tool like Sublime or BBEdit; when done repeatedly, that would quickly be perceived as noise, distracting from the main content.
Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with either of those.

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