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In some situations SE software adds a comment which looks like this:1

This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.

The comment is signed with some use name. So probably from the comment itself it is not clear whether it was added by some (at least partially) automated process.

However, I am not sure exactly in which situations such comments appear. I decided to ask here rather than experiment, since I do not want to flag some post by mistake. And also low quality posts review queue is empty at the moment, so I cannot experiment there.

I think that knowing exactly when this happens might be useful for some discussions which are currently going on.


Is seems that they can be added when reviewing low quality posts, see: What is the mechanism behind auto-generated "This does not provide an answer to the question" comments? However I am not sure when is it added. Is it only added when I choose "Recommend deletion"? If I choose this option, is there some possibility for me to choose what auto-generated comment is displayed and whether it is displayed at all? (The tag-wiki for the tag automatic-comments on meta.SE says that it is optional.)

Do some flags cause addition of such comment? Namely if I flag some post as "not an answer", is such comment added? Do I have option to decide whether it is added, when I use this type of flag?

Are there some other situations when such comment is added by the software?


Just to clarify, I am asking only when such comments is added by the SE software. Of course, nobody prevents a user from typing such comment manually, add them from some comments repository using some bookmarklet or userscript, or simply copy similar comment from here.


1 I have copied the text of the comment from here. (A deleted post, so it is visible for 10k+ users only.) I cannot know for sure whether it was added by software or actually typed in by a user, but the first possibility seems much more likely, since I found the post from Low quality posts review history.

Since in the meantime a post appeared in the low quality review queue, I was able to take a screenshot:

screenshot from the review queue

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  • $\begingroup$ @quid I have added screenshot. (Taken from the review queue, so it should look the same as what you copied from there. I have replaced the older screenshot taken from a post on meta.SE. I will add a link to revision history in case somebody wants to compere them.) If you think that it adds some information, feel free to copy it to your answer. (I think the only information it can possibly add is that you can see in the screenshot which parts of the comment are colored blue, i.e. they are links.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 28 '15 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ It is nice to have a screen shot. Having the text makes it searchable. So having both seems best. The older one was quite interesting too, as it documents a change that might explain part of the problem described in question that sparked this. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 28 '15 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ @quid If you think that there is an advantage in seeing both versions, feel free to edit my post. I will add at least link to the revision displaying the other version. If there is something more to add, let us continue the discussion in chat. (Since we are discussing of which screenshot to use is not that relevant to the actual question.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 28 '15 at 14:26
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Is it only added when I choose "Recommend deletion"?

Yes. But even then not always.

If I choose this option, is there some possibility for me to choose what auto-generated comment is displayed and whether it is displayed at all?

Yes. After pressing "recommend deletion" there is a pop-up with a list of six options (see below). The first and default is "no comment needed" the rest are some typical scenarios with a standard comment, one of them is the one you quote. If one chooses one of those the comment will be added (except if it is already present, from an other user, I think).

Do some flags cause addition of such comment?

No. The flag just puts the answer in the queue.

Namely if I flag some post as "not an answer", is such comment added?

No. See above.

Do I have option to decide whether it is added, when I use this type of flag?

No. It is never added.


Here is the text of the pop-up I talk about.

Add a comment for the author?

Leaving a comment is optional, but can help the author learn how to improve their post or avoid making the same mistake in the future.

  • No comment needed

  • This is commentary on another post, not an answer

    “This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post.”

  • This is a “thank you” comment

    “Please don't add "thank you" as an answer. Instead, vote up the answers that you find helpful.”

  • This is an “I’m having this problem, too” comment

    “This does not really answer the question. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question.”

  • This is a different question posted as an answer

    “If you have a new question, please ask it by clicking the Ask Question button. Include a link to this question if it helps provide context.”

  • This is a link-only answer (and not spam)

    “While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes.”

End of pop-up.

The bullets are selectable items; the default is "no comment needed."

Note the first comment is slightly different as it depends on the points of the answerer; users with the comment-privilege do not get the remark that eventually the will be able to comment, which is reasonable.

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  • $\begingroup$ For some reason I thought that such comment is also added when using "not an answer" flag. So that is not the case? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 28 '15 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ No it is not the case. To be even more sure, I just tested it. Neither an NAA nor a LQ flag on an answer generate a comment. I cast them and then refreshed the page multiple times, yet no comment in sight. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 28 '15 at 15:01

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