I understand that there is an upper limit. But why do you have to type at least 15 characters to post a comment?
It is easy to work around it anyway (like adding dots or other useless things).

  • 2
    I don't have any problem with comments not being allowed to be less than 15 characters, but what I think is annoying is that comments can't be more than 600 characters. Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 15:27

10 Answers 10


I'd say no, it discourages comments like "lol" which don't really add anything of value.

Like you say, it's possible to work around the limit, but you have to go out your way to do so (I think it encourages good commenting in the way the badges encourages good questioning/answering)

  • Your badges argument convinced me. I think I will eat Ólafur's cake ;-) (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/700/…) Commented Jun 30, 2009 at 6:37
  • 50
    lol . Commented Aug 25, 2009 at 10:49
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    It doesn't encourage good commenting, it encourages verbose commenting. Quantity != quality. Commented Oct 28, 2009 at 13:24
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    There's not many "high quality" comments that can be made in < 15 characters.. There might be a few exceptions, but I imagine most comments that length would be, as Workshop Alex demonstrates, "lol"
    – dbr
    Commented Oct 28, 2009 at 13:47
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    – Svante
    Commented Dec 1, 2009 at 8:05
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    After much careful consideration, the undersigned has come to the conclusion that this elaborate answer requires a comment, namely, a heartfelt "LOL".
    – Svante
    Commented Dec 1, 2009 at 8:08
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    In other words, there are always weapons. If a comment has no value, at least let it be short.
    – Svante
    Commented Dec 1, 2009 at 8:10
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    @Graeme said it all. This lower limit is silly and annoying when I write concise comments. The lower limit doesn't discourage "lol" comments just like declaring knives illegal wouldn't discourage murders. But hey, keep working against me, I'll keep working against you, and we're all happy -- aren't we? Commented Apr 10, 2010 at 1:54
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    Stupid, stupid, STUPID stackoverflow logic! This comment is over 15 chars long. And now surely you see how encouraged I am to write detailed and complete comments. YAY higher quality for stackoverflow!!1 STUPIDD!!!11 Commented Apr 10, 2010 at 1:57
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    If comments don't add any value, then click the "flag as noise" link. Limiting the number of characters does very little to help solve this problem.
    – endolith
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 16:28
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    – Cruncher
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 19:56

I find it .... errr ... well ... amusing, ridiculous, surprising, interesting and all kinds of other things, that a large percentage of the honorable meta crowd really thinks that a minimum character limit encourages "thoughtful comments". Since when are people that talk more more thoughtful? Since when are long texts more thoughtful? Since when haven't you been talking to your marketing department? Since when is more code better code?

And, best of all, IMHO: Since when is saying "Thank you!" considered a thoughtless venture into AOL land?

  • 10
    "Since when are people that talk more more thoughtful?" Thumbs up! Commented Oct 26, 2010 at 17:04

You can put spaces between the last characters.

Yes                    .

This will work and looks like this

Yes .

Due to how HTML truncates regular spaces. (see my comment on the question)

But I like that there is a minimum. Kinda forces us to talk more about the item in question.

  • 5
    You like the minimum, but circumvent it. Big deal ;-) Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 16:37
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    That's what I call having my cake and eating it too. Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 16:41
  • You can put spaces at the end, after the last character - since the format of the comments is like "(comment)(space)-(space)(commenter name)", the spaces at the end will be truncated into the first space between the comment and the dash. Example:
    – deleted
    Commented Sep 13, 2009 at 15:10
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    This apparently just got "fixed". >:(
    – Jason S
    Commented Oct 12, 2009 at 18:56

The types of questions asked on SO tend not to be yes/no types of questions and generally require a bit of explanation. Answers are, on average, a few sentences at least, and responders seem to enjoy posting thorough and detailed answers.

That said, I suppose there's no reason to impose a minimum on trusted users with high enough rep.

  • 10
    Agreed. I don't see why people with more than 2000 reputation should have such a limit - they are trusted enough by SO to edit other people's questions and answers, so they should be trusted enough not to leave pointless comments even if they are short. Commented Oct 28, 2009 at 13:26

I'm for lowering this limit too. It's silly to put in "Comment ." just to get it posted. Didn't it used to be 10? Can't we get 10 at least?

Preventing mistakes is a non-argument. It only stops accidental posting if you post 14 characters or less and if you've done that well it's easy enough to copy and paste into a new comment and delete the old one.

  • 1
    Besides we can now edit comments anyway.
    – RomanSt
    Commented Apr 19, 2012 at 18:24

Sometimes the best answers can be nothing more than a word or two - by referring the reader to a concept they were unaware of which will completely solve their problem.

I am slightly annoyed at the hackiness of adding whitespace to the response to get around the limitation.


One of the most nonsense things that come with the limit is when you reply to someone.

If someone points out a problem in my answer, if they have a long name a comment like:

@IHaveAReallyLongName fixed Is a legitimate comment, but on the other end: @short fixed is not legitimate. It makes no sense that who i'm replying to should require shorter or longer comments.


The limit encourages thoughtful comments, and I like it that way. The last thing we need is a bunch of "Me too!" comments! So I think we should keep the limit.

  • 2
    I have this problem too! Plz do you have a solution? Isn't this much better than "me too!" because now I'm being more verbose and therefore you get to spend more time reading my comment! Clearly longer comments are more legit than short ones.
    – devios1
    Commented Apr 11, 2011 at 15:31

I got sick of the umpteen bajillion "bugs" opened on this, so we "fixed the bug".

This is now less easy to bypass; perhaps one should consider populating their comment with something meaningful of 15 characters or more? Perhaps if one has less to say than that, one should keep one's thoughts to him or herself?

A modest proposal.


  • 17
    sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet ;)
    – bobobobo
    Commented Oct 1, 2009 at 18:43
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    Short things that are valid comments: "Link please?" "Spam" "see my answerer" "OK" (as part of an exchange). There is a (finite?) set of things where padding it to 15 makes the comment LESS meaningful. Could we get a white list for some of the more common ones? -- meta.stackexchange.com/questions/30934/…
    – BCS
    Commented Nov 25, 2009 at 20:51
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    Use links
    – Emil
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 18:06

Maybe you could allow the original question owner to circumvent the minimum length.

Mostly I just want to say "Thank you"

"Thank you ............" just isn't quite the same.

  • 2
    You could maybe say the person's name, too. "Thank you, Gareth."
    – mmyers
    Commented Jun 1, 2010 at 22:03
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    if all you need to say is "thanks!" then clicking upvote or accept should suffice Commented Jun 2, 2010 at 2:59
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    That's astonishingly impersonal :) Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 20:37
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    @Jeff I feel much better if somebody say "Thanks", than if somebody upvotes my question. You can't even know who voted that way..
    – Emil
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 18:07
  • "Thank you" is just noise. We readers don't care that you are thankful for the answer. We only want to read the answer. Stack Exchange exists to distill out the questions and answers from the cruft, so we aren't wading through pages of noise to find the signal, like in the days of discussion forums. That said, this policy is stupid because there are lots of legitimate comments under 15 characters.
    – endolith
    Commented Apr 6, 2011 at 19:18
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    You know what I do? I write this: Thanks! — The markup counts towards the minimum :)
    – Timwi
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 12:26
  • Yeah, okay, socially awkward programmers feel saying "thank you" has "no value", news at 11. "Pages of noise", seriously? The #1 most common complaint I hear about the Stack(Overflow|Exchange) community is that it is impersonal, cold, and bureaucratic. This kind of thing has a very real impact on how likely people will want to participate in your community.
    – lynn
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 17:46
  • Thank you.
    – Mathieu K.
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 0:46

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