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I left a comment to this question addressing Eric Lippert, known expert in the question subject asking him to help. This comment was deleted without any communication to me whatsoever. I have two questions about this incident:

  • Was it inappropriate for me to leave this comment? If so, why?
  • Should not SO have a way to give some feedback to a commenter when their comment is removed?
  • Eric has no activity on that question (unless his comment has since been deleted); there's no way to have posted a comment replying to him. That said, it sounds like the comment added no value, so I see no reason for it to not be deleted. – Servy Apr 7 '14 at 20:28
  • @Servy Well, in the past I successfully drew attention of subject matter experts to interesting questions this way. I think it happened one or two times before. It of course could be co-incidence that they stumbled across the same question on their own accord, but I find it hard to beleive – Andrew Savinykh Apr 7 '14 at 20:30
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    It's usually not good form to ask specific users to look at a question. They're busy people and Stack Overflow's model is having users participate in what they choose, when they want it. (Apart from that, as Servy says, if Eric never participated in that question, adding a "@Eric" won't notify him.) – Pëkka Apr 7 '14 at 20:31
  • If you want to reach me, try twitter or email or leave a comment on the blog. – Eric Lippert Apr 10 '14 at 5:20
  • @EricLippert thank you, appreciate this a lot. – Andrew Savinykh Apr 10 '14 at 21:10
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This one actually has a simple explanation. If you @someone when they are not already involved in the question, they will never get notified. Your comment is therefore simple noise.

More generally, Stack Overflow is not a communications platform, like Twitter or Facebook, and we'd like to keep it that way.

If you really need to notify someone about something (you really don't, but...), then the comment goes on one of the person's posts, so that it can show up in their inbox. The only time I've ever done this (other than as a part of my moderator duties) is when a question was posted about some person's software project, like Leppie's IronScheme, and I thought they might have a personal interest in seeing it.

This is still not necessary if questions are tagged properly; I would imagine that Leppie monitors the IronScheme tag anyway.


As to the feedback part, think of comments as temporary post-it notes. Comments are second-class citizens; their only sanctioned purpose is to clarify a post, or ask for clarification. Any other use subjects them to removal without notice.

  • Thank you, that answers the why part (the first question). What about the feedback part (the second question) – Andrew Savinykh Apr 7 '14 at 20:36
  • See my answer update. – Robert Harvey Apr 7 '14 at 20:39

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