What is the general rule for copy and pasting and posting as answers the exact content of someone's comment? What is required? Credit? Making the post community wiki?

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    $\begingroup$ This question, shown among related question is, well, related: Dealing with answers in comments.. There is also a chatroom dedicated to reducing number of unanswered questions. (Which, technically, includes the questions with answers in comments which have not been posted as answers.) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ I will also point out existence of a bookmarklet which copies all comments under the question into the answer field (with relatively nice formatting - preserving a lot of MarkDown). It can probably still be recovered from Wayback Machine. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


If it is a pure copy-paste of someone else comment, I think one should usually do all three of the below (although I personally do not care much for it being made CW), and at the very least one of them:

  1. Make clear that it is a copy-paste from a comment (this often indirectly achieves 2).

  2. Name the source (this usually does 1 too).

  3. Make it Community Wiki.

Either way I consider reposting a comment-answer as a somewhat of a last resort to avoid effectively answered questions lingering around in the unanswered queue. Thus, I think it is also desirable to wait a bit (a couple hours) before doing such a conversion to allow for genuine answers first; as pointed out in a comment it can also make sense to encourage the original poster of the comment to post their comment, possibly expanded, as an answer before proceeding to repost it.

In my mind the thing to avoid is to come off as somebody trying to grab a few points by deception. If it is made transparent it is a copy-paste everybody can judge for themselves if the vote-up a copy-paste. If it is CW, this is moot, too.

To give explicit credit to the user that said it first is likely a good thing to do and easy enough, but especially for completely routine things I do not consider it as essential either.

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    $\begingroup$ I like this, but I prefer adding a step 0: Ask the commenter to post their comment as an answer. I have done this on several occasions, and it has always resolved the problem. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that can make sense, too. It depends a bit on the context. The wait I recommend goes somewhat in that direction. I'll add a remark there. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ Personally I would only apply these steps on old "unanswered" questions. $\endgroup$
    – Wildcard
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Wildcard what does "old" mean exactly? I just don't see the point in waiting all that long. Maybe a couple hours, what I said, is on the short side, but if a standard question is not answered within a few days it's not all that likely it will get answered any time soon ar at all, especially not if there is a comment answer. Why let the thing linger around for weeks, months, years? $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 22:14
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    $\begingroup$ Let me clarify: If I found a year-old question with no answers (for example while browsing the "unanswered" tab in pursuit of a tag badge) and there were a comment giving a brief answer followed by a "Thanks!" comment, I would copy the comment into a CW answer as you describe. However, if I found the same thing dated only from yesterday, I would not just copy-paste; I would write my own more lengthy answer, even if I followed the same line of thought as the comment or used it as a basis or starting point. Or if I were uninterested, I would comment, "You may as well post that as an answer." $\endgroup$
    – Wildcard
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 22:27

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