On this answer I see a dilemma. The new user lacks the rep to comment. But we don't support duplicate questions. Their answer clearly is not an answer, but...

What should we instruct users like this to do? Should they do as this one did, and just wait for someone to convert it into a comment?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I asked a similar question in chat a long while ago but can't find where it is. I believe the answer was for the new users to revive old questions by adding an answer of their own. Slightly related. \$\endgroup\$
    – LitheOhm
    Apr 21, 2013 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


"Should" do? They should ask and answer questions until they have the rep to comment.

But what what a user should do is kinda aside the point, since being aware of "shoulds" is something many new users never are. There isn't any policy we can make here that will help new users like that (or worse, drive-by users) because they aren't going to read anything anyhow. What will happen is they'll post comments or questions in the answers, and we'll clean it up.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm more interested in the policy that people editing new posts should adopt. The linked answer had users (I'm guessing edits?) steering a new user in two different directions. \$\endgroup\$
    – LitheOhm
    Apr 22, 2013 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LitheOhm if it's not an answer/question then it should be flagged. If it can be converted to a comment a moderator can (but not always should) do that. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Apr 22, 2013 at 19:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed. 1. They "should" wait till they've got the rep to comment. 2. You "should" flag it, convert to comment or delete. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Apr 23, 2013 at 0:11

That looks like a new question to me. They can refer to the old one and add their expansion. They should not edit a new additional question into an old one, they should be encouraged to ask their own.

In the case that someone has a clarification they have two options, ask their clarified question as a new question, or do something else and ask it after they've amassed the relatively trivial 20 rep it takes to earn the comment privilege.

Adding an answer with the intent for it to be converted to a comment is suboptimal behavior and should not be encouraged, though it is an option for moderators when it does happen (typically moderators are advised not to do this for low rep users so as not to encourage it, though they typically do the conversion anyways).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I disagree. It seems like the current answers are merely incomplete, and the comment is attempting to highlight something that the question covers but was never answered because it wasn't explicit. (I think C. Ross should have converted it to a comment on Jeor's answer, since it makes more sense than as a comment on the question.) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2013 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's similar enough to where I'd vote to close as duplicate. Asking dupes is discouraged and I'm in favor of that. However, asking for a specific clarification that hasn't been answered... That does seem like it would be the easiest course of action. Can't questions be merged? I definitely agree that answers-to-comments is suboptimal. It drags on the sites and probably on the mods, too. I'm not really sure what to do with those types of answers other than flag them. What do you tell the user? "We don't yet have a standardized way of dealing with people in your shoes?" \$\endgroup\$
    – LitheOhm
    Apr 22, 2013 at 21:25

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