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Particular users consistently add clutter to their questions ("Thanks in advance", "Any ideas?"). I will usually suggest an edit to remove these. However, the same users continue to add the same clutter in subsequent questions presumable because they haven't seen the edit, or fail to pay attention to it.

What is the best way to ask these users to stop? A comment underneath the question after an edit seems a little clumsy because of the irrelevance to the question.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It never hurts to note it in the edit summary, but since the presumption is that the user has not seen the edit, that will not do any good in the short term.

Doing so, however, does document the trend over the long term, and the user may eventually take notice and look back over her/his old questions/answers.

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I think that this is the best approach until it is seen that the user isn't taking notice, in which case I will leave a comment. –  mmcnickle Oct 14 '11 at 13:20

If I notice a user doing this consistently, I will flag one of his posts and note the trend in the flagging comments. This way, a moderator is notified and can take additional action if necessary.

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I wouldn't do that. Moderators are there for exception handling. Users saying "thanks" aren't an exception, it's just something we don't encourage, but tolerate. What action do you reckon the moderator should take? –  slhck Nov 21 '11 at 17:20
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@slhck - While this might not be viable on Stack Overflow due to scaling issues, getting a meta comment from a mod would probably be significantly more motivating than getting one from an ordinary user. I support this for SE 2.0 sites, but don't think it's a good idea on SO. –  Kevin Vermeer Nov 21 '11 at 17:52

Comments are the only option you've got, I fear.

Edit: Besides the edit-summary of course.

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I've tried this only to receive a reply like "So are useless comments". It definitely does seem hypocritical, which makes it less likely for the user to pay attention to it. –  mmcnickle Oct 14 '11 at 12:25
    
@mmcnickle: Well, you've been drawing attention to that user now, we'll see how that works out. –  Time Traveling Bobby Oct 14 '11 at 12:39

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