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The answer in question:

The answer in question

I understand that Bryan is trying to be helpful here, but it just adds to the cacophony when the post makes it to the review queue and has the standard blurbs added. I think Bryan should instead work with Meta to have the blurbs changed, rather than casting this upon the site.

Looking at the user's comment history, it's full of this kind of copy/pasted "delete reviews" without the "delete" part.

And comments like "Possible duplicate of xyz" but without actually flagging the question as dupe.

This is a user for 9 years, but doesn't actually have access to moderation tools, so they're reusing the blurbs they had copy/pasted (or from a browser extension or bookmarklet) for that many years?

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    Reviewers have the option to leave no comment when voting to delete. This kind of 'comment spam' happens with or without non-review canned comments. I have a sneaking suspicion that reviewers view the dialog as asking why they're recommending deletion, rather than realizing it simply adds an auto-generated comment. – ert Mar 16 '18 at 5:54
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    Cross site duplicate LQP-reviewers: Please don't leave multiple similar comments. The comments serve a different purpose. They advertise the issue to the poster before the post enters the LQPQ, so that the user can edit it even before it makes it way to the LQPQ. The posts enter the queue after a small delay, if the author sees this in between, they can immediately edit their post. (or delete it). Also, the reviewers are at fault here, they should have chosen not to leave a comment. – Bhargav Rao Mar 16 '18 at 5:57
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    Having said that, though, I agree that this result is less than desirable. From an outsiders point of view, it very much seems like a 'stacks on' moderation approach to a new user. However, I disagree that the auto comments from scripts are the problem. The problem is that reviewers decided to leave a comment, when they shouldn't have. – ert Mar 16 '18 at 5:58
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    As for the "Possible duplicate" comments, the user is below 3000 reputation and they haven't earned the privilege of casting closure votes. As a moderator on Stack Overflow, I can see that they are utilizing their flags to flag them instead. – Bhargav Rao Mar 16 '18 at 6:01
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Let me explain what is going on with Bryan, since you have mentioned this user.

Bryan spends time each day to review NAA/VLQ posts (that are reported by a bot, Natty in SOBotics). He's already gotten 2,530 helpful flags so he will not get any more badges for this work. His motivation is to improve Stack Overflow, flagging these answers so that review can delete them. The fact you see a lot of comments is not strange, because Stack Overflow gets a lot of NAA each day.

Why do SOBotics members/bots leave comments when they flag?

The reason is that we can notify the user within a few seconds about the problem (user is still online, has just posted the "non" answer). These comments yes are mostly auto-comments (lots of NAA/VLQ), however they have been provided by Shog9, the Community Manager of Stack Exchange. Read more about them and a bot leaving these comment on Can a machine be taught to flag Non-Answers and post comments on them automatically?

What is the result of these auto-comments:

  1. OP reads the comment, understands the problem and deletes the post

    deleted

    The result is that we avoid 6 other reviewers spending time on this post.

  2. OP reads the comment, understands the problem and edits the post

    The result (if the edit is good), that the post is saved from review and we get a good post on Stack Overflow.

    Most members of SOBotics also tracks flagged posts using GenericBot, hence they will get notified if OP edits and will manually delete comments, retract flags if the edit has fixed the answer

  3. OP does not care and does nothing

    The result is what you have posted. Review continues to post comments onto the post but soon the post will be deleted.

If I see an incorrect comment, and I think Bryan is wrong in a comment, what should I do?

Flag the comment as "no longer needed" or ping Bryan to ask why he think he is correct.

You are also welcome to join the chat room and spend some time reviewing NAA leaving a few hundred comments every day.

Affiliation: I'm a room owner of SOBotics

  • Wow, this is excellent information that I wouldn't have found on my own. A summary or link on Bryan/Natty/SOBotics users' profiles could help avoid this misunderstanding. The amount of discussion on this question shows not many other people knew about this either. As an aside, then, could you help me understand the 15 down votes on my question? I would like to improve myself and find it difficult when the quality discussion mismatches the votes. – Frambot Mar 16 '18 at 15:44
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    @JoeFrambach Many users who are active in SOBotics have a link to chat room in profile as I do (but we can't enforce that). I think but I'm not sure that meta have been downvoting your question since you took a single user as an example also linking to users comments. Hence it became targeted towards a user that in end is just spending his/her free time (without benefit of repz nor badges) to improve SO. – Petter Friberg Mar 16 '18 at 16:02
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    In general If you are skeptic about a single user behavior try to ping them and when/if you go to meta avoid using a single user as an example, instead prefer general discussions (examples with no usernames). As far as this question goes I'm not sure how to save it, since it's very targeted towards Bryan and in-fact my answer is mostly to explain what he was up to. – Petter Friberg Mar 16 '18 at 16:02
  • Where is this feature to ping a user? – Frambot Mar 16 '18 at 16:30
  • @JoeFrambach You have multiple options, leave a comment on the answer (with @), leave a comment on a question of user or invite to chat https://chat.stackoverflow.com/users/<userId>. Find the best one, be nice if user is collaborative all is fine, if you see no collaboration (delete comments) and go to meta, but don't point finger towards user (keep it general on meta). After all meta is about setting general guidelines not hunting down single users (single users making mess on SE you should flag to moderators instead, custom flag) – Petter Friberg Mar 16 '18 at 16:38
  • @JoeFrambach join us and have fun cleaning up SO ;)! – Petter Friberg Mar 16 '18 at 16:46
6

While I understand your point of view on this, there are two possible outcomes:

  1. The post is deleted, and the comments become irrelevant
  2. The post passes the LQP review without deletion, which again, make the comments irrelevant but visible.

The post is deleted, and the comments become irrelevant

These are typically new users who post "Link Only" or otherwise low quality answers, and these comments are beneficial in assisting the user to understand what makes a good question. It is preferred that the user fixes their answer prior to it ever hitting the LQP review, which is why the comment is made in the first place.

However, not every user makes revisions to their answers. The people who leave these auto comments are beneficial in the sense that they are trying to prevent the answer from being deleted in the first place. These auto comments leave a detailed explanation on why their post may be deleted, so OP can proactively make changes to prevent that from happening.

The post passes the LQP review without deletion

This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as the question being edited to be make the post a quality answer or the LQP queue being in disagreement with the flag and it passing review.

For starters, the users of the Userscript that is used to post these automatic comments are generally notified in the SOBotics chatroom when the post has been edited. This allows the user who posted this autocomment the ability to re-review the post and determine if the comment should be removed and the flag retracted. Unfortunately, most people do not edit their post after the useful feedback is left, which is why it gets placed in the LQP queue.

If it's determined that the question did pass the review queue1 and these comments still remain, you are free to flag the comment as "No Longer Necessary". While I agree these comments can be redundant, this is usually the fault of the queue reviewers for leaving a comment when one is already made, not of the user flagging the post to begin with (and allowing the poster to make favorable changes).


1 There are many userscripts available on Stackapps that allow you to easily view the timeline on any post. You will be able to see review results and the history of that post.

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