This addresses all the new users out there:

Every day here I see new users commenting in the answer section and saying things like

I don't have the rep to comment but....

It seems redundant that this should even have to be brought up but these user KNOW they should not do this, hence the disclaimers in there posts, but do it anyway and when offered an explanation of why they should not do this, there response is often hostile.

I get it, you want to help but all you are doing is creating work for other users who must review the post and the mods who must remove them, with the end result of the post getting removed anyway.

All you need to comment is 50 rep, try to earn it. A couple of well written questions will get you the rep you need or 25 good edits.

There are reasons this limitation exists on new users and we were all there once, here are some posts explaining why the limitation exists

Why do I need 50 reputation to comment? What can I do instead?

Why are you only allowed to comment with 50 rep?

All I wish to achieve with this post is that a few users will think before they comment in the answer section. I know some of you will think this matter is trivial but I think as you spend time here you will begin to understand.

If you think new users should be able to comment, please give your reasons or if you have a suggestion to help new users get information across, please do leave an answer.

Here are some posts to help you find ways to earn that first 50 rep


How can I increase my reputation on Ask Ubuntu?

Six simple tips to get reputation fast on any Stack Exchange site

  • 5
    Now if new users read meta... oh, right they don't even read the JIT help, less meta.
    – Braiam
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 17:06
  • 3
    @Braiam Unfortunately, you may be right , they may not read this but it made the hot meta posts in the side bar and if just one or two users do see it, read it and think "OK I should not do that", then I would consider this post successful. This is the best I can do to combat this sort of thing with the tools at my disposal.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 17:14
  • 4
    50 rep is too much, at leas the way I see it. Some people don't intend to come to the site and be posting answers. They're dealing with specific problem, sometimes a very urgent one, and that's as far they are wiling to take it - they didn't come to play game of earning points, they came for help. So requiring 50 rep, that's 5 upvotes, is too much for new users. I'm not sure how system on the site is improved by denying comments, but it sure doesn't improve people cluttering answer section Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 14:28
  • 2
    @Serg +1 Thanks it worked
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 20:48
  • @Serg Nice, it solved my issue
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 20:48
  • @Serg Hmm I can't see how to complete part A
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 20:48
  • @Serg Oh don't worry I managed thx
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 20:48
  • 1
    @Tim hehe, so you're saying there's going to be spam ? Sorry, I don't see how it is spam. You need communication between question asker and answerer. What's the worth of an answer if it doesn't work ? Downvotes ? Well how OP's going to explain downvote if he/she cannot comment ? Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 20:57
  • 1
    It's not lesser of the two evils. New users should have lower requirement for the commenting privilege. Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 20:58
  • 1
    @Serg New users can comment on their own posts, and any answers to their own questions.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 21:00
  • 2
    @Tim That's perfectly fine, in fact that's great ! Again, look at it from the point of a new user. You ask a question, it gets closed as duplicate, duplicate doesn't work. What then ? How does one know if answer works or not ? Where's feedback ? Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 21:10
  • 1
    @Serg I was a new user too :) 50 rep is not hard, to be honest. Sure, it takes time but a couple of hours, if that. If the duplicate doesn't work they can @Ping any of the users who voted to close.`
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 21:13
  • 2
    @Tim 50 rep isn't hard for us, because we've been around for some time. We know how the site works. They don't. Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 21:17
  • 2
    @Serg There is masses of information on how it works. I get that we are trying to cater to new users, but we are also trying to build a high quality, accurate repository of information for the future.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 21:19
  • 1
    @FreeSoftwareServers that's simply a drag... the question asker is normally the one that is less invested to the site. They simply ask a single question and go away.
    – Braiam
    Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 21:02

3 Answers 3


Another solution - If you see an new user with a good question, upvote it. We, the community, can solve the problem very easily, no need to force users to read FAQ or change the way the site works, we just need to be kinder to new users with our upvotes.



I think there's a deeper problem here. Getting reputation by asking great questions can be difficult for current new users because lots of the common questions have been answered years ago. That leaves esoteric questions for newcomers that get little attention and fewer chances for upvotes. The same applies to answers; they tend to require deep knowledge that doesn't exist yet for many new users. That leaves the temptation to be the first to submit (low-quality) answers to "beat" the experts, which isn't good for anybody.

As an anecdotal example, I find nearly 100% of my questions already have answers, and both the questions and answers have 100s of rep. This speaks volumes to the efficacy of askubuntu.com and friends, but leaves me with asking really specific questions that only gain a few rep even though I spend a lot of time trying to ask the best quality question I can manage.

In the end, it seems like only making many good edits will push the newcomer past the 50 reputation needed just to post a comment asking for useful info to help solve a particular question.

And to make matters worse, even if a user gains the ability to comment, switching to another *exchange.com-like site requires starting over from scratch unless they have over 200 reputation to begin with.

Possible solution?

The rationale behind requiring 50 rep before commenting does have its merits, but the difficulty in gaining that initial rep should be acknowledged. Perhaps allowing a specific area for asking the OP for more information directly could be a compromise. Instead of only comments, there could also be a (initially hidden) "more info" tab where users with, say, 10 rep could ask for more info to aid in troubleshooting. That would allow for better answers, which in turn would help newcomers gain rep.

  • 2
    Aside: I was tempted to start this answer with "I don't have the rep to comment, but...", but I decided against it. :-) Commented Mar 7, 2016 at 22:49
  • See my answer for a better solution for new users.
    – Pavel V.
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 19:53
  • 1
    @jdk1.0, I understand where you're coming from about questions already answered. I find that especially with my git questions on SO. But, why is it so important to comment if you're new to a community and your question had already been asked and answered? If your question isn't already present, you shouldn't post a comment anyway—you should post a new question, explain it well, link to the similar question and explain why it doesn't solve your situation...and upvotes will surely follow.
    – Wildcard
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 21:28

You are new here, would like to comment but you don't have the privilege? If it is not on your question, it's probably not that urgent. So be patient, star the question to find it later, follow my way to earn your first hundred points and you will have the chance to properly comment soon.

Ubuntu is just one of the topics here, there are many others. You already know something about some of the topics, don't you? Pick some you are interested and/or proficient in, read their introductory [tour] to learn the basics and then just lurk around and answer wherever you can help. Odds are good that you will get 200 rep in few days, which will give you 100 point in any other site, including AskUbuntu. This will enable to chat, ask/answer in meta, upvote and... comment!

Then it's the time for the delayed comment to celebrate your reputation gain.

Final pro-tip: some sites are easier to get reputation than others. Hobby-related topics are easier to get into and new sites (no special icon, just the default blue one) means more time to answer before someone else does and more good questions waiting for you to ask. Also, watch top questions in the right pane - sites whose question appear there often are the ones where users tend to upvote a lot.

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