Before down voting: If you down vote, leave a comment; the least you could do is prove that you care by leaving a comment of why you down voted. Down voting with no comment really only hurts the community more.. There hasn't been any good explination as to why no one is looking into this. Spam and "its a pain" just don't quite cut it. There are many ways to avoid spam, and laziness is no excuse.

The situation: This seems like a big conflict. New users are forced to gain more info on the sitautions through answers, which is something that is frowned upon. This seems good for commenting on answers, but requiring it for commenting on questions force new users to use an answer to gain more info from the OP. Now that I have enough rep to do reviews, it seems like a very common problem.

I understand that this leads to the possibility of spam, but there are ways to get around this. I think the combination of moderation of comments by people with under 50 rep and filtering comments to check for repetition, links, and any other things you feel would be good to look for (maybe relevance to tags/title; get creative). Of course it wouldnt be the easiest thing to do, but its definitely progress.

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    Have you considered potential drawbacks? (For example, spam in the comments from brand new profiles. Keep in mind that comments aren't moderated the same way as answers - they don't bump questions, they don't show up in review, etc.) – Adam Lear Jun 11 '14 at 1:03
  • Of course I have, but this seems to be a pretty big conflict. Maybe have comments by people under 50 rep (on questions) to be reviewed (similar to first posts). Some system should be implemented to avoid confusion and conflict (shouldnt answer a question with another question or if its not an answer; yet theres no way to communicate with the poster other than through answers) – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 1:07
  • See also: Lower the amount of reputation needed to comment. – senshin Jun 11 '14 at 1:09
  • @senshin Lowering the amount does not fix the situation; spending just a few minutes thinking of the situation, I have thought of a few ways. I'm sure if great minds came together, this flaw could be fixed – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 1:10
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    Sorry, I wasn't clear - you should address these drawbacks in your feature request. – Adam Lear Jun 11 '14 at 1:11
  • @AnnaLear What do you mean? I fixed up my question, but I already listed the drawback of the permission in my original question, if that's what you're talking about – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 1:19
  • Moderating comments is already painful at times, and doing so for every comment by a user below 50 rep just wouldn't be ideal. – Jamal Jun 11 '14 at 1:43
  • @Jamal That only proves that the current moderating system isn't powerful enough. Progress should always be made, and "its a pain" doesn't seem like a good reason to totally disregard the flaw. Like I said, it would be a lot of work, but the problem isn't just gonna go away (itll actually increase if the community were to increase). Its something that shouldn't be seen so lightly. Lowering the rep required only waters down the problem; it will always exist until someone does something about it. There should at least be some discussion on how this flaw can be fixed – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 1:57
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    "just don't quite cut it" is the signal that says you won't listen to any reason – random Jun 11 '14 at 2:06
  • How is this about laziness? Sure, maybe this wouldn't be so bad on small sites, but on large sites like Stack Overflow, it'll overwhelm moderators even more. We still have to deal with comment flags from users with over 50 rep. – Jamal Jun 11 '14 at 2:10
  • @random Not at all. I have stated that I'm looking for GOOD reason. They can elaborate if they feel I didn't understand them correctly. I state 2 things that were pointed out; both of which were things that, with a little thought, could be managed. Your comment is the signal that says you don't care about the problem. You never specified what "reason" i didnt listen to, nor gave a good example of me not listening to any reason. Please express your opinions on the topic, rather than my personality. If you feel i disregarded an important fact, let me know. (and actually elaborate) – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 2:12
  • @Jamal The laziness comes in where people start thinking the current systems are the only systems that can be used, and that theres no fix to the current problem. Just like reviews, let the community help. – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 2:14
  • Perhaps there hasn't been a fix yet because an ideal solution hasn't been found. This would be a major change to the network, and it cannot be rushed. At this time, moderating non-answers is still easier than moderating bad comments (and such comments will still need to be flagged for removal). – Jamal Jun 11 '14 at 2:20
  • @Jamal Thank you for finally giving a reasonable answer (an ideal solution hasn't been found). Is there any discussion about possible solutions or somewhere people can sumbit ideas? If not, would it be ideal to start a discussion about it? Sorry for the semi-OT questions; i feel it would be a burden on the community to ask a question thats so petty (or might have already been asked: of i'm allowed to start a discussion about possible solutions) – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 2:34

The idea of moderating all comments seems unrealistic. Just to give you an idea of what moderating comments would entail:

This graph is showing you the number of comments added to the system weekly, just on StackOverflow All Comments by week

This one is showing you comments added just by users with less than 50 reputation. They are commenting on their own posts 41K times. All Comments by users with less than 50 rep

41K comments to review, weekly, is not a small task, and that just for users that can only comment on their own questions. It gets worse when you realize that many of the highest up voted comments come from users with more than well over 50 reputation, and still fall pretty close to the too chatty line.


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  • "They are commenting on their own posts 41K times" but this is applying to comments on questions that AREN'T yours. "The idea of moderating all comments seems unrealistic" The idea of air planes was once unrealistic. Then someome who had a good view on the situation came along and now its more real than ever, sending people to the moon. A lot of people are answering this question with a closed mind; – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 3:57
  • Part 2 of previous comment: Not to be rude, but these statistics do not totally relate to the issue. Yes, there are a lot of people with less than 50 rep commenting on their own stuff (and thank you for interesting info), but what does that have to do with the situation? This situation does not factor in "all comments"; only comments on other questions. – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 3:58
  • I wish I had this data back when I wrote this: meta.stackexchange.com/a/214152/217863 – apaul Jun 11 '14 at 4:40
  • @apaul34208 I already commented on all of those with an opinion. And thanks for the all the info (it really got me interested in the way things work on SO), but if more things were opened up to the reputable community, then things will be easier to manage. Of course some loopholes would have to be fix (for example, people editing small things for +2 rep many times), but at leasting having it as an option to the reputable community will really take a lot off the moderators' work load. – Dioxin Jun 11 '14 at 5:06

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