I have looked at some post regarding this but nobody seem to have given its answer. For example this post Has the Comment system always required a minimum reputation? talks about this question among some others but nobody seemed to responded to it. So I request the Stack Exchange community to help us out with it.


2 Answers 2


In the very beginning, the only way to "comment" was to post an answer (which anyone can do); the @Username became a link to another answer on the page:


animuson♦, in the answer here explains:

This is a very, very old feature before commenting existed and answers were actually used to communicate with other users. The links use a hashtag identifier to link to the answer on the same page, like so:

<a href="#44667">Troels Arvin</a>

I strongly believe the requirement of 50 reputation points to post a comment was there from the very beginning of Stack Overflow, when it emerged from its private beta phase.

As Jeff mentions in Podcast #43, which was posted back in February 2009 when SO was still new:

Joel asks about the rationale behind requiring 50 reputation to leave a comment, but allowing a brand new user to post a question or leave an answer

  • 1
    It can't have applied from the start since there were only one-reputation users... Or there were no comments back then ;) Nov 22, 2016 at 13:36
  • @Pat there was a private beta phase, where users posted stuff, and gained reputation. :-) Nov 22, 2016 at 13:37
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    @PatrickHofman Comments didn't exist at the start. Jeff mentioned one of the big blunders of the initial build was that there were no comments, and so the things that people did to get around that were more disruptive than the comment feature he wanted to avoid having. Of course, it didn't take long for them to get added.
    – Servy
    Nov 22, 2016 at 15:28
  • @Servy didn't he mean before the initial migration from his blog? Nov 22, 2016 at 15:28
  • @ShadowWizard I don't remember, and I wasn't around at the time to know from experience.
    – Servy
    Nov 22, 2016 at 15:29
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    @Servy well, I asked someone who took active part in the private beta of SO, let's see if he replies. :) Nov 22, 2016 at 15:33
  • IIRC correctly, comments were not added until after Stack Overflow was public. Jeff deliberately avoided them for as long as he could, because he wanted to avoid allowing SO to be used as a forum or social network. I do know the 50 rep requirement has been there from the moment comments were first introduced, for the same reason... to encourage newbies to treat it as a Q&A site rather than a forum or social network. But this was a very long time ago. SO it 8 years old now, and I may not remember this correctly. Nov 22, 2016 at 17:16
  • It looks like I probably do remember wrong. The data explorer shows the first comment on August 1, 2008. stackoverflow.com/questions/129/… data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/582020/… That's definitely private beta territory. Nov 22, 2016 at 17:27
  • @Joel thanks, looks like this is the first comment then... but anyway, if you say the 50 rep requirement was there from the beginning, it confirms my answer. Nov 22, 2016 at 17:35
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    @JoelCoehoorn - No, you're remembering it correctly. That comment first started as an answer and was converted to a comment by a moderator: stackoverflow.com/a/130/19679 . We went back and converted a number of those in response to flags. I think comments came in late September of 2008, and there was a period where people couldn't comment. Nov 22, 2016 at 17:37
  • @Brad good to know, maybe it's worth a separate answer here then? Nov 22, 2016 at 17:39
  • @ShadowWizard but from stack exchange data dump I found some users who did only commenting which is not possible until unless there was time period when reputation restriction was not there.
    – arman
    Nov 27, 2016 at 20:02

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