TL;DR: A privilege should be added to be able to "vouch for" another user's usefulness to a particular question, giving them the ability to comment on that question.

Sometimes, especially in programming teams, someone who is very familiar with a piece of software may discover or be directed to a question that they are very qualified to solve. Of course, this could also apply to a game developer finding a question about their game on Arqade or a researcher finding a question about their area of expertise on Computer Science.SE. In some cases, this person may have trouble answering the question because they have insufficient reputation to ask for clarification.

I propose that we provide a mechanism for another user to vouch for this expert's expertise or ability, which would allow that user to post comments on the question. This should require significantly higher reputation than what is required to comment (I think the "Established user" privilege, at 1000, would be a good spot). Doing this would also not notify the user, to avoid the primary problem with "private message" and "ping" suggestions. Instead, the "vouching" user would have to notify the "expert" user out of band.

  • 3
    Comments shouldn't be used for real information... if someone wants to add to an answer, they should make it a separate answer and flesh it out fully.
    – Catija
    Jan 15, 2016 at 23:42
  • 2
    Similar if not identical question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/37053/…
    – Catija
    Jan 15, 2016 at 23:44
  • I actually don't understand how that pertains to my suggestion. I am specifically suggesting granting another user to post clarification questions (i.e. comments) on a single post without the necessary rep. Jan 15, 2016 at 23:46
  • 5
    If two people both see that clarification is necessary and one user has 1000 rep... the 1000+ rep user can ask for the clarification... I don't see the "problem".
    – Catija
    Jan 15, 2016 at 23:47
  • 1
    @Catija If that's the case, next time you have to go to the store and buy some eggs, lemme use your credit card and I'll buy you the eggs. You can even stand right next to me and make sure I give the card back.
    – user
    Jan 16, 2016 at 0:21
  • This is part of what Jon (SE employee) is suggesting here: "Mentors may award a new user a mentor bonus of 50 reputation". Jan 16, 2016 at 5:55

1 Answer 1


If this is really for a single question only... and there's already a 1000+ rep user who is aware that more information is needed to answer the question, I see no reason that the 1000+ rep user can't post the comments themselves. So, I don't see the "problem" that this is solving.

There seems to be no reason to grant temporary commentary permissions to someone with insufficient rep when there's already someone with sufficient rep aware of the issue with the question.

For anything more in-depth than simply asking for clarification, comments are not appropriate in the first place and it would be better that the low-rep user posts an actual answer, as this could potentially earn them rep for helping... and lead to them unlocking the commenting privilege permanently.

  • The issue is that you've turned a single "hey, (primary developer of this software), you might want to look at this question on StackOverflow" into N round trips proxying the real answerer's questions. And this isn't a question of once -- if you assume a user who isn't active on StackOverflow, I have to do this process three to seven times before they gain enough reputation to post comments. Jan 16, 2016 at 0:41

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