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New users often mention that they can't comment. Veteran users often say "you can always comment on your own question." I'm wondering about the disconnect, could it be that the new users are trying to comment on answers?

If it is I'm wondering if there could be an automatic message that tells low reputation users that they can comment on their own posts – maybe in response to clicking on the comment links. It could also mention that have a reputation on other SE sites carries over.

8

See here. Users can always comment on any part of their own posts (whether question or answer) as well as any part of their question.

The reputation needed to comment everywhere is 50, and users who have an account in good standing elsewhere on SE with at least 100 points will start this site with 101 points, and will obtain the privilege.

  • Do you know if "any part of their question" includes answers to it? Or is it just the question itself? Can't tell from the language at the link. – dlu Nov 18 '16 at 19:21
  • This makes me thing that when new users say they can't comment on their own questions that it must apply to the question only. In which case it seems like it would be nice to make the comment link tell them that while they can't comment on the answer they can comment on the original question which they wrote. Or maybe new users "carry in" the knowledge of being unable to comment and assume that it is global. – dlu Nov 18 '16 at 19:24
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    If they can get a couple of upvotes then they'll be able to use comments. So, for a new user it couldn't hurt to be a little liberal out of the gate to help them out....so they can comment....or....get into chat. – DucatiKiller Nov 20 '16 at 1:34
  • @DucatiKiller I appreciate that you mentioned chat here, since it takes 4 upvotes to go there, instead of 10 before new question posters can comment everywhere. Of course, even 4 votes aren't easy to get, so I'm with you about being liberal whenever possible! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Nov 20 '16 at 23:48
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I am a new user, I can answer this definitively.

A new user can comment, but only on his questions, his answers, or answers by others on his questions.

Check out my post here for definitive proof.

  • 2
    Good show! Yes, seems you have it nailed, lol. :o) – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Nov 21 '16 at 22:02
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    Of course, I never did prove that I can comment on my own answers... :) Tongue in cheek... – rotaredom Nov 22 '16 at 4:39
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For users below 50 points:

Situation 1

  • I ask a question.
  • New user answers.
  • Other people answer.

Rules:

  • New user cannot comment on my question.
  • New user can comment on their own answer.
  • New user cannot comment on other people's answers.

Situation 2

  • New user asks a question.
  • New user answers.
  • Other people answer.

Rules:

  • New user can comment on their question.
  • New user can comment on their own answer.
  • New user can comment on other people's answers.

Situation 3

  • I ask a question.
  • Other people answer.

Rules:

  • New user cannot comment on my question.
  • New user cannot comment on other people's answers.
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    I'm not sure if under situation #2 a new user can comment on other people's answers. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Nov 20 '16 at 17:55
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    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Here's an example of a user with 5 rep at the time commenting on an answer to his own question. – Zach Mierzejewski Nov 20 '16 at 18:28
  • So, do you think new users learn the rule by trying to comment on other peoples questions/answers and then assume that it applies to their own? It seems like posting an answer as a comment with the "I can't comment yet" explanation is a pretty common. – dlu Nov 20 '16 at 23:19
  • @dlu Your explanations seems the most likely one to me! – Zach Mierzejewski Nov 20 '16 at 23:40
  • @ZachMierzejewski, seems like it would be nice if we could come up with a proposal for an enhancement that would support new users wrt comments. Maybe something like a message that shows up when a low reputation user posts a question that tells her/him that s/he can post comments in response to comments left on the question as well as to answers. – dlu Nov 21 '16 at 0:12
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The disconnect is because new users very often don't have registered accounts. They post their question and come back a few hours/days later and they've forgotten their password and their browser has lost the cookie. They create a new account with a similar or even identical name, but the account that is trying to comment is not the account that created the question, so they can't comment.

If you click the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page, you'll see that "I need to merge user profiles" is one of the topics in the drop-down list.

  • Are those the userNNNNN accounts? – dlu Nov 22 '16 at 14:08
  • @dlu userNNNNN if they don't choose a better name. But you can have unregistered accounts with user-chosen names, such as this one (chosen just because he had a question close to the top of the active list, so he was the first one I found). – David Richerby Nov 22 '16 at 14:17

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