The Why and how are some answers deleted? page in the Help Center says:

Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are:

  • “thanks!” or “me too!” responses

It doesn't say anything about “thank you” comments being noise. The best reference I can find for that is a meta.SO discussion. That's neither official-looking nor discoverable (especially for users of sites other than SO).

Please mention that “thank you” comments should not be left on the comment privilege page. Proposed wording (to be added at the end of the “When should I comment?” section):

Please do not leave a comment just to say “thank you”. Upvote the answer instead.

It may be worth mentioning this on the main /faq too.

In response to some comments: I don't want to forbid all comments containing “thanks”! While I don't care for them myself, I don't mind the occasional “thanks, this was exceptionally helpful”. What I do mind is new users who feel compelled to leave a “thank you” comment on every answer to their question; I want to be able to tell them to not do this and upvote instead, and I'm requesting some official page to refer them to.

  • You should go further, auto -1 for each thanks comment!
    – Predator
    Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 22:46
  • Are you sure you meant to link Meta SO's FAQ? Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 22:54
  • 2
    @Gens No. Comments have no impact on reputation and this should not change. All I want is a clear, official-looking reference when I tell a new user not to litter the site with “thank you” comments. Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 22:55
  • 3
    I try to say thanks when I find an answer to a question I didn't ask. Specifically, I try to say how the answer was useful to my situation, and how the situation was different from the original question. In this way, it's 1) giving thanks where it is due, and 2) actually increasing the knowledge base (as hopefully my words would be found in searches). It's win-win in that case.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 23:13
  • 9
    that's a great question, thanks!
    – Asaf
    Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 23:26
  • So, what if the answer to the question didn't help the OP but they want to thank the person who posted the answer, for taking time to respond to their question. FAQ says to vote up the answer that helped most and not every answer. Sorry, if I am missing something in your post.
    – user162697
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 0:06
  • 1
    @Siva You're missing that I'm not saying never to leave a comment that says “thank you”. I'm asking for something to say not to do it systematically, especially for users coming from the world of forums where this is standard behavior. We want to make them aware that we have upvotes here and that's what they're for. Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 0:20
  • see also: Is it acceptable to write a thank you in a comment?
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 7:26

2 Answers 2



Pay it forward

Saying “thanks” is appreciated, but it doesn’t answer the question. Instead, vote up the answers that helped you the most! If these answers were helpful to you, please consider saying thank you in a more constructive way – by contributing your own answers to questions your peers have asked on Stack Overflow.

There is nothing that I know of that specifically references comments, but that should be implied. That said, there's nothing particularly offensive about thanking someone, but if you're going to do it, you should do it in a comment, not a question or answer.

  • 2
    Thanks for reminding me of this (:p), I tend to forget that this page isn't just “provide context for links”. But this page is about answers, it's not apparent that it's relevant to someone wondering what to say or not to say in comments. So my request for inclusion in /privileges/comment stands. Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 23:12
  • 19
    – user1228
    Commented Aug 6, 2011 at 18:58
  • 3
    @ಠ_ಠWon't Stop saying the word! The word we cannot hear! The word ...
    – user164291
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 0:00

The current status (Dec 2022):

The Help Center page for "when someone answers" says something to this effect, so it would be nice to also say it on the comment privilege page:

Please do not add a comment on your question or on an answer to say "Thank you". Comments are meant for requesting clarification, leaving constructive criticism, or adding relevant but minor additional information – not for socializing. If you want to say "thank you," vote on or accept that person's answer, or simply pay it forward by providing a great answer to someone else's question.

The comment privilege page does discourage "+1" comments:

When shouldn't I comment?

[...] Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, upvote it and pay it forward;

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