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Proposal

If an answer exceeds a certain length (say 600 characters), remove the following options from the selection of canned comments in the low-quality queue:

  • This is commentary on another post, not an answer
  • This is a “thank you” comment
  • This is a link-only answer (and not spam)

What problem does this solve?

Answers that exceed the maximum length permitted for comments are almost certainly not valid comments, pure thank-you posts, or link-only answers. Sure, every once in a unicorn, there will be an exception to this, but I consider the following to outweigh the lack of the canned comment in this case:

As already elaborated here some reviewers love to choose This is commentary on another post, not an answer when no other of the canned comments apply, even if the post in question is clearly not suited as a comment. This doesn’t help the author of the post to understand what they did wrong and moreover it leaves the false impression that the post would actually be an appropriate comment.

Denying reviewers this option when it is almost certainly the wrong choice does not only directly alleviate this problem, it may also lead to these reviewers questioning their behaviour in general. Removing the other options isn’t really addressing a common problem (though I have seen the canned comment for thank-you posts under valid answers that happen to start with thank you) but should be done to keep things consistent.

While this may not have a huge effect, I expect this to be a low-hanging fruit as the relevant mechanics already exists (the comments are adapted based on other conditions as well).

  • "Commentary on another post" does not mean the same thing as "could fit into a comment" or "should be placed into a comment". There are plenty of answers that are commentary on another post, but are not valid comments. Length of post doesn't change whether this is an appropriate canned comment. [no additional alterations] – Nij Dec 29 '17 at 9:07
  • There are plenty of answers that are commentary on another post, but are not valid comments. – You cannot expect the new users at whom the canned comments are usually directed to understand the distinction between commentary and comments. Moreover, if the author of the answer has less than 50 reputation, the canned comment suggests that all they have to do to be able to correctly post their post is to reach 50 reputation, while most commentary is not a valid post on SE at all (i.e., neither a valid comment, question, nor answer). – Wrzlprmft Dec 29 '17 at 9:16
  • Length of post doesn't change whether this is an appropriate canned comment. – No, but it changes the likelihood whether a non-answer is an appropriate comment. Short non-answers have a likelihood of a few percents to be a valid comment (on the sites I am frequenting); I have never seen a long answer that was a valid comment. – Wrzlprmft Dec 29 '17 at 9:16

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