21

A new user asks their first question and someone comments first with just "Welcome to [stack exchange site X]".

The comment was made only for the purpose of welcoming the user to the site. They do not say anything about the question at all and do not contribute further after this comment.

Although such comments might be encouraging to new users they do not contribute to the question in any way. Should these be flagged, and if so with what flag? It seems that in these cases where it's not followed by some more constructive info, it could fit under either non-constructive or too chatty.

  • 5
    As soon as the user ceases to be new the comment is obsolete. – Flexo Aug 4 '14 at 17:59
  • 7
    please distinguish between comments that consist solely of a welcome and those that start with a welcome and include genuine commentary on the question or answer in addition to the welcome – Kate Gregory Aug 4 '14 at 18:10
  • 1
    @KateGregory Of course, if the comment contributed to the question somehow but also included a welcome I would leave it alone. I have edited my question to clarify this. – Fr33dan Aug 4 '14 at 18:19
  • There's a very good answer for this question on this other meta post. – Tiago Cardoso Apr 15 at 2:20
18

It depends on your site, so consult its meta on how to handle these. Whether you should flag them or not, or when to flag them, depends on the site.

This may be surprising, but some sites' communities actively engage in comments like this as a standard practice. Others don't. There's no network-wide rule here, and not much point trying to look for one.

Stack Exchange isn't really homogenous - different communities have different needs to properly engage in their subject matter, and different pressing issues, so Stack Exchange policy enforcement will vary a lot between sites as needed. A site making an active attempt to retain new users, for instance, would see these comments as healthy. (An ideal welcome comment might do more than just say "welcome to {site}", but welcome comments are nevertheless ok.)

The moderators of a given site may also focus their limited time on different, much more pressing matters, and thus through deliberate inaction (rather than community policy) accept these comments.

Board & Card Games does this and leaves those comments there for a while. So does Role-playing Games (such as in Can I cause a Bleeding Fullstrike with a Concussive Weapon? and If aspects are facts, are all facts aspects?). We leave these comments there for a while, and flag them for removal a while later (hours/days as appropriate) if we spot them. We also take the opportunity to make these comments useful when there's something useful to say, such as in Where Should I Start? and What materials/information would I need to construct a gameworld?

RPG.SE isn't just being lazy about their comment policy, though. Its mods and community enforce Stack Exchange's comment policies more strictly than any SE site I've seen yet. (There may be more strict, I just haven't seen it.)

Other sites will delete these comments on sight. That's up to them and their users.

  • It was seeing it in Board & Card games that made me decide to ask (and I infact flagged the comment on the question you linked shortly after Shadow Wizard's answer). I was under the impression flagging policy was supposed to be consistent across all sites. – Fr33dan Aug 4 '14 at 23:11
  • 1
    It's not totally consistent across all sites. Some fundamental chunks are consistent (e.g. flag spam and offensive behaviour, flag as NAA when someone's using answers to ask another question), and sites are in general agreement on most of the rest, but each site has its own variations. – doppelgreener Aug 4 '14 at 23:19
  • 2
    @Fr33dan It appears that each site (especially the 2.0 sites) needs unique variations on the general policy in order to adjust the Stack Exchange format to the individual site's subject matter. SF&F.SE is an example of a 2.0 site whose subject matter is so unlike the original Stack topics that it has to outright ignore some fundamental Stack guidelines. That site's entire community gives pushback against attempts to moderate comments for chattiness or "answer-in-a-comment-ness." – BESW Aug 4 '14 at 23:22
13

Yes, such comments, when they consist solely of a welcome, and nothing else useful, should be flagged either as "not constructive" or "too chatty" as it's both.

Those flag reasons exist for a reason.

3

I believe that for new users there is no problem with a sentence of welcome, followed by an orientation, for example, the link to "How to Ask". For example:

Welcome to [stack exchange site X], this question is too broad, try to be more specific or if you need help, see how to ask

  • If this were the context I would not even think about it. But in this case the commenter has not said anything about "Welcome" (and in some cases probably should have made comments like the ones you mention). – Fr33dan Aug 4 '14 at 18:15
  • 1
    My comment is supposed to say "has not said anything but 'welcome'", not "about 'welcome'" and I'm too late for an edit. – Fr33dan Aug 4 '14 at 18:39
  • 14
    Welcome to Meta Stack Exchange! – ShaWiz Aug 4 '14 at 18:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .