As I already suggested here, it would be nice if the OP is also notified of comments on answers when @OP's-user-name is used, even if the OP isn't a participator in a comment discussion on that answer, yet.

This way, I can e.g. make an (IMHO) important comment on an answer and notify the OP.

  • If there's a collision (someone with the same name as the OP already commented in the comment thread), who should get the notification?
    – mmyers
    Jun 3, 2010 at 16:23
  • @TheCat Collisions are already possible and handled as the most recent. I think the implied question is "Who gets priority if the OP isn't in the comment thread?": If Jon Skeet asked a question, Jonathan Sampson posted an answer, Jon B edited the answer, and Jon Seigel made a comment, who gets notified if you follow Jon Seigel with @Jon?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 3, 2010 at 16:26
  • 2
    I believe Jon S would be notified.
    – devinb
    Jun 3, 2010 at 16:28

3 Answers 3


I think this is worthwhile. Today on English.SE, I asked a question, got some answers, and someone tried to ping me on an answer. I only noticed it because I actually came back to look at it again.

  • Well, if the comment is important enough the user can also post comment under the question itself, e.g. "see my comment on the answer". Oct 26, 2014 at 20:32
  • I've experienced this as well (IIRC, it was also on English, but I'm not 100% sure).
    – MTL
    Oct 26, 2014 at 20:43
  • @ShadowTheVaccinatedWizard Only if you know that you need to do that. For years(!) I've been "pinging" the asker by commenting on my answer (where the comment is in context), thinking this was "working" (there was nothing to suggest that it wasn't). Having to comment on the question itself in order to "ping" the asker is not intuitive and "messy" as it promotes entirely out-of-context comments.
    – MrWhite
    Mar 31, 2021 at 15:30

If it's that important and the OP hasn't participated in that answer yet and you think the OP won't notice it when reading answers later (but if he doesn't care that much...), then you should comment on the answer and the question. Delete one of those comments later. All three of these conditions combined should be really rare.

I only want to check one place to see who will match, especially on questions with several answers (say 7-9). Not the current question and somewhere else, even if that is only the OP's name. You'd have to determine a sort order, and it's just not worth the complication. Keep it simple. If you must ping them, you know how to do it: comment on the question.

Stack Exchange isn't instant messaging, even if it's important we can reply sometimes.


Being able to @<asker> (and "ping" the question asker) in comments to answers where the asker has not yet participated is generally expected behaviour. There is nothing to suggest (at the time of posting) that this does not have the desired effect. As @Catija has stated:

a relatively common point of confusion about our reply system.

In my experience, "relatively common" is an understatement. I see many instances of this "expected" behaviour in the wild. I myself thought it worked this way for years(!) before finding out only recently that this does not have the desired result (consequently many many comments I've posted have quite possibly been in vain).

Typical/common use cases where this is "necessary":

  • You need to notify the asker of an important update to your own answer. This might be after the answer has already been accepted (when the user is less likely to naturally revisit the question).

  • You need to notify the asker because of inaccuracies in an accepted answer.

Having to "ping" the asker by commenting on the question itself is very counter intuitive. It is also "messy" and promotes out-of-context comments on the question. (Comments on the question are intended to seek clarification about the question.)

  • Well, a decent feature request would be to have the asker automatically follow the answer when they upvote it or post a comment under that answer. Then they'll indeed get notified when any comment is posted under that answer. Mar 31, 2021 at 17:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .