Ever so often answers by new users turn up that are not really answers at all and would be better suited for comments. I've, on several occasions, commented on such answers to let them know this not realizing (pointed out by DucatiKiller in the last occasion I did this) that they lack requisite privilege to post comments.
Though I buy the justification for doing so in other SE websites like StackOverflow, I'm not sure if those apply so well here.

  • It's deterring participation by newer users (eg. no option to request clarifications)
  • It's attracting lower quality answers as it's been used as a way to circumvent the above.

Two questions -

  • Should Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair drop the reputation requirement for comments? If not, how can the above issues be handled?
  • How do I treat such answers in review?

Should Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair drop the reputation requirement for comments? If not, how can the above issues be handled?


How do I treat such answers in review?

Flag them as "not an answer."

The reality is that comments are rarely the valuable band of data in the question-answer process. I regularly have to remind people to actually try to answer questions rather than using the comments as a chat room.

The thing that we are trying to do here is to keep this from becoming a duplicate of every other toxic web forum out there. That means that you do actually have to have some levels and speed bumps to moderate the communication.

If someone really just wants to talk, the chat room is available for that and is a perfect place to have open discourse that is likely a better place to figure out details for questions in order to make a better answer.

  • 1
    After thinking about your post I would have to agree with you. The bar to entry has a cleansing effect and creates a level of commitment that motivates quality and participation and reduces the noise level of 'other sites' that have blind posting requirements. Thanks for the response, very well written....per usual. May 12 '15 at 9:19
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    Yes, and please keep reminding me about posting comments, Bob. I'm sure I'm one of the biggest offenders ... er ... nah ... I am the biggest offender. May 12 '15 at 13:55

The minimum reputation requirement to comment on other people's posts is 50. If a person is around a little bit, this can easily be obtained. It's obtained right off the bat for those coming over from other SE sites. I agree with the purposes stated in your Justification link on the main Meta.

9 times out of 10 (guesstimate) of these types of posts are people asking questions in the answer box for problems they have. These should be their own question. I always try to be nice in these situations, as new users just don't know how SE works and functions. The typical thing to do is (through a comment on their post) to welcome the person, tell them what they've done wrong, and suggest they open their own question. I then flag the post for moderator attention. That's what Larry & Bob are here for ... to handle the human exceptions which occur.

While it may be a PITB to see these, it gives the rest of us non-moderators something to do besides answer questions (note - take that a little tongue-in-cheek ... I meant it to be silly). We need to keep on doing what we've been doing, which is bring it to the attention of the mods. Maybe Larry and Bob have other ideas, I don't know. They might agree with you, so we should wait for them to throw their hats in the ring. This is just my 2¢'s worth.

  • "the typical thing to do is.." is see you do this all the time! :)
    – chilljeet
    May 12 '15 at 13:30
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    @chilljeet - That should actually read, My typical thing to do ... '-) May 12 '15 at 13:53

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