- Help us figure out a way to handle the explosion of comments on Stack Overflow
- Our Comments Problem (at Workplace.SE meta)
Suggest to provide moderators an option to enable (and disable) throttling of comments on particular post by requiring user to review prior ones.
When this option is turned on, system would require user willing to add a comment to compare (a preview of) their comment against all prior comments on a post.
- UI could be similar to one currently used in review queues (which is not surprising as what I want is basically kind of review). User would be presented with a sequence of screens (one screen per each prior comment), allowing them to compare preview of their comment against a prior one. Last screen in the sequence would have a button like "post a comment", and of course a button to cancel posting should be present at all the screens, for the case if user decides not to post.
A (probably primary) way to use this option would be when moderator cleans up chatty comments and leaves a warning that comments are not for extended discussion. Turning throttling on would help all commenters realise that warning carries a real, enforceable authority, that it is not just a gentle reminder from a random passer by with a diamond symbol in screen name.
Another use that comes to mind is when moderator wants to help commenters avoid repeating points that were already covered (sometimes, comments discussions tend to be stuck in circles). Current comments UI is suboptimal for that (softly speaking), it is often difficult to figure what was already discussed when there are more than a handful comments.
The last but not the least, suggested throttling can be used to lower the risk of posts being polluted by users who would want to drop chatty / ranty, useless, low effort "notes". The more comments are already posted there, the more difficult it would be to add a new one. Users presented with necessity to click through 10... 20... 50 etc "review screens" would have to think really hard whether their comment is worth posting.