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Can we pretty please do something about Thanks / signing of posts? Or at least come up with something so that less people do it. I know it's already kinda in the faq, but people tend to not read it.

Related (among others): Should 'Hi', 'thanks,' taglines, and salutations be removed from posts? and Can we add a "No Thanks" part to the FAQ?

There are just so many posts ending with either thanks something or some name or even both. IMHO that really should be prevented (where possible) for (IMO obvious) reasons stated in the linked meta post. Although not the best option (intrusive, annoying etc), but I for one wouldn't mind if some 'drastic' measures would be taken against it if there is no other method.

E.g. let (new) users read and confirm a popover with a statement on how to post on SO and implement some form of 'punishment' when people still 'screw up'. E.g. by disallowing them to view the reactions on their question for some time with the explanation it was 'flagged' by the community with the reason.

Or perhaps a way to suspend multiple time offenders. Or perhaps subtract rep for users above some threshold 200+ and still saying "thanks" (after being flagged by users).

The above may seem harsh, but I think it is a real (annoying) issue. And people just don't get it. IMHO

The above are just some suggestions, but if you guys have other ideas please don't hesitate to add them here.

Edit

I might have been too hard in my wordings. But what I really mean is to educate users into not doing it.

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Don't forget HTH or OMFG it's urgent –  Justin Satyr Jan 31 '12 at 18:06
    
@JustinSatyr "help me it's urgent" is really bad. That's not only noise, but also (almost) rude. It's like: "Hey you! Drop everything you are doing and HELP ME!!!!!!!111". Atleast that's what I read. –  PeeHaa Jan 31 '12 at 18:10
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I read it more along the lines of "I told someone I can do my job, but it turns out I can't. So you do it! It's due in 10 minutes. I'm going to go play Mario." –  Justin Satyr Jan 31 '12 at 18:13
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In my experience, questions that end with "urgent" tend to also suffer from much more serious quality issues... –  Shogging through the snow Jan 31 '12 at 18:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As Jeff stated in this answer:

The thanks parts at the end of posts are much more difficult / risky to detect, so we are not touching those for now.

As for removing the signature, that would be nearly impossible because there are so many different names. How can you write a regex that detects a name versus some other uncommon word?

UPDATE: In response to your comment, I don't think an additional non-automated deterrent is feasible. Historically, beyond stressing it in the FAQ, the means of action has been automatically excluding such actions (e.g., salutations, bad question titles, short link-only answers, etc.) from being possible.

It's not a good idea to add some annoying message that everyone constantly sees just to prevent Thanks / John Doe from being included in the post. Half of the new users will probably ignore it anyway because they think they are returning the favor of helping them by being polite.

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I'm not talking about detecting it. I'm talking about a way to educate users into not doing it. In my post I added the word 'punishment' which may be too hard. But there should be a way to come up with something that users don't do it in the first place. 100% is not possible, but almost every 'new' user does it. –  PeeHaa Jan 31 '12 at 18:14
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@PeeHaa we already force stackoverflow.com/questions/ask-advice on new users and they still ask duplicates, dont do research and come up with poor quality questions. –  Gordon Jan 31 '12 at 18:16
    
@Gordon The thing is: What happens if they just ignore it? Either nothing / the question will get closed. Posts with "Thanks" or whatever don't get closed for that reason, but rather edited by other users. –  PeeHaa Jan 31 '12 at 18:19

The above are just some suggestions, but if you guys have other ideas please don't hesitate to add them here.

Ok!

My suggestion is, chill out!

Of all the terrible, horrible, very-bad things that authors routinely do in their questions, preemptive "thanks!" rank somewhere between "mildly annoying" and "not a problem at all".

Ok, so they're superfluous. If you're editing the question anyway (say, to fix the horrible code indentation and convert the grammar into something that doesn't give non-ESL readers a splitting headache) then sure - remove it. But if "thanks" is truly the only problem with a post, then you're just wasting everyone's time by editing it.

There are bigger problems in the world. Heck, there were bigger problems floating in my breakfast. Do your heart a favor, and next time you find this irritating you to the point where you actually think the "thank"er should be suspended, go for a walk instead.

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Now I'm curious what Shog eats for breakfast. –  Pëkka Jan 31 '12 at 18:31
    
it's probably worth pointing out that superfluous text at the beginning is much more dangerous than text at the end. This is true for titles, bodies, heck, even tags (but we auto-sort tags to the left in order of frequency..) –  Jeff Atwood Jan 31 '12 at 19:35
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Yeah. Leading noise gets in the way of folks scanning the question; most of us are pretty adept at filtering trailing noise though. –  Shogging through the snow Jan 31 '12 at 19:38

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