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In this post I answered with a short question and it turned into a comment. I don't have enough rep to comment, but is this an acceptable way to circumvent that restriction? Or is this a mistake on askubuntu's part? I guess my real question is whether this is a feature or a bug.

Edit: To clarify, this is better than if it remained an answer, I was just curious if it was intended.

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  • See here: meta.stackexchange.com/a/98955/203389 – Seth Mar 1 '17 at 22:58
  • @Seth No I understand what happened and why, but as a new user (can't comment) is it supposed to make me comment? So the only way I can comment is with bad answers? – brndn2k Mar 1 '17 at 23:06
  • @brndn2k you can comment once you get 50 rep points. Just farm up a little , post a couple good and detailed answers, and you'll be able to comment in no time – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Mar 1 '17 at 23:11
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    @brndn2k as far as whether it's supposed to convert your answer to comment as low rep user . . . I don't see why not . . .It's a moderator-level task but automated, totally normal to be done manually by moderators, and it's frequent to see low-rep users to have their answers converted into comments. So, technically speaking there's nothing out of the ordinary – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Mar 1 '17 at 23:16
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Very short answers with links to other posts in them get counted as "trivial". They're almost always signposts. And while you might call this a loophole, it's not a very useful loophole for bad people.

There is also a mechanism to manually convert answers to comments.

Is this an acceptable way to circumvent that restriction?

Well hacking the automated version means posting linking to other posts. Suggesting a duplicate might be a better course of action but I guess you can't do that either. Yeah, that's okay. Why not. It'll help people close it as a duplicate if nothing else.

For longer comments (eg asking about their problem) it's a balance between being helpful and annoying the moderators and flaggers. A real person is going to have to come in and click stuff, pull levers, etc to turn your post into a comment.

Insightful and helpful comments will likely see most of the comments converted.
Inane banter will likely see them deleted with prejudice, leading to an automated answer ban.

Ideally a couple of hours grinding the review queue, and suggesting a small pile of good edits is enough to get people over the 50 rep line. Of course a good answer is gold but harder technically.

I guess my real question is whether this is a feature or a bug.

The automated "trivial answer" thing is definitely a feature. It cuts out the very laziest answers from all corners right off the bat. But the whole answer→comment system recognises that:

  • Mature users post comments in the answer section occasionally.
  • New users can still have worthwhile questions to ask OPs.

Essentially: Because humans are dirty, stupid meatbags that can't be predicted.

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