What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 134 Stack Exchange communities.

Consider the following trail (question Unrecognized rule error, but you'll need 10K rep to see what I'm talking about since the non-answer is deleted):

enter image description here

Does the offender learn from the repetition, or would it be sufficient to give the canned message just once?

Note: there is no dispute that it was 'not an answer'; the only issue is the same message appearing 5 times.

share|improve this question
8  
I suspect this may have been a result of the 404 problem from yesterday. –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 1:21
1  
It lets the OP know what is wrong. Repetitiveness makes something more important! –  Cole Johnson Apr 6 '13 at 1:28
    
If that's confirmed by the SE staff, that would explain why I've not seen such a trail before, not that I've been looking for such things. It is at the very least a plausible possibility. (And if that was the cause, this becomes a largely immaterial 'bug report', unless someone goes around cleaning up the accidental repetitions.) –  Jonathan Leffler Apr 6 '13 at 1:29
3  
@jonsca That might just be it. p.s.w.g, the user who reported the 404 problem also has a comment in the above screenshot. This does look more like a result of the bug, than an intentional comment flood. –  Yannis Apr 6 '13 at 1:30
    
@Yannis I was kidding. –  Cole Johnson Apr 6 '13 at 1:32
2  
@ColeJohnson Heh, and I just told someone their humour detector is broken. It appears mine isn't working either. –  Yannis Apr 6 '13 at 1:33
    
@JonathanLeffler Do you doubt my powers as "The Exchange Whisperer"? –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 1:33
    
@jonsca: Not having noticed your activity on MSO before — and being humour impaired to boot — I have no way to assess your capabilities as a Whisperer. You're clearly busy on MSO from your profile; OTOH, the biographical info is a little spartan, shall we say? –  Jonathan Leffler Apr 6 '13 at 1:36
1  
That's just because I'm proud of my Spartan past! –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 1:41
1  
The downside of userscripts for pro forma comments... –  hbdgaf Apr 6 '13 at 2:20
    
@CallmeV These aren't userscripts, this is a feature that is built-in to the queue. –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 2:34
1  
@jonsca Technically they are pro forma comments, the pro forma userscript was build in the review tasks. (uninteresting trivia of the day) –  Yannis Apr 6 '13 at 2:39
    
@Yannis Well count me among the learned now! Maybe I'd better resign my title as "The Exchange Whisperer", then. –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 2:41
    
Are you reporting a regression of [meta.stackexchange.com/questions/143669/…? –  Peter O. Apr 6 '13 at 4:41
1  
@PeterO.: Yes, it looks like it might be a regression of MSO 143669. –  Jonathan Leffler Apr 6 '13 at 4:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Per the comments:

No.

Big no.

BIGGER NO!

Okay, enough bold now.

There is only ever need for one canned comment per post. Adding yet another (canned) comment to a post is rude and often either offends or extremely embarrasses the OP/Answerer.

If you think you have something constructive to add not mentioned in a previous comment go ahead and add it, but make it personal and not canned. This makes the OP/Answerer feel more welcomed.

jonsca mentioned in a comment that this might be a result of yesterday's low quality posts 404 bug. I think this is highly likely seeing duplicate comments from the same people.

share|improve this answer
13  
Just to clarify, this is a no from you then? –  Yannis Apr 6 '13 at 1:23
12  
Just to clarify, this is a no from you then? –  davblayn Apr 6 '13 at 1:37
2  
@davblayn Yes. A big no. See edit. –  ɥʇǝS Apr 6 '13 at 1:40
    
@Seth thanks for clarifying, I just had to be sure :P –  davblayn Apr 6 '13 at 1:43
8  
Just to clarify, this is a no from you then? –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 1:45
    
Just to clarify, you realize that by posting an answer on a question that complains about repetitive comments you've set yourself for a world of pain, right? We're are going to troll you to exhaustion, it's the MSO way... ;) –  Yannis Apr 6 '13 at 1:49
    
I'm ready for it :) –  ɥʇǝS Apr 6 '13 at 1:52
1  
8  
Just to clarify, this is a no from you then? –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 2:09
1  
Yes, sue him! –  brasofilo Apr 6 '13 at 4:42
    
Just to clarify, this is a no from you then? –  Doorknob 冰 May 4 '13 at 1:48

Like Seth says: No. Whether reviewing or in any other situation, once a comment has been posted to say something, additional comments that say the same thing are unconstructive and bad.

Here are some additional reasons why the answer is no:

  1. Comments that don't add anything constructive should not exist.

  2. Comments that just repeat information elsewhere teach the bad lesson that pointless comments are okay or even good. Reviewers should model good standards of behavior for their communities.

  3. Multiple comments saying the same thing make reviewers look incompetent. (This is not an illusion--when we do that, we are acting incompetently.) This should be expected to decrease the likelihood that people will take review comments seriously, not increase it.

  4. Seth talks about unnecessarily embarrassing the author of the post being commented on. And that's one of the many valid reasons not to post more than one comment that conveys the same information (whether or not it's worded exactly the same). But I think it's even more embarrassing to the people posting the repeated comments. It sends the message that they don't know how to use the site (or at least the review system).

  5. As a corollary, one comment with upvotes from others who would have posted it is much more powerful than a whole bunch of comments.

  6. When a post shouldn't exist, it should take up as little space as possible. Often it's worth it to increase that space slightly to comment clarifying why it shouldn't exist and how to use the site. It's never worth it to make the post take up more space by adding more comments that say the same thing.

  7. These repeated comments stick around after the posts themselves are deleted, to distract and upset 10k users. That "it's going away soon" is no reason to get sloppy.

  8. Commenting is not a way of voting for why a post should be deleted. The default action is to leave no comment at all. The only consequence of leaving a review comment is that you've left the comment. I think most repeated review comments exist because people don't understand the purpose of the comment dialog in review.

  9. People sometimes say, "The system left it for me." I say, "Take some responsibility." The default is not to comment at all. If you choose a comment, those are your words, even though they've been said by others before. When they've been said by others in the same place, don't say them again in that place.

  10. Accidental repeated comments are easily fixed, so they should be. If you accidentally leave a review comment when another one saying the same thing has been left, you can and should fix this by deleting the comment. These comments are listed in your comment history (in the Activity tab of your profile), just like any comments, because they are no different from any other comments.

  11. If someone else leaves a review comment after yours that conveys the same information as yours, they did the wrong thing, but the simplest, fastest, and most efficient solution is still to remove your own. It's not about who left a visible comment. Your review still counted.

Related on Meta.AU: PSA: When reviewing, don't post duplicate (and near-duplicate) comments!

share|improve this answer
2  
I should probably clarify that this is a no from me also. :) –  Eliah Kagan Apr 6 '13 at 2:17
    
Read the comments under the question, this might just be the result of a recent bug and nothing more. Seth's answer appeared before we found the bug, but I'm afraid it's very likely you wasted your time typing this. –  Yannis Apr 6 '13 at 2:23
    
+1 for the link at the end.. I was looking for that like an hour ago! –  ɥʇǝS Apr 6 '13 at 2:25
1  
@Yannis Oh, Eliah loves writing this stuff. This is actually one of his shorter posts. –  user98085 Apr 6 '13 at 2:26
1  
Nothing but a bug ...? Wasted time ...? NOOOOOOOOOOOO! :) –  Eliah Kagan Apr 6 '13 at 2:30
    
Just to clarify, this is a no from you then? –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 2:35
    
Ah, a fellow Meta novelist! –  Yannis Apr 6 '13 at 2:36
    
@jonsca You're late to the party. –  user98085 Apr 6 '13 at 2:36
    
@FEichinger No one's ever late to a troll party! –  Yannis Apr 6 '13 at 2:38
    
@FEichinger Au contraire, I started the party! –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 2:39
    
@Yannis Troll parties are a myth. They do not exist. Just a gas leak. Move along people. –  user98085 Apr 6 '13 at 2:39
    
Not going anywhere until I get some cake. –  Yannis Apr 6 '13 at 2:40
    
@Yannis /me won't go for the low-hanging fruit here. –  user98085 Apr 6 '13 at 2:41
1  
@jonsca You're late to the party. –  jonsca Apr 6 '13 at 2:43
    
@jonsca slow clap –  user98085 Apr 6 '13 at 2:49

You must log in to answer this question.

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