This probably won't be well received, but because of a situation I was recently involved in, I am requesting a feature that, as the writer or an answer, I can turn comments off for my answer.

Here is the situation: I posted an answer to a question. The answer was off the norm and controversial. This generated comments for clarifications, I replied in the comments and updated my answer. In my reply I also defended my answer. This started a discussion in the comments.

The discussion was civil and as a whole was a clarification to the answer and why is was my answer. It added depth to the answer that as a whole helped.

All the comments were deleted with the exception of one negative comment. The remaining negative comment was in response to a down vote. At this point I deleted my answer. I felt that if I respond to the remaining comment defending my answer and the reasons for giving it, they also would be deleted as a discussion.

The alternatives I see are:

  1. allow discussions in comments;
  2. allow me to turn off comments for my answer
  3. creating a true forum style area for each answer rather than or in addition to the current comment system.

I don't see moving discussions to the chat system as a viable alternative for the reasons listed here.

This wouldn't be a big issue but I see more and more SE sites enforcing similar policies for the comment system. I fear that I won't answer a question at all if the answer is controversial in any way as the system stands now as I will not be able to defend my answer.

  • 7
    I don't agree with your solution but the situation you described is a problem. I don't think that should be happening. If comments vere away from the answer itself then they are noise. Otherwise they should be fine (until no longer relevant). – Nicole Jun 17 '11 at 4:52
  • 1
    I don't really understand the question: are you saying that you don't want to answer questions because the ensuing comment noise might get deleted? – Benjol Jun 17 '11 at 5:04
  • @Benjol - I dont call the discussion about the answer to be noise. If a comment is made, and points A and B are raised, I update my answer for A but reply because I disagree with B. That starts a discussion. The issue is my reply and the discussion were deleted but the original comment was not. I would rather there be no comments on my answer (let people downvote all they want) rather than only the negative comments. – Justin808 Jun 17 '11 at 16:28
  • @Renesis - If you want to remove the noise then you have to remove the reason for the noise too. I can't leave a negative comment alone when I disagree with the comment. I don't mind others disagreeing with me, I dont mind them saying so, I do mind when I can't defend my stance. – Justin808 Jun 17 '11 at 16:31
  • @Justin808 I think you've misunderstood me, I am talking about the moderation practice of deleting whole swaths of comments. – Nicole Jun 17 '11 at 16:36
  • @Renesis - I've reread your commend and see. Sorry, I did misunderstand. – Justin808 Jun 17 '11 at 16:46

I disagree. There are already enough processes around the managing of comments, and enough eyeballs checking them to ensure they don't get out of hand.

I think what you are describing happens quite infrequently, and more than anything it hurt your feelings hence your post here. At some stage you are going to encounter negative opinion on this site (I have), you just have to learn to take it on the chin. IOW, when on this site you need to leave your ego at the door if you have fragile feelings. Some people don't care how right or wrong you are when you post an "alternative" answer, they will thrash you anyway (just try mentioning that Flash is crap and IE rulez on some questions, and see how fanatical it can get).

So my suggestion is to let it slide, get over it. It doesn't mean your answer was wrong, it just means a couple of people didn't care for it. In time you'll forget that it ever happened.

  • I think get over it is not the right attitude to take. I can't see people answering questions with valid, well thought-out yet controversial answers if they can't defend the answer when the negative comments start coming in. – Justin808 Jun 17 '11 at 16:30

You must log in to answer this question.

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