Or sometimes, everything actually goes well, and they get an answer! So they thank the poster… only to be told that on Stack Overflow, “please” and “thank you” are considered noise. All these experiences add up to making Stack Overflow a very unwelcoming place for far too many.

This was given as a complaint on this blog. Maybe something was already done about this; I'm not such an insider. But let me offer a suggestion for this particular problem (and maybe a few others with it).

The moderators should have an option of making comments "personal comments" that are only visible to the questioner and the answerer or commentor. This way people who appreciate it can see the thank-you, and nobody gets offended, and the site is saved from noise.

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    I guess moderators would be pleased to hear that they need to deal with those comments now. (deleting 'thank you' comments don't currently need moderator actions) – Tom Nov 3 at 20:40
  • The server can make something personal as easily as it can delete it. – Mordechai Nov 3 at 20:52
  • I am amazed how unpopular this suggestion is. This makes me agree with the quoted blog. – Mordechai Nov 4 at 4:54
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    You already agree with the answer that such comments still would be noise, other also disagree with your suggestion and you know still think Stack Exchange is unwelcoming? So, are you unwelcoming as well? – Tom Nov 4 at 8:55
  • "Nobody gets offered" someone always finds a way to be offended. – Mark Kirby Nov 4 at 10:15
  • Why downvote the suggestion and not upvote the answer? As suggested by a high-rep: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9953/… – Mordechai Nov 4 at 14:36
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    Why can't you do both, @Mordechai? Disagreeing with the premise of your suggestion is just that; same with agreeing with a response to it. The two are not mutually exclusive. – fbueckert Nov 4 at 14:37
  • Relevant Meta SO discussion: meta.stackoverflow.com/q/260776/8239061 – SecretAgentMan Nov 4 at 16:01
  • Downvotes on meta on a proposed feature mean "I disagree", whereas downvotes elsewhere mean "Your post sucks and you suck as a person and I hate you, rarrrrrr". I see why, but yes it's very jarring and probably doesn't help with the unwelcomingness. – Leopold says Reinstate Monica Nov 5 at 6:00

This is still noise for the answerer: People want to see comments that tell them how to improve answers or that an edit has been made in response. They don't want that useful information lost among "thank you!" comments.

This is more work for the moderators: Now, users make few noise comments because they know they're unwanted. In the proposed solution, they would make those noise comments, and then a moderator would have to come by and mark them.

It's probably unnecessary: Good answers can be rewarded with upvotes, with being marked accepted, and with bounties. Is a fourth way to reward an answer useful?

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    This still might be a good device in the more grey areas where personal comments are made, but you're probably right that the loss would outweigh the gain. – Mordechai Nov 3 at 21:03
  • To be fair there will only be just so many thank you comments. One of them. – Amarth Nov 3 at 21:13
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    @Amarth potentially it's one for each person that was helped by that post. Remember that answers are not solely for the person who asked the question - it's for anybody else who also has a similar question in the future. If you look at popular questions, some answers have multiple "this worked for me" or equivalent comments. – VLAZ Nov 3 at 22:26

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