By my understanding of what is said in the What "comments" are not . . . meta "question", the comment I posted to How do I bring up being misled about my job role during the interview period? really should not be a comment. However, it's not properly an answer to the question either. Still, I think the information is useful to put out there. How should I post it?

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    I do not mean for this to be an attack or sound rude, but I do not find your comment useful. "I have never gotten a raise so you should not bother to get one" is a Hasty Generalization If the OP wants to try telling them not to bother is not useful or helpful. May 23, 2013 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


I'd say extend it into an answer or don't bother. The essence as the comment is currently written sounds like "don't bother with these solutions - they don't work in practice" - which is a fine opinion, but I think the there's an obligation at that point is to suggest something better.

If, in this case, the right answer from your experience is "get a new job, don't waste your time" - then justify why it's better to skip talking to your management, and reference techniques for a job hunt when you've only just recently started the job. There's probably some useful other answers to other questions there that could be harvested and referenced.


Here's the full text for convenience:

Comments are not for answers
Comments are not a substitute for answering questions. Comments cannot easily be searched, nor can they be edited for corrections or vetted with the community vote. There's no history, no reputation awarded, nor can they be 'accepted' as the best answer. They get little visibility but often keep users from posting proper answers because the question appears to be resolved… albeit, incorrectly. Further, those comment-answers will not bring new users to this site searching for the information. In short, you are hurting rather than helping the site, and your contribution is at great risk of being lost/deleted.

What this means

What you should do:

  • As always, remember that we are looking for substantiated answers. So, thank you for considering that! Please continue to help us keep answer standards high.
  • If you feel like you have "advice" but it's not a full answer, do one of three things:

    1. Comment on an existing answer. If there are already significant answers, you can likely find one with similar advice (that you your advice can add to) and add your advice as a comment. This is already quite common.

      Request to answerers: If a commenter adds helpful advice to your post in a comment, I encourage you to integrate it into your answer. That is what edits are for, and that way we solve all the problems that Robert mentioned. We can also consider the comment "resolved", and if comments are cleaned up, no valuable information is lost.

    2. Comment to the asker. If there are no suitable answers, but what you have to say doesn't constitute a full answer, but maybe just related advice, I see no harm in posting it as a comment on the question.

      I don't want put words in Robert's mouth, but the way I read what he's saying, is these comments harm the site if they constitute a full answer, discouraging others from answering the question. Partial advice is not the same, and may even help propel others to an answer. I think it's fine.

      Keep in mind that these comments should never be considered permanent fixtures of the post, even if they have a lot of upvotes, and they may be cleaned up at any time, particularly if a flood of discussion ensues.

    3. Actually answer the question. If you have a real answer, please put in the time to answer! We need more valuable experts like you. If you can't do it all once, remember that the answer UI can save a draft for you to finish your answer later.

What we (moderators and community flaggers) will do:

  • Continue to treat all comments as transient, disposable post-it notes. They may be deleted before or after being acknowledged, with or without upvotes, and regardless of whether they appear to be benign or harmful. Personally speaking, I attempt to leave comments around as long as possible, but if extended discussion becomes a problem, we'll bring out the broom.

What everyone should do:

  • If you see an opportunity (such as consensus in a comment discussion), please feel free to edit the improvements back into the post, whether it be a question or an answer. All users can suggest edits, and there is a reason for that!
  • Treat comments as if future visitors won't even see them. Questions and answers are our real fixtures, and should be continually polished, to help the site serve our future visitors.
  • Avoid flagging comments that teach people how to use the site. Comments that help guide a user on how to use the site may still be valuable to future visitors, as they help them learn the community norms without having to make the same mistakes as others. In the Theory of Moderation, using comments as a signpost to guide users is emphasized below:

Whenever possible, try to leave frequent comments on posts where you’ve taken (or considered taking) a moderator action, explaining the reasoning. This is important so that community members can learn the norms of the community and the moderation policies.

This can also apply to regular users who write good, constructive, and helpful comments.

  • It really should. Such "comments" have become an absolute plague on SO. Nice to see that at least Workplace.SE is still taking the Q&A model seriously. If anyone would understand data types and data integrity I'd have thought it'd be software developers, but guess not. Oct 20, 2017 at 10:45

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