In this question someone thanked me for an edit, and I could have sworn that I responded. Later, I could not find my own comment, which only said "You're welcome." So I posted it (again?). Then I was wondering if it was removed by a moderator, and if such comments are discouraged, so I thought I would ask here for a straight answer.

The comment looks like this:

@TLP Thanks for the "\@"; that's an important fix. – chepner 
You're welcome. – TLP 

Personally, I think one should answer "thanks" with "you're welcome", because, well, that's just basic courtesy, and leaving that out makes me feel uncomfortable. And I would think that it also would be noticed by people who give thanks.

Also as a side note, if a comment is removed by moderator, it would be nice to be notified about it somehow, so as to clarify that I did something wrong, and what it was. (And why, preferably)

Update: To clarify, this is not a "long term" question, if someone deletes the comment a day or so later, and the person it was sent to has read it, that is fine.

  • 2
    Comments are temporary, don't expect even highly relevent ones to stay in the long term (they should be incorporated into an answer/question if they are of long term importance) Mar 19, 2014 at 13:32
  • 1
    You can upvote the comment that "thanks you" for your work to signal that you've seen it.
    – user221081
    Mar 19, 2014 at 13:32
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    I do add such comments, however I also do a cleanup (read delete) after a couple of days because comments should be used primarily for getting clarifications on the post. Comments like "thank you" or even "+1" are unconstructive for the future users. Mar 19, 2014 at 13:34
  • The comments textbox got placeholder text. Did you read it by any chance? Mar 19, 2014 at 13:44
  • meta.stackexchange.com/q/199522/151832
    – Bolu
    Mar 19, 2014 at 14:01
  • Like I said in the update, I expect that over time such comments might be deleted. However, this was the case of them disappearing within minutes, which left me confused as to whether I made the comment or just thought I did.
    – TLP
    Mar 19, 2014 at 14:04
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    @TLP On the smaller corners of the network, the moderators may post a single comment explaining why a comment thread was deleted, or wait a couple of days for all participants to read the comments before they delete them. On SO, however, the moderators face an ever increasing workload, and giving any kind of special consideration to comments (which aren't that important anyway) is simply not feasible.
    – yannis
    Mar 19, 2014 at 14:22
  • Good point Richard. I've converted several comments into actual answers, since they actually answered the question. In all of those cases, there was no other answer given except in the comments.
    – ouflak
    Mar 19, 2014 at 15:02
  • I note with a certain amusement that 23 hours after asking this question, my "you're welcome" comment has been deleted again. On the other hand, no one deleted the "thank you", so once again I appear to not have responded. I guess mods do have a sense of humour.
    – TLP
    Mar 20, 2014 at 12:43

2 Answers 2


It's not at all discouraged - there's nothing wrong with being nice. In fact, we encourage being nice.

But just like taglines in posts, these comments clutter up the page and provide nothing of value to future readers. They'll inevitably get flagged as "too chatty" and deleted.

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    Eh, what a waste of a moderator's time. I can see why they would be flagged, but we could all be a little nicer to each other on the StackOverflow site especially since sometimes things are prone to misunderstanding. A Thank you or "Hey, this really helped me". Goes a long way. Mar 19, 2014 at 13:51
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    I agree with GI Joe. When making a contribution, I care more about someone saying "thank you" than getting an extra upvote. When someone just accepts an answer without a word, it feels sort of rude. Thank you for clearing this up, animuson.
    – TLP
    Mar 19, 2014 at 14:09
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    @GIJoe I agree. It is a waste of our time. I really wish these comments were deleted by 10K users or automatically aged away. They're distracting, not useful to future visitors, and really just cloud up the site. If you really want to thank someone, upvote them. Mar 19, 2014 at 14:42

Comments are not supposed to be long term (many end up being that way but thats a seperate issue).

Answer according to the rules

Comments are really supposed to be to request clarifications, of the form "what is variable x in your question" or "this answer gives result A, but the OP wanted B. Perhaps you need to add foo()?". They aren't really for compliments.

Real world answer

Now lets be realistic, people are people and will post "thank you"s and as long as they are tightly involved with the post I don't really object to that, the question OP posting a thank you for your answer or an answer OP thanking you for an edit isn't going to bring down the system. When everyone starts thanking people and saying "good answer" it becomes a big problem however. But even those "thank you"s aren't really supposed to be be there are may be deleted if a mod notices them; this tidies up the post which makes the key information more visible for everyone. Even more so for a thank you for a thank you.

So in conclusion, I don't think you did anything really wrong although the thank you to a thank you is probably taking it too far but ideally delete your comment as soon as the person its directed at sees it and don't be surprised if someone else deletes it in the mean time

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    Thank you, and yes, over time I would not mind "polite" (read: boring) conversation to be deleted. However, at times I do feel that the frivolous comments are not irrelevant, but the lifeblood of this community, adding humour, consideration and other human emotions.
    – TLP
    Mar 19, 2014 at 14:14
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    @TLP It would be quite nice if mods had a "delete in 48 hours" option but I do not believe that is available, sadly Mar 19, 2014 at 14:15
  • I started pondering this and came to the conclusion that it could probably be done automatically, such as "delete read comments (without upvotes) after a question has been inactive for X days". Assuming that removing excess comments is considered important enough for such a process.
    – TLP
    Mar 19, 2014 at 14:18
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    @TLP That might be a little over-zelous. Sometime important comments aren't upvoted, especially on low traffic tags Mar 19, 2014 at 14:20

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