I seem to remember seeing a meta or just other people commenting that there's no need to "sign" a question, such as if I, as a new user, had asked a new question saying:


Something something something?

Thanks in advance!


The NathanS is redundant (and so is the "greeting" too) because we can already see it's from me next to the tags below the question.

But what about "Thanks" or "Thanks in advance" or similar?

Recently I edited this question, removing the "Thanks" on the end, but then I put it back after a minute or so (hence it's not in the edit history*) since it might be seen as robbing the user of their politeness or something (and after a recent incident with a new user over editing, I'd rather not annoy anyone through unnecessarily editing or editing that could be seen as antagonistic).

Do we have a policy already for such a thing? If not, what do we think of "Thanks" at the end of a question as a community? (And is there already a policy or meta question or something that describes the "signing" thing I mentioned at the top of this post?)

*Note that the "Thanks" has now been removed by Sdjz, which confirms I'm not the only one under the impression that we don't need "Thanks" at the end of questions, but I'm still curious as to what our policy or collective opinion is about this.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just a note, but stackwide policy on signatures and greetings (which aligns with what you indicate above) can be found somewhat unintuitively in the Help Center under Expected Behavior "Do not use signature, taglines, or greetings." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Thanks, I knew I'd seen it somewhere in the distant past... \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 13:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS Didn't he just tell you not to use thanks? evil grin J/K. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 13:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related (from SE.Meta): Should 'Hi', 'thanks', taglines, and salutations be removed from posts? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ For reference: We seem to have about 224 questions with "thank", some of them fairly recent (this doesn't even count "thanks"). Small note, I removed it because I seemed to recall it being done before and it felt like the right thing to do. I have done so many times without thinking much about it, I too thought it was policy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 15:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sdjz Yes, you removing it shortly after I edited the question was somewhat reassuring, since it meant at least one other person who agreed with my original intuition. I've seen others remove "Thanks" as well, but after the linked question about the... let's just call it the "badly received edits", I wondered what our policy was on the off-chance I was potentially antagonising somebody. At least if we can point to a meta question, like this one, then a new user that does get offended at their "Thanks" getting removed knows there is a consensus and hopefully won't take it personally. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


Remove "thanks" and "thank you" from posts

One of the major strengths of SO/SE is a very high signal to noise ratio, meaning that pages here are laser focused on good quality questions and answers only. The system inherently does not value anything that is not supportive of asking a good question or giving a good answer.

This includes things like greetings and "thank you"s. Things like that might make things seem nicer or more conversational, but they don't help make a question clearer or make an answer better. Thus they should get removed as with any other noise.

This is outlined specifically for greeting and such in the Help Center under Expected Behavior

Do not use signature, taglines, or greetings.

Every post you make is already “signed” with your standard user card, which links directly back to your user page. If you use an additional signature or tagline, it will be removed to reduce noise in the questions and answers.

Specifically, to quote this Meta.SE post, some of the ways these things add noise are:

  1. It will leave even less room in the question preview so that we have more difficulty gauging what a question consists of by reading the preview.

  2. It takes time to read and parse through those questions when I am trying to spend my time more efficiently reading through the actual question and figuring out how to appropriately answer it. If I have to start reading all the little side comments and snarky humor inserted in there it detracts from the overall message.

  3. If this is supposed to be a website which is servicing more than just the primary author, we need to think about how we construct messages so that they appear more clearly to those searching on google for questions that match their own. If I am looking for a solution for question X, I want to find someone who had the same problem, not their short autobiography and formalities before getting to that actual question.


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