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Comments are an important feature. They are especially crucial to the site, because they allow others to suggest abstract improvements or ask for clarification in answers and questions. They are also the only way to interact with other comments. That means if a link or fact in a comment is outdated/wrong or a link dies, there is no way to point that out as a sub 50/200 rep users. Comments are often the best way to interact with old questions or answers to old questions, that have a high google search rating, but might be outdated or have links to information that was (re-)moved and can be improved by changing the link or information slightly.

My suggestion would be to give new users 1 lifetime comment, and then give the right for another comment 1 week after the comment was made, if the comment is not flagged. If the comment is flagged it's removed automatically. This would require no real moderation, because users involved in a question/answer will recognize spam or noise (like "+1" "thanks") immediatly and flag. You could give this privilege after 2+ rep to prevent account creation for posting spam/stupid stuff.

This would punish and limit useless/stupid comments/spam by beginners until they are more experienced, while still giving below 50 rep users a way to contribute something to a question, where they have something meaningful to contribute.

This would really help new users to point out improvements, errors, outdated information or dead links.

See for further cases where something like that would be useful:

Allow anyone to comment but hide low-rep users' comments until reviewed

Allow new users to post comments against questions

Allow new users to post comments against questions

How to deal with 1-rep users who answer but should comment

Allow new users to comment for X times in a day

Lower the amount of reputation needed to comment

contra point:

Lower commenting threshold to 1 rep

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    The question body lack any question or feature request. Please add something, having it in the title is not enough. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Jun 2 '15 at 11:57
  • "Comments are an important feature" No, not really. They can be important some times, but most of the times they are just noise. – yannis Jun 2 '15 at 11:58
  • @Yannis, I pointed out the cases where the add to the qualities site, and could be needed for low rep users. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 11:59
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    And your mechanism to stop spammers abusing this to post comments all over the place with burner accounts is...? – Robert Longson Jun 2 '15 at 12:00
  • @Shadow Wizard I have no clue where to put it. I feel it would only add redunancy and avert from my points. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 12:01
  • @LinuxNoob1337 None of your examples seem urgent and/or important enough to justify your feature. – yannis Jun 2 '15 at 12:02
  • If a link dies or something needs updating you can always suggest an edit and even get +2 for it. – PeterJ Jun 2 '15 at 12:02
  • @Robert Longson you could give this privilege to people after 2 rep or so, that have contributed anything to the site – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 12:02
  • @PeterJ yes, but you can't suggest edits for comments and flagging rights are not global – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 12:05
  • @LinuxNoob1337 you can flag comments same way you can flag posts. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Jun 2 '15 at 12:16
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    Your edits just make this post worse. Now it's huge wall of text, still without any concrete question or suggestion. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Jun 2 '15 at 12:53
  • @Shadow Wizard, there is no "under contruction" feature for changes that need time, I think it's much better now – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 14:02
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    This would be incredibly easy to abuse. 1) Create account 2) Find a post. Any post. 3) Post spam. 4) Repeat x ten billion. – fbueckert Jun 2 '15 at 22:35
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    Yes, I have read it. And my process would be exactly what spammers would do to get around it being a single lifetime comment. They don't care; they just care about getting their product out there. There's a reason comments require 50 rep; so that users don't spend all day every day just dealing with automated spam crap. – fbueckert Jun 3 '15 at 12:01
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You make a mistake in your first sentence.

Comments are an important feature.

No, it is not. Questions and Answers are important. Nothing else matters.

If you ask a question, you can comment already, so the place where you would need comments most is covered already.

Blocking comments from low-reputation users in one mechanism against SPAM, since comment spam is very hard to track (since there is no review queue on that for example and no bumps). The comment block serves its purpose. Allowing new users to do one comment (possibly one SPAM comment), breaks this measure.

I think this feature should be kept as-is. If you have enough rep (a few up-votes is enough), you can comment as you wish (within the boundaries of the site rules).

  • you are wrong, you need 10 upvotes to comment on platforms and I am not sure if that right is global – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 12:10
  • @LinuxNoob1337: You are right. That is just here on MSE. – Patrick Hofman Jun 2 '15 at 12:11
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    @LinuxNoob1337 5 upvotes on answers. 25 approved suggested edits. 200 rep on one site, and you start with 101 on all other ~140 sites. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Jun 2 '15 at 12:21
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    So it is a one-time effort. And not one that takes that much time. – Patrick Hofman Jun 2 '15 at 12:22
  • @Patrick Hofman, but it takes knowledge for meaningful and appropriate interactions, and someone lurking a lot of sites, should also have comment rights, I have right to comment on some sites, but not on others, where I can still point out mistakes – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 12:24
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    No, for suggesting edits you don't need comments. Nor for asking a question. For answering you might need them. Let others get all valuable information out, and then answer. – Patrick Hofman Jun 2 '15 at 12:25
3

Comments are an important feature. For someone seeking advice sometimes even more important than asking questions, especially if a similiar question was already asked.

If a similar question is already asked, and at least one of them is answered, then surely you have enough data to answer your question?
Otherwise your question is different and can be asked as a new question.
Or place a bounty on one of the questions you need answering.

Comments are not for asking questions, Questions are.

They are especially crucial to the site, because they allow others to suggest improvements to answers and questions, that we're already made.

This is what "Community moderation" handles - "Edit" and "Edit Suggestions", and our reviewing systems.
Comments are for making "comments", and while can be helpful and useful, they are not that important.
If there were no comments, the site would still manage with questions and answers, and community moderating.

That means if a link/fact gets outdated or a link dies, there is no way to point that out as a sub 50 rep user.

Edit/suggested edit - then the actual issue is approached directly, rather than commenting. The Q or A OP might never see your comment suggesting to edit, whereas an edit is immediate, or an edit suggestion (if not enough rep to edit) creates a "prompt" in review queue and will be seen by others.

This is better than a comment. Plus, once the edit is done, your comment is just sat there obsolete and creating noise.

Or interact with old questions or answers to old questions, that have a high google search rating, but are outdated/have dead links.

We do have comments. This is currently possible.
So not sure what you are requesting or proposing.

Gaining the rep to comment is really not hard at all (with a little effort, which is most people's achilles heel).

My suggestion would be to give new users 1 lifetime comment, and then renew this right after 1 week if the comment is not flagged.

No idea what a "lifetime comment" is.
If you are introducing a new feature and giving it a name not currently known or used, you need to explain it in detail.

This would punish and limit stupid comments/spam, while still giving below 50 rep users a way to contribute something to a question, where they have something meaningful to contribute (even if it's just a bit).

And what about stupid comments which are left unmanaged? I see many old comments which could be cleaned up.
So this would not work

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    Sometimes differences can be subtle, and all necessary is a small clarification of an answer. Posting a question will then result in beeing tagged and downvoted as duplicate, receiving no answer and beeing on the best road to a Q-Ban as a new user. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 13:34
  • So leave a comment - we already have this, it seems your issue is getting the rep to comment, and getting 50 rep takes little effort - not much more effort than your time and effort in posting this question here. – James Jun 2 '15 at 13:38
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    Edits can only be made if you know what the correct thing is, but is not usable for pointing out mistakes or giving abstract advice. Also comments can't be edited. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 13:39
  • you need 200 rep to comment cross plattform, not 50 – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 13:41
  • "Edits can only be made if you know what the correct thing is" surely you require the same knowledge if you were going to leave a comment? "but is not usable for pointing out mistakes" that is exactly what edits are for. "or giving abstract advice" that is what Questions and Answers are for, not comments. – James Jun 2 '15 at 13:42
  • If I want to leave abstract advice to someone who created an answer, regarding his answer, I can't do it with a question or answer. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 13:45
  • "you need 200 rep to comment cross plattform, not 50" You need 50 rep to comment on a site. If you go to a site as a new user, you do not have the knowledge on that site to comment, this is why it's limited. You have to do some work on that site to gain trust to be able to comment. alternatively, once you are trusted on one site enough with X rep, you are allowed to comment on all sites. Which is just back to having to earn a certain level of trust to know you are ok to comment. Either 50 on one site, or more so you are trustable on all sites. – James Jun 2 '15 at 13:46
  • "If I want to leave abstract advice to someone who created an answer, regarding his answer, I can't do it with a question or answer" Then comment. We already have comments! – James Jun 2 '15 at 13:46
  • But not everyone can comment. Someone finding a dead link or obviously outdated information on google and just creating a site can't comment. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 13:47
  • Not everyone can comment no, that is a good thing meta.stackexchange.com/a/71390/230506 - there are usually no issues with not having enough users to manage such things. Someone will likely comment, or edit. If not, then it's a missed opportunity yes, but lowering a required threshold is not the answer to such problems – James Jun 2 '15 at 13:51
  • You could instantly remove comments of sub 50 users, when they get flagged and then only let them make another 1 if their comment stays unflagged for 1 week. This would require no moderation, because users involved in the question would recoqnize spam or junk like "+1" "thanks" immediatly and flag. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 14:06
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    You state "This would require no moderation" but also state "instantly remove comments of sub 50 users" and "they get flagged". This is more work for the community. There is no issues with getting 50 rep, and again, the time you've spent here you could have had half of it by now ;) – James Jun 2 '15 at 14:18
1

My suggestion would be to give new users 1 lifetime comment, and then give the right for another comment 1 week after the comment was made, if the comment is not flagged. If the comment is flagged it's removed automatically. This would require no real moderation, because users involved in a question/answer will recognize spam/junk like "+1" "thanks" immediatly and flag.

This would punish and limit useless/stupid comments/spam by beginners [...]

You don't understand what comment flags mean.

Let's suppose a user posts a comment that says "You have a typo in ..." and then the OP edits the question. After the edit, the comment becomes obsolete, and should be flagged as such. It would be preferable if the commenter would clean up their own comment but if other users come across the comment after it is obsolete and flag it as such before the commenter has a chance to remove it, we should not infer that the commenter is seeking to do harm to the site. Time zones, or just being busy with "real life", can prevent someone from cleaning after their comments before the community has a chance to act. It does not make sense to punish someone by revoking comment privileges because they posted a comment that became obsolete, and was cleaned as such.

Moreover, you give the example of "thanks" as "spam/junk". Spam is a very different category from "junk". Spam has a specific meaning on SE sites: spam is a post that is designed to promote a product or service. "Thanks" is not spam, unless it comes with a promotion of some sort.

At any rate, this proposal is dead in the water because it would just open the door to spammers. They would just create as many new accounts with 1 rep as needed to post their spam. The whole idea of revoking the privilege would have an effect only on those who wish to keep their account. Spammers don't. The proposal would make their life easier than it is now.

  • Ad hominem, I know what flags are, I know what spam is. With junk I meant what others refered to as noise. You can now also Spam questions or answers, nobody is keeping you from that, you can even post more than 1 per account and removal takes more time and effort than my proposed feature for comments. Comment spam was never mentioned as a reason for the restriciton in any post regarding the topic I have read and you can restrict it to 2+ rep. You could restrict that instant removal to spam/insult flags. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 19:17
  • You also don't seem to know when "ad hominem" applies in an argument. – Louis Jun 2 '15 at 19:19
  • Ad hominem again, and you don't seem to understand what it means. You are not adding anything by your writing style or your comment. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 19:21
  • I know exactly what it means. All I presented is based on the contents of your argument. – Louis Jun 2 '15 at 19:24
  • And I presented you with counter arguments, and I know the situation you are stating, I removed and flagged comments as obsolete already. But didn't include it because it is a detail, that just blows up the explanation. I now included it as an exception in my post. But you are making assumption of me as a person, not the worst of ad hominem, but still a slight note of it. I said that both your assumptions about me were wrong. Not saying the rest was wrong. Just those 2 sentences involving my knowledge. – HopefullyHelpful Jun 2 '15 at 19:27

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