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I've noticed an increase in spammy comments that people post. Take an example of this answer. 3/4 comments are spam and only serve to distract. SO is a programming website and not a humour central, so I don't see the point of such things.

Can we please go easy on the spam and jokes, people?

What else can be done for such things? Reporting the comment doesn't seem to affect anything. Unless we have another feature to report "jokes" so they can be deleted faster?

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I don't think you quite understand what spam is. –  GEOCHET Sep 16 '09 at 20:15
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Sorry, I don't think this is a problem. I like that users are allowed to display some personality and humor ; ) –  David HAust Sep 17 '09 at 0:12
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what can we do about them? enjoy them immensely! –  Steven A. Lowe Sep 17 '09 at 1:10
    
You could make an enhance request to filter them out from viewing. I appreciate witty comments as much as anyone, but the Jon Skeet meme has been flogged beyond death. –  smci Dec 1 '11 at 22:40

5 Answers 5

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Humour belongs in comments not in the answers.

We should not be doing anything to the people who are making jokes in comments, because we want this to be a happy place. So as long as the humour is not offensive, I say they're perfectly allowed to do that.

See: How can we be more tolerant of humor? (sic)

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sic? –  John Rasch Sep 16 '09 at 19:28
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It's Latin, it means "thus" or "as is". In literature it is used to indicate that any grammatical or spelling errors are being quoted from the original text, and not being introduced by the current author. –  devinb Sep 16 '09 at 19:29
    
What's wrong with humor in an answer if the answer actually answers the question, or are you saying that one should refrain from posting an answer that is only humorous? –  tvanfosson Sep 16 '09 at 19:30
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Oh n/m, you're using the British spelling. The user who posted that question however is from Brooklyn, NY, so the spelling is in fact correct :) –  John Rasch Sep 16 '09 at 19:31
    
I always thought it stood for "spelling is correct" as in the quoted spelling is correct based on the material quoted from. Guess I learned something new there. –  TheTXI Sep 16 '09 at 19:31
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@devin - lol I know what it means, I just didn't see any errors in that title –  John Rasch Sep 16 '09 at 19:32
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@John: However, it is not correct for me to be using that ("humor") spelling. sic doesn't necessarily mean that the original was incorrect. It may also mean that the spelling was correct at the time (or location) and it has fallen out of favour, such as "olde" and other spellings that were used in high English. –  devinb Sep 16 '09 at 19:34
    
@tvanfosson: You can include humour in your answer. But you should refrain from having answers that are just, or even partly, jokes. If you give a solid serious answer, that does not give you license to attach a ^knock^knock^ joke at the end of it. –  devinb Sep 16 '09 at 19:39
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Just make sure you don't mention waffles or use a 'bad word'! –  GEOCHET Sep 16 '09 at 20:14

You can't gain rep on comments, so what is the problem here?

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The problem is that its like such a lot of spam, which distracts from the real technical discussion. –  Jarvis Sep 16 '09 at 19:22
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I would rather there be an overflow of distracting comments than an overflow of useless joke answers. Keeping it contained in the comments (like Lance said) provides a good outlet to vent our goofiness. –  TheTXI Sep 16 '09 at 19:28

Comments are actually a great place to contain the humor.

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a duck, a penguin, and a rabbit walk into a bar, and the bartender says "What is this, some kind of joke?" –  Steven A. Lowe Sep 17 '09 at 1:11

as long as it doesn't get out of hand, the occasional aside comment can add some much-needed levity, so I'm all for them. I don't consider this spam - but occasionally a long-running conversation (or just series of random posts, if you see the distinction) erupts in the comments; this can become a distraction, especially if the side-thread is detracting from the original post, and the OP is trying to make a serious point (even more so if any of it is abusive to other users).

You have flags (including on comments); feel free to use them. Moderators have occasionally been forced to step in to reset the comments, and... well; sometimes even then it can get messy.

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Comments don't gain the user any rep, and it's not spam as you assert (unless Jon Skeet himself is paying off users to post his name in comments). The majority of comments (on SO at least, MSO is another story) are on-topic and relatively focused and professional about getting the problem solved.
I think a lot of people would agree that we should be encouraging humor (in the comments -- definitely not as answers) and having a good time rather than penalizing users for it. That is, as long as it's not overwhelmingly distracting from the discussion at hand -- which, in the majority of cases, it's not.

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