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I wanted to add a comment to an answer where the answerer and the asker of the question (OP) are both notified by my comment so I used the @. I know recently that certain users are truncated if unnecessary so I just included both and wanted to let the system do its magic. However I received the message:

Only one additional @user can be notified; the post owner will always be notified

So I assumed this meant that I didn't need to include the owner of the question, so I just removed the owner and included the name of the person who provided the answer.

When I submitted the comment the answerer's name was also removed.

Now I'm confused, will both the asker and the answerer still be notified?

Should the message be amended to indicate that both the OP and the answerer will always be notified?

Does the 'post owner' just mean the answerer and not the OP?

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When you post a comment to an answer:

  1. The Post Owner gets notified. The Post Owner is the first editor of the question or answer under which you placed the comment.
  2. One additional @user gets notified, if you specify them. That user must be a participant in the post (i.e. they have edited the post, or placed a comment on it).
  3. Under certain conditions (under which the @user will be automatically notified anyway) the @user is removed from the comment you post.
  4. If there is only one other person leaving comments on the answer besides you, they also get notified automatically, without requiring the @notification.

The complete, exhaustive list of rules that govern comment notifications can be found here: How do comment @replies work?. I've given up on trying to understand these rules completely.

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The question asker only gets notified if you're commenting on the question, I thought – Grace Note Nov 8 '11 at 22:50
I clarified to include only the information that I actually know. – Robert Harvey Nov 8 '11 at 22:53
That’s interesting. I’ve used answer comments to ‘chat’ with answerers (removing the comments soon after) and I didn’t realise the question asker would be notified, too. Ouch! – Bavarious Nov 8 '11 at 22:53
@Bavarious: It used to work that way, but two other people have already contradicted me, so... – Robert Harvey Nov 8 '11 at 22:54

The post owner is the person who created the specific post (i.e. a particular answer or the question itself) that you are commenting on, so in this case the answerer.

The person who posted the question will not be not notified if you comment on an answer that they did not also post and have not commented on, even if you use the @user syntax.

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I think the message is confusing and doesn't make clear that it is not the OP if you are commenting on an answer. Also, if I am the answerer if I see @OP then I will think its not for me IMO. I always 'assumed' that the answerer was notified because of previous behaviour of removing them when @ is used. But after seeing that message I was quite confused. – xiaohouzi79 Nov 9 '11 at 0:19
I think it's difficult to elaborate on "post owner" in a short message, unfortunately. This also reminded me that there's a related post where we discussed the wording, although not specifically this part. – Tim Stone Nov 9 '11 at 0:25

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