The question was valid and I didn't find any real good explanation outside of spam, which makes no sense really if you allow questions anyway...as if a spammer cares whether its a comment or a question.

But it still stands that since my question was moved, downvoted several times which further puts me at odds of using your system and helping people which was what my question was geared at anyway and then it was locked and then deleted!

Seems like a response I'd expect from a 5th grader mentality vs a rational adult. Was this pay back for asking a touchy question? I feel like I was sucker punched because I nor anyone else can respond constructively about the real problem. Stop drinking the cool aid for a moment and realize real people with real experience that want to help and get help are often thwarted and frustrated by the merit system.

This experience along with others is killing YOUR reputation on the web. please listen to the developers that provide you feedback about your systems. Thats why META exists right?


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    The comments there are clear - downvoted for lack of research. – Oded Oct 1 '15 at 14:51
  • actually none of the comments specifically say lack of research. I did some research and had even read one of the threads that was linked before I posted my question...it still doesn't acknowledge the real problem that this system isn't very friendly to newcomers and the whole comment spam thing when I can spam a question without needing rep. – Philip Ingram Oct 1 '15 at 15:16
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    @PhilipIngram I think the first comment i.e. "These questions can be easily searched and found here on meta with multiple answers..." is pretty clearly saying that your question shows a lack of research. – Robert Longson Oct 1 '15 at 15:57
  • @RobertLongson Yes, one can find all day this very same revolving problem and debate but it still never addressed the problem. I couldn't provide a comment to any of those threads, I had to "ask a question"! How does that equate to lack of research? It was my only move outside of giving up on SE altogether. Assumptions like this are killing momentum. In a community of forward thinkers maybe we can eventually figure out a way to stop this same question being asked a thousand times. – Philip Ingram Oct 1 '15 at 16:06
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    @PhilipIngram No, people such as you making the same point over and over and over and over again is the problem round here. That's why you got downvoted and that's why we don't let people spam existing answers with comments before they understand how things work. – Robert Longson Oct 1 '15 at 16:09
  • @RobertLongson I know to some all these comments may seem spammy or over-critical but the point I'm trying to make is not everyone arrives at an SE site by starting at the landing page and reading how-to's on how to get started. Most often we arrive at a thread by searching a problem and want to jump right in. If the system wants to cull in new users, maybe we should put more focus on clarity of using the system right inside the tool-tips that notify about a restriction thus curtailing threads like these from even being started? – Philip Ingram Oct 1 '15 at 16:15
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    @PhilipIngram sure most new users see a problem. That's how I started, I jumped right in and answered a question. I made a small mistake doing that but that was OK as someone edited it into shape. People don't read tooltips or help text or anything much at the beginning no matter how much you put it in there faces they just click through till they can do what they came to do unfortunately. – Robert Longson Oct 1 '15 at 16:21
  • I'm of the opinion that if a user can't be bothered to read the instructions put in front of them, they're not allowed to complain about their rough treatment. It's right there. Not reading it, or worse, ignoring it, shows that the user isn't someone we want here. Granted, there are edge cases where users can reform, but usually, they get all huffy and leave. Good riddance, I say. – fbueckert Oct 1 '15 at 22:28
  • Some of us are too busy and want to jump right in to a familiar interface of getting involved with a problem and a solution. Nothing in my original intent desired to be spammy or even provocative at first. I get pissed when I get treated like a second class citizen because the spammers have won and rule our domains. Completely losing focus of the intention of this community only looking for the next newbie to strike down. My intent is to help and I aim to play nice even though I disagree there is still a real problem how spammers invade good user experience coming in the door. – Philip Ingram Oct 3 '15 at 7:07

Here's how your story "reads" to me. You wanted to comment. You couldn't. You experienced frustration. You might have even believed you were in a Catch-22 -- that your lack of rep was keeping you from doing the only possible thing that would gain you rep, commenting in order to gain the clarifications you needed to answer a question. (Error 1.)

Then you said to yourself "I bet NOBODY at Stack Overflow ever considered that before! If they knew about this, I bet they would change the rules!" (Error 2.) You went straight to your keyboard to ask the question, phrased in an inflammatory way that demonstrates you believe the issue is nobody thought of this before, on the wrong web site. (Error 3.) Why not, right? You want to tell people how something should be run, the last thing you want to do is invest 10 seconds in seeing how it's run right now, eh? You used terminology (article, thread) that does not apply to SO and SE, and often upsets the SO-is-not-a-forum crowd. (Error 4.)

You didn't do any looking on either meta (the per-site meta.so or this sitewide meta.se) into this issue. (Error 5.) I know that because it's raised CONSTANTLY so you would have known that people are aware that not being able to comment does frustrate and slow some people, but have decided the benefits of restricting comments outweigh that cost. You would also have learned a number of ways you can earn 50 rep without ever commenting. Simple logic tells you that the millions of current users with 50 rep all got there without commenting. You would have learned all of these errors before you ever committed them.

But you didn't. Instead you were rude, pushy, and hasty. On any site that is likely to get a question downvoted for being of poor quality - "not useful". On Meta, where downvotes can also indicate disagreement, it will happen even more so. And yes, downvotes sting. They are supposed to. You could now stop trying to suggest improvements to the site and network, or you could take a moment and learn what has already been done, how it works, how changes happen, why certain rules are the way they are, and how rules change. Hint: not by being rude. Ever.

Welcome to Meta. It's different here, but you'll like it once you get used to it.

  • Well spoken Kate, well spoken. – Patrick Hofman Oct 1 '15 at 15:28
  • Yes very well spoken and so far the best answer as of now. Most of what you said is right on mark, about my experience and my intention of showing frustration. I did research and found many others who have ran into the same problem and the same old rebuttal regarding spam. I never stumbled upon meta so yes I posted in the wrong arena. The last thing I ever wanted to do was get a degree in how to use SE! I simply wanted to jump right in and help the community that has now backhanded me so hard I've just about lost interest. – Philip Ingram Oct 1 '15 at 15:42
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    That wish to help is admirable, @PhilipIngram . But in a complex system it's not always obvious what's helpful. Unsolicited help, especially when phrased as "you're doing it wrong!" is often not received well. A little observation first will serve you well. If you can forgive the backhand reception, Meta will certainly forgive the opening stumble, and you can find lots of ways to help, I assure you. – Kate Gregory Oct 1 '15 at 15:46
  • Everyone keeps saying take the time to invest 10 seconds to learn the system but its not 10 seconds, its very allusive and quite a bit more time consuming. No where do I see on this page "New to SE? A basic getting started guide here" or "Newbie? Here's how SE works" – Philip Ingram Oct 1 '15 at 15:49
  • @PhilipIngram Some things are 10 seconds, like searching for "comment rep" on Meta or just noticing the "related questions" that appear while you type the question on Meta. Others, I agree, can take longer to learn. That's why I wrote pluralsight.com/courses/using-stackoverflow-stackexchange-sites. You could sign up for a free trial and watch it. – Kate Gregory Oct 1 '15 at 15:51
  • @KateGregory thanks that is reassuring as I haven't given up yet on SE but my momentum has definitely been slowed. I'm a problem solver and it was really off-putting running into what seems like a really big, constantly revolving problem here on SE when the focus of this system is solving problems. – Philip Ingram Oct 1 '15 at 15:52
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    @PhilipIngram: Did you take the Tour? Maybe look in the Help Center? There's also lots of helpful information here tagged faq, including this and this. You might also find some good information at How does a new user get started on Stack Overflow? – Fish Below the Ice Oct 1 '15 at 15:58
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    @PhilipIngram since you understand the focus of the system is on solving problems, why not go solve some i.e. write some answers. Pretty soon you'll find you'll be able to comment if the answers are any good. That's the skill we want you to demonstrate before we allow you to comment everywhere. – Robert Longson Oct 1 '15 at 16:00
  • @RobertLongson That's the message that needs to be clear from the get go. It wasn't. Now I'm off to go learn SE and hope that once I figure it out eventually somewhere down the line it will pay off and be worth the initial price of going down this rabbit hole. – Philip Ingram Oct 1 '15 at 16:09

You asked a question which was asked a thousand times before, it gets asked probably a few times a the week. You asked on the main site first, which isn't taken very good either by community members.

Also, your post lacks decent formatting and it reads more like a rant. You didn't do any research on the subject, since you would have easily found the answer.

That's why.

  • Perfect answer. If the same question gets asked so often that's a clear sign of either not being intuitive enough for someone fairly new to the system to easily grasp how it really works or there are problems that should be addressed for a better user experience. – Philip Ingram Oct 1 '15 at 15:10
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    Or users are lazy and don't read the results in the duplicate search on asking questions. It is all there. – Patrick Hofman Oct 1 '15 at 15:11
  • Proof. – Patrick Hofman Oct 1 '15 at 15:15
  • Yep, I saw and read many of those suggestions but I couldn't "comment" on them. The whole reason this "common" thread exists again. – Philip Ingram Oct 1 '15 at 15:44

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