Okay, I know you've already downvoted this. I did too. That's fine. Please just read a bit more before you close this tab.
tl;dr: Instead of requiring 50 rep to add a comment, throw up a modal (with an ever-increasing mandatory wait when used in close succession) describing what comments are, and are not, for. Detail how much rep they need in order to avoid the dialog. The user must clear the dialog to post the comment.
Why I'm submitting this as a FR...
I've seen this dance about ten thousand times...
- Newb creates account, goes to look for stuff to answer.
- Newb sees a moderately answerable question, needs more info
- Newb tries to comment and is denied
- Newb sees a big ol' text area at the bottom of the question they can type in
- Newb adds non-answer to the question
- Folks come along and downvote the answer.
- Newb adds comment "why are people downvoting me???"
- Folks leave comments (some welcoming, some short) telling newb this is a comment, not an answer
- Newb responds "but I can't leave a comment! I'm just trying to help!"
- Downvotes continue. People vote to delete. Maybe a mod helps.
- Newb rants about elitist Nazi snobs who downvote other answers so they can get rep on meta
- Downvoted, delete voted.
- Newb rants on facebook, twitter, reddit, Medium, the local bathroom wall about how we're not welcoming
- Repeat 10k more times
- Drama-nado eventually swallows all life on earth
That seems like a very unfriendly and unwelcoming outcome to a new user's first interaction!
If newb was already marginalized, I'm sure newb would think themselves marginalizedier. I heard some folks were concerned about that kinda thing.
I dunno, I've been a little out of the loop, was there some kind of blog post about it? Shoot me a link, k? Nobody hooked me up last time I asked :(
So, instead of flat out blocking newb from commenting, let's let newb comment and short circuit this cluster.
When they press submit on their comment, a modal dialog is shown with a countdown in the lower left hand corner and an "I understand" button in the lower right. The button is disabled until the countdown reaches 0.
Comments are intended only to ask for clarification. They are not for extended conversations, for thanking people, for stating that you also share the same problem, or similar purposes. Users with less than 50 reputation are presented with this dialog and must wait the required period of time before they submit their comment. You can gain reputation by asking good questions, providing good answers, or by editing posts to make them better.
Include an algorithm to increase the wait times when the user creates comments too fast. For example, start with a wait of 10 seconds. If they add another comment within a minute, the wait is now 20 seconds. Again, 30 seconds. Let this wait decrease over time if no comment is added. If, for example, they don't comment in the next three minutes they're back at a 10 second wait.
- New users who try to help don't get slapped in the face
- New users who aren't well versed on how comments work (bloody all of them) get an education
- New users get onboarded quicker, and are able to get reputation faster
- Questions are more likely to get answers
- Spammers will use this to bypass the block
- Without server-side control, hackers would be able to use userscripts to bypass, making the implementation a bit harder
- More crappy comments will appear
Feature update and comment about spam: Considering this is supposed to be for users trying to answer a question, in order for < 50 rep folks to get this dialog,
- The question must not be old (let's pick an arbitrary number like a week)
- The question must not have an accepted answer (maybe any answer? Play with that in testing)
- The OP of the post must not be a deleted account
As for spam... I just don't believe spam would overwhelm the comment systems. I've never even seen a spam comment. Seen hundreds of spam questions and answers, both of which a 1 rep user can add. Forcing a spammer to sit through a modal in order to add his spam when they can do it instantly... no though.
Yes, we don't have good spam detection tools for comments. No, I don't think it's anywhere near reasonable building them. Obviously, if the hose is turned on, and instead of that sweet, cool summer hose water we get a throatful of spammy diharriha, you can always turn off the spigot. You wasted some development time, but you did so for a good cause. And who hasn't been blasted in the face with a good old squirt of liquid brown before? You lived.
As for the dupe target, this hasn't got anything to do with losing rep for commenting. And neither of the answers apply to this question. So nah.