I'd like to see a way to automatically remove an answer and turn it into a comment.
There have been times - admittedly few - when I was reviewing a low quality answer, and it would be a perfect, valid, useful comment on the question. It leaves me with the ugly situation of "Write a comment on the invalid answer essentially saying: 'Great comment! Post it when you have 50 rep, otherwise, don't answer.'", or "recommend it for deletion as a comment." I've spent about thirty minutes surfing discussions here on Meta:
- Allow anyone to comment but hide low-rep users' comments until reviewed
- New users can't ask for clarifications except as answers
- Lower commenting threshold to 1 rep
and maybe a few others, as well. It seems the consensus is: "Comments have to have a high (for noobs) threshold to avoid spam. A comment queue is crazy because it would be way too huge. We're stuck with it." One person said that they as a reviewer copy the "answer" into a comment, but then the new user doesn't get an atribution, and I've seen others say "That's horrible - that encourages them to abuse the answer-as-comment."
And I'll admit - there are few very worthy comments posted as answers. And yet, the fact exists - there are still good ones, asking for clarification on the question that no one else has asked.
If we choose "vote to delete because it's better as a comment", can the system automatically move the answer to a comment on the question? (Or have a checkbox that enables that behavior.) It seems to me, this solves all of the problems - you won't gain any more spam or any new review queues.
I've seen others say, "The comment system just needs to be redone", and if/when it is, that will likely avoid this issue. So maybe my solution is coding to a bug. But it seems to be a viable solution for the answers-as-comments we receive.
Based on comments from Robert Harvey, I'd also be happy with a moderator flag that I could use for the good posts, so that the moderator could then convert the answer to a comment. (We'd need minor tweaks to the review help just to make sure the reviewer is aware of this option.)