This is extremely annoying that people give incorrect answers in the comments. I can't downvote comments, so I can't easily signal that the comment is wrong. If there are already several comments on the question, even adding an additional comment doesn't necessarily help unless someone upvotes my comment. And if the incorrect comment is itself upvoted, it stays even more visible.

I am not sure what to do about this. Any thoughts?

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    $\begingroup$ Having threaded comments (a tree of comments and sub-comments whose root is ANSWER) instead of a chronological list would reduce ambiguity and make corrections more visible. $\endgroup$
    – T..
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ In case anyone is wondering, the feature request to allow downvoting comments was rejected without explanation a year ago. I think @T..'s suggestion is similarly unlikely to be entertained by the StackExchange devs. Edit: Sorry, I didn't realize this post was a couple of months old. $\endgroup$
    – user856
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 3:17
  • $\begingroup$ Related meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/2473/242 $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ @MathLover You've edited four (old) posts in a matter of less than 15 minutes, bumping them all to the front page of the active questions. Please refrain from serial editing of older meta posts which are likely not in need of editing. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 23:21

3 Answers 3


Dear Qiaochu,

My suggestion is to write a comment, addressed to the poster of the erroneous comment, politely pointing out the error. One can then hope that the poster responds by (e.g.) deleting their comment; one can also hope that people will see your comment and vote it up. This strategy is not guaranteed to succeed, but it seems fairly likely to work in practice.

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    $\begingroup$ Right; that's what I've been trying to do. I was just wondering if there are better options. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see much else that can be done within the framework of the site. I don't know the comments that inspired the thread, but sometimes the issue is complicated. In some cases "wrong" is a matter of taste or presentation style; comments can hardly be edited; and there is not enough space in comments to always be perfectly "right". So I think the inability to vote down comments may reduce drama somewhat. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 13:39

The flag options have changed in the seven and a half years since the previous answer. Nowadays you can flag as "No longer needed" and if sufficient people do that then the comment will be deleted with no need for moderators to get involved.

  • $\begingroup$ But is it really no longer needed? $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnMa, if it's incorrect it was never needed. (And I think some stacks take it further and say that if it's an answer then it was never needed as a comment. Certainly that seems to be in line with the changes that are being trialled on some stacks to replace "add a comment" with (IIRC) "request clarification"). $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ Some recent related discussion here (they are concerning answers, but since we are talking about answers in comment probably it is applicable). In particular the two highly upvoted answers there suggests that there are instance where wrong answers should be kept. $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 16:39
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnMa, I see your point, but both of those answers suggest editing to correct or at least to add a note that it's wrong, and comments can't be edited once they're 5 minutes old. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 19:24

I have 2 suggestions:

  • Flag it (Right now flag says "Offensive, spam or noise"). I suppose it can qualify as "noise" since really, it is noise and detracts from users getting useful information from the site
  • Disallow answers in comments.

Answers in comments aren't intended by the current version of SE, so the system isn't equipped to handle "wrong comments" as it were

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    $\begingroup$ The second suggestion is unenforceable. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ Well, it would be enforced by mod deletion. Its overkill, but it will stop the problem. $\endgroup$
    – bobobobo
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 2:51
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    $\begingroup$ do you actually expect mods to monitor every single thread on this website? And what qualifies as an answer? Does a list of possible approaches count? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ I've opened a request to add a "Disagree" feature on meta.stackoverflow. Please sign up and upvote it if you think it should be added to the platform. (I used this question as an example but I only partly disagree that this suggestion is unenforceable) $\endgroup$
    – bobobobo
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ lol... people are here to learn things, not to give perfect answers... so your answer is really a joke. and we learn by reading questions and commenting/answering, that's how it works. $\endgroup$
    – reuns
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 5:48

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