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I apologize if this question has already been asked but I've searched high and low and not found an answer. Commonly, on SO and many other Stack Exchange sites, when I see a post flagged as a duplicate, spam, off-topic, and so on, someone will post a comment like "Off-topic; belongs on Server Fault or possibly Super User". Is this good practice? Should this be done? Is this something the flagger should do after submitting a flag? To me it seems a bit offensive and could garner dispute from an argumentative poster, but that's just my opinion.

As a quick example, a comment like this can be found here: setting up phpMyAdmin with WAMP server posted by a Mr. Jim Garrison.

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  • If the post is off topic, but fits for SF or SU, I don't see why it would be offensive to state this – StephenTG Aug 16 '13 at 16:09
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    It's unbelievably frustrating when people do this... not because it's offensive (why would it be?) but because the new user (most likely) then goes and posts on Super User etc. Then their question gets migrated, probably with an answer or two and someone has to work out which should remain and which should be closed... – ben is uǝq backwards Aug 16 '13 at 16:10
  • @StephenTG It's just an example. It's not particularly offensive but again, in my opinion, telling a poster you've flagged their post could garner dispute if the poster is overly aggressive or argumentative. I'd personally rather avoid possible arguments over the validity of a flag with a poster in the comments. – DanteTheEgregore Aug 16 '13 at 16:11
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    @ZachSmith if the poster is argumentative, you don't have to respond. More often than not, arguments don't extend beyond the post so why worry. – psubsee2003 Aug 16 '13 at 16:14
  • @psubsee2003 True, but again, the question hinges more on whether commenting that you've flagged a post is good practice or not. I'm just expressing my personal worries. – DanteTheEgregore Aug 16 '13 at 16:16
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Note that some of the comments that you're seeing may be auto-generated, the system will add comments even when the flagger or close voter didn't explicitly post a comment:

possible duplicate of...

or when someone uses a custom close reason:

This question appears to be off-topic because...

and so on.

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  • True, but, as an example, I recently flagged a post as off-topic because it belongs on Serverfault and not Stackoverflow. There was no auto-generated comment in this case. There are times when users legitimately post comments to fill that void. – DanteTheEgregore Aug 16 '13 at 16:27
  • @ZachSmith I'm aware of that, just trying to point out that a great many of the comments of this sort are automatically generated. – apaul Aug 16 '13 at 16:31
  • @apaul34208 I know, but the question is whether it's good practice to post comments when one isn't generated or to avoid it and stick with flagging it in private. Everyone seems to be hung up on problems other than that specific question. – DanteTheEgregore Aug 16 '13 at 16:33
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    @ZachSmith I think that's up to your own discretion on a case by case basis, if you're commenting to be helpful go for it, in the case of migration it may be best to leave it be. If a question is too broad or lacking info it can be helpful to point that out. – apaul Aug 16 '13 at 16:35

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