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I sometimes notice that an example question has a comment that answers it, rather than commenting on the question being a good example.

Is it correct to flag the comment as noise?

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Yes, if the intent was to provide an answer to the question, then there would be an option to do so.

My suggestion would be to comment to the poster informing them of this meta after someone with more authority than I either comments I'm correct, or better yet, post an answer.

In terms of the comment to the user, you might say something like:

@answer-poster: These comments are intented to provide feedback on the question, not to answer the question, per Area 51 guidelines; if you disagree, please voice that concern on the meta for Area 51. Otherwise please delete your "answer comment", thanks!

  • The option already exists, and it is to flag the comment, which is meant to flag it as noise, offensive or spam. I was just wondering if the moderators on Area 51 prefer not to have such flags for the specific reason I am describing. – kiamlaluno May 1 '12 at 22:51
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    @kiamlaluno Yes, commenting to let the users know, and flagging comment-answers is the recommended course of action. – Robert Cartaino May 1 '12 at 22:56
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    @RobertCartaino Thank you. I didn't want to add noise to noise. – kiamlaluno May 1 '12 at 22:59
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    A more copy-paste-able version of the quote: @answer-poster: These comments are intended to provide feedback on the question, not to answer the question, per Area 51 guidelines; if you disagree, please [voice that concern on the meta for Area 51](http://discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/q/5069/95466). Otherwise please delete your "answer comment", thanks! – Bleeding Fingers Jan 27 '14 at 20:35
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Answers reflect on the question - if a comment indicates that a full answer would be too big for a comment box, that suggests that it's a good question. If the answer is completely trivial to find (e.g. general reference), then that suggests the question is less good.

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    On Area 51 there aren't answers; there are just example questions for the proposal. – kiamlaluno May 24 '12 at 15:36
  • @kiamlaluno If that is the case, then your question doesn't make sense. – Marcin May 24 '12 at 15:44
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    It makes sense; I am referring to the comments left to the example questions, which tries to answer the question being asked. Comments for the example questions should just point what it is wrong with the example question, or what should be changed; they should not be used to answer the questions. – kiamlaluno May 24 '12 at 19:36
  • @kiamlaluno So, how can you say "On Area 51 there aren't answers". As you say, there are answers. That is the premise of your question. – Marcin May 25 '12 at 5:13
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    No, there aren't answers. There are example questions, and comments. Using comments for answering is not what should be done; comments are still not answers, as in other Stack Exchange sites. – kiamlaluno May 25 '12 at 5:57
  • @kiamlaluno "Using comments for answering is not what should be done" That's the question: I give reasons why answering questions adds value to the process. – Marcin May 25 '12 at 7:17
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    My question is not that. It's out of discussion that comments are not for answering the example questions; those questions will be answered when the proposal becomes a site. The question is how to flag those comments, and what else to do. – kiamlaluno May 25 '12 at 7:30
  • @kiamlaluno You are begging the question as to whether answers are a problem. I give reasons why they are not, and so why there is no need to flag every answer. – Marcin May 25 '12 at 7:43

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