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I recently had my post edited by an MSE member. The editor removed the 'Thanks' I had put at the end of my post. This happened sometime earlier too.

Is it discouraged to write 'Thanks' in our posts?

If yes, then what is the reason?

Thanks. :)

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    $\begingroup$ Related question from Meta Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jul 19 '15 at 5:55
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    $\begingroup$ Some related older discussions: Editing to remove a “Thank you” in a post and What is the etiquette about leaving short thank-you comments? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 19 '15 at 6:24
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    $\begingroup$ Not everyone agrees. See my questions for example, I share your "bad" habit of thanking people for looking at my question. I will not stop. $\endgroup$ – James S. Cook Jul 20 '15 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ @JamesS.Cook Thank you for your comment. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jul 20 '15 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ @NormalHuman I see what you did there, and, I thank you for it as well. $\endgroup$ – James S. Cook Jul 20 '15 at 22:50
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    $\begingroup$ I think it's more accepted to give courteous remarks like thanks in the comments, although there are actually 'rules' that discourage even that... $\endgroup$ – user21820 Jul 21 '15 at 2:23
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    $\begingroup$ @user21820 To me the main difference is that if user A thanks some user B for something specific via a comment then this can be a nice gesture (the instructions against it rather target a different behavior); a tagged on "Thanks" at the end of a post by contrast is a pretty meaningless formality, and more often than not is an indicator that the user could not be bother to write a proper and polite post and tries to make up for this in a poor way. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 21 '15 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ @JamesS.Cook I looked at some of your posts and I will note that you do not write just "Thanks" usually but at meaningful phrase that is somewhat organically integrated into the post. Personally I find this not problematic and I think such a phrase will not as often be edited out as a bare tagged on "Thanks" that sticks out like sore thump. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 21 '15 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: Yup I more or less agree with you. $\endgroup$ – user21820 Jul 21 '15 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ ... Is this something that people at Math StackExchange actually care about? $\endgroup$ – AmagicalFishy Jul 21 '15 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ Once or twice when reviewing edits I have undone the removal of "Thanks" at the end, but of course this means the person proposing the removal does not have a high enough reputation score to do this by himself. $\endgroup$ – Robert Soupe Jul 22 '15 at 3:03
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    $\begingroup$ It would be quite a triumph of process over substance to legislate this. I think that in some cases the "thank you" helps to differentiate between people who know the answer but want to test others, people who ought to know the answer because their parents are paying thousands of dollars in tuition to an university with professional mathematicians, and people who genuinely don't know the answer and genuinely want to know. $\endgroup$ – David R. Jul 24 '15 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ This seems somewhat ridiculous, I mean, why is everything on this site taken beyond seriously. If someone wants to say thanks, then why can't they, is it really worth discussing even…? $\endgroup$ – Quality Jul 31 '15 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ "Thanks" is just filler which slows the flow of information. We should recommend "Gimme gimme gimme!" which speeds up the flow of information. $\endgroup$ – Somatic Custard May 3 at 16:22
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I don't edit posts only to remove thanks. But if I do edit for some other reason, I'll remove thanks along the way.

Why? Because what's written once is read many times — mostly, by people who are not going to post an answer to your question. For them, the thank-you line is just one more line on the screen separating them from the answers: nothing but visual noise.


Tangential remark: "thanks in advance", "any [something] is [somehow] appreciated", and especially "please help" are pretty good indicators of what I find to be low-quality posts. It seems that the users who make an effort to formulate a good question don't find it necessary to sprinkle their posts with pleas or thanks. I suppose they know they are contributing something, rather than begging for something, and so they post with more confidence.

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    $\begingroup$ Or maybe the ones saying 'Thanks' feel like they're just being polite? $\endgroup$ – Philip Hoskins Jul 20 '15 at 22:26
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    $\begingroup$ There is at least one case where I don't agree with your remark. A sentence like "any hints are greatly appreciated" would suggest that the OP is looking for hints instead of fleshed-out answeres, which is a relevant piece of information. $\endgroup$ – A.P. Jul 20 '15 at 22:43
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    $\begingroup$ @A.P. A good point; this isn't something I would edit out. My [something] refers more to "help/advice/suggestions". $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jul 20 '15 at 23:28
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    $\begingroup$ Dropped by to find out that I'm statistically writing low-quality posts according to a normal human. I do not see much difference between asking for any "hint" or any "suggestion" just to indicate that I'm interested in any part of the solution, not necessary only in the complete answer. If somebody thinks "suggestion" makes the whole difference, I respect this opinion, but I would not really appreciate it as a reason for an edit of my question. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Ilya Jul 22 '15 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Ilya there is a difference, which is hard to capture in abstract, between providing relevant information on the type of answer one is looking for (and no-one voiced and opinion against this) and a meaningless filler-phrase. There might also be an actual gray-area. Incidentally if you want to convey "[you are] interested in any part of the solution, not necessary only in the complete answer" I would recommend you write just that. // In the same spirit if somebody wants really "hints only" they better make this more clear than by what A.P. proposed. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 22 '15 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ @A.P.: "would suggest that the OP is looking for hints instead of fleshed-out answeres, which is a relevant piece of information" I disagree; I think it suggests that they are in the wrong place. This is a Q&A, not a discussion board or conference conversation. $\endgroup$ – Lightness Races with Monica Jul 26 '15 at 18:19
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It is customary in this site not to add Thanks at the end of the post, and by now this practice has become a faux pas. Whatever the original reasons and the perceived advantages of this choice, now it forms part of tradition.

Posters who do use Thanks signal that they are new to this site, and so more prone to posting low quality posts. That explains Normal Human's observation quoted in the other answer.

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