I have recently noticed that a specific user has been trying to promote their unanswered question by finding similar questions to theirs and posting a link to their question in the comments on one of the answers, asking the user that answered to have a look at their question, i.e.:

"I see you have answered a question on this topic, can you look at my own question on a similar topic and also answer it?"

Is this appropriate?

This is not the first time I have seen this user use this tactic. They have 6 near identical comments on specific answers asking the user who answered to look at their question. I was alerted to this as I was one of the people contacted. As I said, I have noticed this user employ a similar method when they had previous questions, though I am unsure if they then went back and deleted their comments if and when they got an answer.

It is my understanding that comments should be about whatever question or answer the comment box is under. To me this type of tactic almost comes across as spam and a misuse of what I thought comments were for.

I did suggest to the user that they should not use comments for this purpose and they were happy to remove their comment, but I then noticed all their other comments. I thought it best to clarify what the policy is on this and if necessary, what action I should take.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This does merit some discussion I agree, non-officially atm I can say it would be annoying and a tad bit abusive at most but not up front wrong per se but we should definitely cement a rule on this. I can understand a plea comment for help but several seems excessive so we enter the gray area. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR May 9 '18 at 15:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MrZak They are not posting a link to a related answer, they are posting a link to their own, unanswered question on an answer in the hope that the user may also be able to answer their question. E.g. "I see you have answered a question on this topic, can you look at my own question on a similar topic and also answer it?" $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot May 11 '18 at 9:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Ah I see. I think this case is easier to judge then - it's not appropriate, editing and clarifying question should be done instead. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak May 11 '18 at 12:24

This as happened to me on a couple of occasions before, possibly by the same user, and I did find it inappropriate.

Not only were the comments unrelated to the answer at hand, it could be considered kind of "spamming" to unsolicitedly ping a specific user to look at another random question.

Looking at the help center it specifically mentions:


When should I comment?

You should submit a comment if you want to:

  • Request clarification from the author;

  • Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;

  • Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).

When shouldn't I comment?

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:

  • Suggesting corrections that don't fundamentally change the meaning of the post; instead, make or suggest an edit;

  • Answering a question or providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one);

  • Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, up-vote it and pay it forward;

  • Criticisms which do not add anything constructive ("-1, see previous comments you scallywag!"); instead, down-vote (and provide or up-vote a better answer if appropriate);

  • Secondary discussion or debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;

  • Discussion of community behavior or site policies; please use meta instead.

It doesn't seem to fit into any of the appropriate categories, and I suppose they could classify as "secondary discussion", which as per the rules is discouraged.

As for the course of action, I'd suggest perhaps flagging it as "no longer needed" if it is not too harsh.

no longer needed This comment is obsolete, chatty, or otherwise unnecessary.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .