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After being in SE for a while and being on numerous communities this is something that has confused me and I can't seem to find an answer. Since there has been some information on update of SE I wanted to see if this will fix or answer this question. If I have a question for the original poster, I can't add a comment to the question, I have to add an answer to the question because I don't have the Reputation numbers to post in comments. Isn't that counter productive? I know I don't have the answer and I am only adding fodder to the answer section with my information seeking comment. Which hence leads to my question.

Will the reputation system be looked at to fix this bug or do you want people that want to someone to an answer not be able to comment unless they ask enough "good" questions? I love SE but this kind of thing has always bothered me.

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Not a bug - a feature. It's a way to keep spam down to a minimum. Answers persist but comments can disappear forever. If a 1-rep new account is created to spam, it becomes high-visibility so that action can be taken.

The rep threshold (50) is low enough to allow people to quickly build enough rep in order to comment.

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  • But said answer is not the answer. The comment contains a question to receive data so it can be lost forever if needed – JukEboX Aug 5 '15 at 19:57
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The two main reasons why comments are restricted to 50+ rep users are:

  • Preventing spam
  • Ensuring that the user has demonstrated sufficient understanding of our system before they're allowed to comment (to avoid new users posting e.g. "Thank you JukEbox, your answer worked for me! But I have another problem now: ... Can you help me?")

Now, obviously, reputation isn't a perfect indicator: if you're a real person and you've been lurking our sites for years, maybe you're not going to spam and maybe you know how to use comments, despite not having 50 rep.

We can't be sure, though, and that's a problem.

This is why, in the absence of a better indicator, we require you to participate in Q&A before you can post comments.


I realize this can be frustrating, if only because asking for clarification on a question is sometimes the first step to posting a great answer.

It's something we (the company behind the sites) have given and continue to give a lot of thought to, but it's a complex problem. I don't know if we'll solve it.

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New users are deliberately not allowed to post comments (except under their own posts), precisely to avoid what you're trying to do. This is a question and answer site. Comments distract from the main purpose of the site.

Stack Exchange was explicitly designed to avoid the problems of forums where the conversation drifts, the useful answer is somewhere in the middle, there's a post on the first page that looks fine but is actually obsolete, while the last page has moved to a completely different topic. On Stack Exchange, a question has answers, and that's it.

If you have a follow-up question, post a new question. You may cite the previous question if you think it's relevant, but be sure to make your question self-contained.

If you have an answer for the question, go ahead and answer. Make sure that your post does answer the question. If all you wanted to do was a minor update to an existing answer, you can go ahead and edit that answer. Asking, answering and editing have no minimum reputation requirement and editing doesn't even require an account (but edits undergo a review process before they're accepted unless you have 2000 reputation).

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  • I believe the OP is asking about when you would like more information from the Questioner, but aren't allowed to comment in order to receive said information. Not about asking a new question as an answer. – RoraΖ Aug 6 '15 at 15:39

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