Stack Exchange have been getting a hard time with regards to recent changes made, so I thought it would be good to point out a small thing, I think, is making a good change.

I am refering to the recent change of the duplicate auto comment, it was

Possible duplicate of...

but now says

Does this answer your question?

The change I have observed with this is in the reply I receive when flagging the duplicates, they used to be universally negative, people complained that I was just trying to close their questions etc.. (you know what I mean, I am sure) but since this small change I have been getting

Yes, that is what I needed!

That really helps thanks!

Just what I was looking for!

This indicates that the change in wording has changed the perception of these comments and it is nice to receive some thanks for the effort of finding these duplicates for a change.

Well done SE, good job.

Has anyone else noticed this change, do you think these small thing make a difference to the user experience?

  • 11
    One problem with the change is that, by being in the form of a question rather than a statement, the new auto-comment encourages a reply, which messes up the comments section a bit more. (I was going to post this as an answer, but not sure if it's the kind of response you're looking for, or rather missing the point of what you're talking about.) Dec 7, 2019 at 12:27
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    Does this answer your question? New Post Notices are live network-wide - Complaints about "Post Notices" should be an answer (feedback) to the announcement.
    – Rob
    Dec 7, 2019 at 13:02
  • 1
    @Rob This isn't a complaint, nor is it really feedback on the content of the changes. I'm just pointing out a nice change I noticed that seems to be related to the changed wording of that comment. I don't think this is a duplicate of that post at all.
    – Mark Kirby
    Dec 7, 2019 at 13:07
  • 2
    Mark, a possible "complaint" (as Randal'Thor pointed out, and you essentially reiterated) is that it leads to "thank you" comments. Alternatively, a positive outlook (a "compliment") as you have indicated, is a "feedback" (IE: "You like the change."). What makes it a duplicate is that they wrote: "General feedback is welcome on this post, as are feature-request and bug reports. We promise to read everything, and will do our best to engage with the community to address concerns that are raised." - You can offer this question as an answer there, saying "Good job.".
    – Rob
    Dec 7, 2019 at 13:38
  • An alternative is that this could be closed as primarily opinion based, in which case there would be no link to that Announcement. - So, edit, copy / paste there, delete here. Or, just leave it.
    – Rob
    Dec 7, 2019 at 13:46
  • Does this answer your question? Confusing comment “Does this answer your question?”
    – pkamb
    Dec 7, 2019 at 23:28
  • I added "Does this answer your question?" to the New Post Notices post: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/339700/…
    – pkamb
    Dec 7, 2019 at 23:39
  • Mark, it is true that user pkamb added this question there; definitely a duplicate now.
    – Rob
    Dec 8, 2019 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


When I read the question initially, I thought that you missed

<sarcasm>Well done SE, good job</sarcasm>.

Such comments are considered noise in Stack Overflow.

If the new automated wording encourages users to create non-constructive comments, then it is not a success.

Do you explain it to OPs?

Many users flag “thank you” comments for deletion. E.g. see Should a "thank you" comment be flagged?.

Maybe the new message “Does this answer your question?” should add further instructions, something like:

“If it does, please upvote that answer and consider to delete your question, if it doesn’t add any value to the site”.

Suggestion to delete should appear only if there are no answers to a new question. Link in [delete your question] can refer to the page explaining reasons why question should be deleted or not.

  • Duplicates can serve a purpose, namely directing users to the other question when they use other search terms. So out-right deleting them shouldn't be the go-to option.
    – Luuklag
    Jan 7, 2020 at 14:52
  • Duplicates should generally not be deleted
    – OrangeDog
    Jan 7, 2020 at 23:41
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    @OrangeDog Duplicates should not be deleted by the system or other users. But asker should consider to delete the question if it doesn’t add any value to the site. I’ve updated the answer to add extra considerations for OP should question be deleted or not. Jan 8, 2020 at 12:40
  • This edit doesn't touch upon the reason why duplicates should not be deleted. Duplicates serve as guideposts towards the answer, as they contain alternative wording, that can cause someone doing a google search to find the duplicate, rather then the original question. Deleting the duplicate leaves said googler without any results and has them ask the question again.
    – Luuklag
    Jan 8, 2020 at 12:42
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    @Luuklag, all your points are correct ( probably originated from Jeff’s blog (stop worrying and love dupes)[stackoverflow.blog/2010/11/16/… to convince people, that existing duplicates are not bad and they are sometimes useful for the site. However for a recently created question and OP just got a link to a possible duplicate, leave it to the OP to decide, is it useful for site or not. If you believe it is important, we can link [add any value] to Jeff’s post or some other discussion. Jan 8, 2020 at 13:06

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