966

I edit a lot of posts every day. I often run across posts with 'Hi' and 'Thanks' on the top and the bottom of the post respectively. I also run across things like:

--User

Should these items be removed during the editing of the post by an editor?

  • 199
    Kill it with fire. You want to do social you get on Facebook. :) I like the questions just to be questions (without any noise). – PeeHaa Jan 30 '12 at 19:35
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    I can't speak for ALL the users, but I've just found this question yesterday. Despite the fact I find this answers very useful, doesn't seem appropriate to call it "clear decision" since opinions continue to go both ways. – Zuul Jul 17 '12 at 14:32
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    Opinions do not go 'either way'. Look at the answers and the votes on them. Just because we have a vocal minority it doesn't override the overwhelming support for the removal of such extraneous clutter from posts. It also does not override the site policy listed below as well. – GEOCHET Jul 17 '12 at 16:27
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    Just to be clear, I've been editing a lot lately over on SO, and I've become a little worried that I'm being perceived as a serial editor for no point, I've been formatting code and correcting spelling but also I've removed a ton of Thanks, Thx, Please help !!! Cheers etc... Can one reassure me I'm alright with this behaviour otherwise I'll stop doing it, but I do feel like I'm improving the quality. – Daniel Aug 13 '12 at 21:44
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    Should we promote this to faq-proposed (with the appropriate work)? It seems like a good enough thing. – Cole Johnson Aug 13 '13 at 4:43
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    A better way to give back to the community than using an impersonal, empty thank you stuck at the end of a question before people even answer, is to: spend extra time making your question concise and clear, read all answers carefully, vote for the good ones, award the best answer with an extra 15 points, make comments on any new things you've realized that could help future readers, let an answerer know if something's wrong in their answer, etc. – Garrett Oct 13 '14 at 21:06
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    For people who do insist on explicitly giving verbal gratitude, writing thank you in a comment under an answer is preferable to a undirected thank you in a question that hundreds of thousands of people will read. Suppose that the thank you message in a question distracts each reader for an average of 0.5 seconds and suppose the answer has 100,000 views. 100,000 * 0.5s = 14 hours. So 14 hours have been spent on people reading a thank you message for something they didn't do. – Garrett Oct 13 '14 at 21:14
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    In some places, it just doesn't make sense to add a thank you tagline. Stack Exchange is a site for disseminating information. Notice that articles in academic journals don't end with Thank you. – Garrett Oct 13 '14 at 21:20
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    Possible duplicate of Are taglines & signatures disallowed? – Robert Longson Mar 15 at 8:39
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    Would be so great to have these things automatically removed. Just bloats up questions. – stats0007 Jun 18 at 21:55
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    Hello everyone. Just discovered this. It's very stupid. Thanks. – Robbo Aug 12 at 17:49

35 Answers 35

-11

A solution to this problem could be to add a method like code blocks or code span with backticks, in order to add additional greetings. Thus the greetings could be turned off by a simple switch for users who prefer plain raw questions and left in tact for the users who prefer a more human response.

-13

When asking a query I often write/want to write "thanks for reading". I honestly appreciate and am grateful for someone taking the time to read my query. If they can go on to answer in addition, I'll thank them for that also.

I think it's a disgrace that my warmth and appreciation is being removed and thus my presentation of myself is being violated.

-15

I feel enough like a robot. Please let us feel like human with a little "hi" or "thanks". There is nothing wrong with this I think... No, don't remove; especially askers may use "hi" or "thanks".

-19

I am a die-hard thanker. I always end my questions with the phrase "Thanks so much!". (I do not start questions with "hi" for various reasons)

Game-theory is what mainly dictates my approach. This is an interesting situation to apply game-theory to:

Assumptions

  1. Ending a question with "Thanks so much!" clutters up the forum and makes it harder for people to scan questions and answers for the content that they are looking for.
  2. Ending a question with "Thanks so much!" increases the quality and quantity of answers because it makes people who might potentially answer the question feel respected and appreciated.
  3. Editing "thanks yous" out of questions discourages people from asking questions in the future, especially people with sensitive, creative personality types who are likely to carefully ask thoughtful questions.

Conclusions

(based on acceptance of all three assumptions)

  • People should probably say "thank you" at the ends of their questions.
  • The "thank yous" at the end of questions probably should not be edited out of them.

Analysis

If you accept assumption #2, then fewer answers would exist if people stopped thanking. This probably eclipses the problem of clutter when holistically looking at the overall best interest of the forum.

Interestingly, if you disregard the weakest assumption, assumption #3, then people should add "thank yous" when they ask questions and then they should be edited out later after the question has been satisfactorily answered.

If the network was full of people like me, assumption #3 would be incorrect. But I've talked to very many super thoughtful and intelligent developers who never ask questions on this network because they are afraid of backlash. And it seems very many other questions are asked by people who brazenly post questions that are not well thought out and detract from the quality of the forum. These people are likely more insensitive to the needs of others and likely care a lot less about "backlash".

If you disregard assumptions #2 and #3, then people should not say thank you at the ends of questions and if they do, they should be edited out.

  • I disregard all of the assumptions. Look, SE is NOT a forum. This is the most common misconception of Stack Exchange. And "thank you" does not clutter all the questions. As some people said, there is a secret I can't tell you! message that says "Thank you" already at the end of people's questions. The "Thank you" message only adds a little bit to the post, and I already feel appreciated when I answer a question. And I ask questions, but I just like to think that there is a secret "Thank you" message at the end of the question that we just can't see... – zixuan Aug 7 at 17:30
-20

Random salutations help add uniqueness and personality to questions. Words such as thank you improve the life of the receivers. (as long as they are located in a common location such as the bottom of a question and we can assume the entire containing sentence can be ignored as it's irrelevant to the post)

I don't think "thank you" or other appreciations should ever be removed. These keep stackexchange sites from being just rock and mortar plain Q/A sites, and they let human love flow through and around. Everyone needs love.

  • 6
    Everyone needs food, clothing, housing, something to dream about, and safety from threats, too, but you don't see Stack Exchange trying to provide those. – Nathan Tuggy Mar 21 '17 at 20:30
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    You totally miss the whole point of Stack Exchange. This is not a social forum, never was, never will be. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Mar 21 '17 at 21:57
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    What's wrong with having "Thanks." at the end of a question? it takes up 1 line of space, big deal. Could be good manners. If it's such a problem to have thanks in your question, then all the sarcastic and misleading and off-topic comments on Q/As should be removed. Yet there's so much stuff out there. Stack exchange currently is not what you guys describe here. The attitudes in comments are to show. Fine, let's keep the junk in the comments where it's more out of sight. – CausingUnderflowsEverywhere Mar 22 '17 at 1:03
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    @CausingUnderflowsEverywhere - SE's (admittedly lofty) goal is to build a knowledge base of relevant Q&As. Salutations and 'Thanks' shouldn't be put in because the person asking/answering is secondary to the knowledge they are requesting (or providing). Also, SE comments are not considered anywhere near the importance of the question/answer they are attached to. They aren't meant to stay permanently - they can (and regularly are) deleted when they are too noisy. – Robotnik Mar 22 '17 at 5:33

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