New contributor 👋 or not, when a question is asked, that may for one or more reasons be eligible for putting on hold, the first few comments I've been seeing lately can be read as you're asking a dumb question.

I implore the community – instead of pointing out the obvious (which isn't obvious to many) – to offer edit suggestions and only vote-to-close when it is absolutely a no-brainer.

This is in-line with the commenting guidelines, which are increasingly being misused IMO.

When should I comment?

  • Request clarification from the author;
  • Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
  • Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).

(I didn't leave out any part of that section.)

Imagine a random person leaving a Post-it on your desk that reads, "You're doing a bad job," and offering no hint at what you're doing wrong. This is the analogy to the comments that don't offer a way to improve the post.

I've tagged it [discussion] (this is not a Q&A), so if you want to have your say by posting an answer below, please do.

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    $\begingroup$ You're doing a great job! Anyway not worth an answer, but I cant stress enough how everyone needs to remember what comments are for. Exactly as quoted here. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Feb 21, 2019 at 13:44
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    $\begingroup$ Also, PLEASE flag unkind comments. We'll get them removed. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Feb 21, 2019 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ Is the mod-team in agreement that unhelpful comments = unkind? Also an upvote would be nice @Jamiec, they're free here and would help getting it to the main page; it's like an abandoned warehouse here ;-) $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Feb 21, 2019 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ There you go (+1). Can you provide examples? I want to make sure that we haven't missed those comments. $\endgroup$
    – Farhan
    Feb 21, 2019 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ I prefer not to, sorry @Farhan. I don't want to single anyone out by accident. The problem is unhelpful ≠ unkind as far as I understand the flag system. Can I have my comedic title back? I've edited it back if it's okay :) $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Feb 21, 2019 at 14:26
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    $\begingroup$ However, regarding "unhelpful comments = unkind", I don't think we (nor mods) can put a blanket statement like that. General "unhelpful" comments are just "no longer needed", until it's offensive that makes them "unkind" or even "rude"... $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Feb 22, 2019 at 3:43
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This can be relevant to Stack Exchange in general -- definitely not a problem limited just to aviation.SE. $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2019 at 14:24
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Unhelpful but humourous comments are usually welcome here. $\endgroup$
    – vasin1987
    Feb 25, 2019 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ @vasin1987 - Yes. Funny comments are also not unconstructive. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Feb 25, 2019 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ my sidebar lists a related post: Can we please leave contructive comments for our new users, instead of simply downvoting?; linking it here in case the related post algorithm changes down the line. $\endgroup$
    – Erich
    Feb 26, 2019 at 16:26
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    $\begingroup$ I too have noticed the SE system is vulnerable to basement dwellers that kill boars until they have massive experience points then go on a pathetic pseudo-superiority power trip deleting and down voting everything that contradicts their modest education. Rather than simply making a reasonable comment about what they don't like and waiting for clarification. (Boars reference Southpark WoW guy.) $\endgroup$
    – Max Power
    Mar 10, 2019 at 4:34

1 Answer 1


This is a familiar issue across SE as has been noted.

A few years ago I lamented much the same thing over in EL&U meta, suggesting a repository of helpful comments to help guide folks in addressing issues with the question, while using more welcoming and inclusive language.

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    $\begingroup$ Computer Science SE has such a repository. It's pretty useful. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2019 at 10:09

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