I often see comments along the following lines:

  • Thanks!
  • You're welcome. :)
  • This is great!

In person, I appreciate these aspects of common courtesy. On Stack Exchange, they are considered unnecessary.

Should we flag and remove comments like these as "too chatty"?

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Hint: You're on stackexchange. Yes, I remove them as I come across them, usually. –  jcolebrand May 11 '12 at 17:13
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@jcolebrand - I'm posting here for make benefit the public record. :) And now, on to the comment slaughter! –  Nick Chammas May 11 '12 at 17:31
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Personally I think "thanks" and "welcome" comments are much more valuable than things like "Ok, glad it was helpful, now hurry up and up-vote and accept my answer!" At least the former show respect and appreciation, the latter just demonstrates rep greed. –  Aaron Bertrand May 14 '12 at 20:34
    
@AaronBertrand though both upvotes and especially accepting an anwser are valuable to Googlers looking for an answer to their own question. I think it is a good thing for me to encourage folk to accept the most helpful answer, especially if it is not mine of course :-) –  Jack Douglas May 15 '12 at 17:05
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@JackDouglas Agreed, I'm not saying that up-votes and accepts are bad, but an answerer demanding them 15 minutes after the question is asked is a little early to start bullying the OP to accept their answer before a better one comes along, which is how I see it most of the time. –  Aaron Bertrand May 15 '12 at 17:19
    
@AaronBertrand yes, that is unreservedly a bad thing - we want the best answer accepted, not necessarily the first one –  Jack Douglas May 15 '12 at 17:23
    
@JackDouglas how do you suggest that particular behavior is dealt with? I've considered commenting to the bullies but have usually held my tongue. Will the moderators care about such petty complaints? Does the answer potentially differ between here and SO? –  Aaron Bertrand May 15 '12 at 17:25

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I don't mind seeing them as comments. They don't really add anything of future value to the posts, but they also don't distract much from the content. That being said I have no problem with them being removed I just don't see it as a high priority.

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I completely agree with this summary of the issue. I ask only to have it on the record that this is OK, as I suspect some people will wonder why their "thank you" comments were removed by the mods. –  Nick Chammas May 11 '12 at 18:44

While they don't add value, I think it does add to the sense of community. Some of the folks who have answered my questions deserve steak dinners - while they will get my green answer check, I like that I can make sure they know they really helped out.

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My rule of thumb is to leave new comments like that untouched to give the recipient time to read them, and then flag them once they are over a month or so old and have thus served their purpose. Does that sound like a good rule? –  Nick Chammas May 15 '12 at 15:49
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I like that idea, Nick! –  JHFB May 15 '12 at 16:43
    
I don't have a problem with them but also would not mind if they were removed after a period of time. –  jgardner04 May 17 '12 at 14:21

To me, there are 2 issues here:

  1. Comments that contain only "Thanks!" or "You're Welcome!"

  2. Comments/questions that begin or end with the above.

I fully understand that #1 is mostly just a waste of space, although with a complete lack of ability to PM someone, it may be the best way to communicate appreciation.

It really bugs me, however, when I get a question edited only to find that the only change made was a removal of my tagline: "Thanks!". I always like to show that I'm appreciative of anyone taking the time to help me, and it seems super odd (and irritating) that someone would go out of their way to remove that, and only that, as "unnecessary".

I think minor comments can be too much at times (and we're all really here for the questions/answers), but within reason it's acceptable to me.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

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You started talking about thanks yous in comments and then shifted to talking about how it bugs you when people remove them from your questions. Stack Exchange is not your typical forum, and it is accepted as proper etiquette that you should not include salutations or signatures in questions or answers. –  Nick Chammas Jun 1 '12 at 15:04
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Yeah, comments are different from questions; questions can be edited so removing "thanks" ect (and we're basically supposed to). Comments can't be edited (except by mods, which is rare) so they're pretty much all or nothing appropriate or not. –  Ben Brocka Jun 2 '12 at 23:00

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