I suggest the following change to the way questions are displayed on the homepage: In addition to showing the number of upvotes, number of answers, and number of views, we also include the number of comments on the original question. I feel that this serves a similar purpose to showing the number of views, as it indicates the level of activity on the question.

However, I recognize the a potential issue with my suggestions. AU users may be less inclined to visit a question if the see many comments, as this may indicate that there requests for clarification that have not been addressed by the OP.

I hope to address the following two questions.

  1. Is this kind of change possible within the StackExchange network?
  2. Should this change be implemented, and what is the best/most efficient way to display the number of comments?

2 Answers 2


I think what should be happening here is if you've got a question with not enough information and comments asking for information and they're not being provided then do the next person a favor and downvote it so they don't waste their time clicking through and reading an unanswerable question.

(Downvotes are free on questions!)

  • I'd add that questions that are fundamentally unanswerable due to insufficient information can also be closed (and then, if the information is ever added, they can be reopened). Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 17:52

I don't believe this will be a helpful feature for questions, simply because of the volatile nature of comments. At the end of the day they're expendable and temporary at best. So it's not a good metric for gauging activity, especially when the majority of comments are heavily tied to time. The currently "question activity" metrics primarily follow Edits to the question and existing answers, and new answers on the post. These are far more concrete since they are the only parts of the question that actually matter at the end of the day.

As for if a feature like this could be added, it can (you can even add it yourself with a UserScript). If it were to land in the platform it would need to be agreed by the SE people to have value. Then it would be created and rolled out.

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