Ok so I've spent a few days doing hardcore cleaning and we have a problem with comments and people misusing them.

  1. People who are too lazy to write a real answer so they write a half finished one that doesn't work or is just some commands out of context. This hurts the site because they're usually incomplete, and more importantly, the community can't downvote them or edit them so we have to flag them, which takes up precious moderator time when they have real flags they can be handling. Many of these comments are even missing links to the proper information.
  2. It's rude, you might as well leave a LMGTFY link while you are at it. We don't leave people links to wrong things on blogs, or say things like "Did you search Google?" because we already know it's probably wrong, that's why we're here! Be better than The Gap.
  3. We have too many experienced users who should know better just responding back and forth in the comments instead of FIXING THE USER'S QUESTION. Any one can submit an edit, if you see a new user struggling take the time to help them out with a quick edit until they learn it, it will improve the site.
  4. (This is an easy one): Instead of asking people to reply with information, instead make it explicit when leaving a comment that you would like an edit, example:

    Instead of:

    What kind of wireless is it?


    Can you [edit] your question to add what kind of wireless card you have?

    putting the edit in [] will make it a clickable link to the edit page.

    or better yet, reuse and improve the existing precanned comments.

  • 11
    "precanned" - I like that :) Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 21:11
  • 10
    I've had several occasions where the half-answer comments pointed me in the right direction as a relatively new linux user with computer and programming experience. It helps me to write an answer that covers all the bits and pieces that were thrown up as well. So where exactly do you want to draw the line?
    – Beanow
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 22:35
  • 8
    @Beanow If those were posted as answers then they could be improved from being a half answer to a real answer, but if it's locked in a comment then no one can fix them. Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 23:39
  • 1
    So you're saying it would be best to post them as half-answers instead? Wouldn't that get me down-votes for it being half an answer? Or should I only add half-answers when I have wiki rights?
    – Beanow
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 23:48
  • 6
    Better would be to post a proper answer and taking the time to do it right. But there are cases where you can say "This is an incomplete answer but should get you started" and then improving it over time. Doesn't matter if you mark it wiki or not, just posting it enables anyone to fix it. Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 23:50
  • 2
    I totally agree, answers on comment section are hurting the site, there are way too many questions without accepted answers as proper. This causes filters to be useless when you are searching for questions that already got accepted answers, so it may be also a cause of duplicated questions. Commented Jul 13, 2013 at 8:25
  • 1
    Wait... you can omit the (edit_link) in [edit](edit_link)? Where is that documented?
    – s3lph
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 14:58
  • @the_Seppi here: Add data.SE style "magic links" to comments Commented Jun 5, 2016 at 13:14
  • 1
    Personally, I find it very hard to actually teach something to a beginner on this site - when someone asks a question and you see they are struggling with some basic problems, and someone posts a perfectly formed answer that does not help at all the OP to improve their understanding, sometimes the comments can be more educative (not specific to AskUbuntu, more of a general remark)
    – pygri
    Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


Further to that, you (as the community) can also help clean up comments on posts by flagging them or removing your own stale comments as you come across them.

From the How do comment voting and flagging work? FAQ:

If a comment is flagged by enough users it will be auto-soft-deleted. There is no penalty for this. Flagged comments will be surfaced to moderators, so if you have a problem with a comment, flag it.

You can always delete your own comments by clicking on the "Delete" link next to your comment. This is not a flag, it takes effect immediately.

Comment flags do not affect the user in any way if a comment gets deleted.

Flag a comment by clicking on the flag icon that appears when you hover the mouse over the comment. You'll need to enter a reason (see below).

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