# Has the notification system for comments changed?

I noticed in the past days, that I do not get a notification when someone writes a comment under an answer, where I commented too, unless I am referred to with the usual @username.

I have the feeling that the notifications were much more reliable in the past, or am I confusing things? It is a little bit annoying that you do not see when someone commented, where you are interested in the reaction too. Also it is a little bit annoying to use @... to make sure your comment gets noticed.

As I said, I feel like in the past I got more notifications under these circumstances. Has something changed?

Besides that, are there other methods in checking your own comments, other then going on your profile to "all actions" and then scroll down to the comment you wrote, which might interest you, if there were new comments added?

Thanks in advance.

## 1 Answer

Could you be a bit more specific about the situation in which you expect to get a comment. In the current revision you write: "I do not get a notification when someone writes a comment under an answer, where I commented too." AFAICT that is exactly how this is supposed to work - with one notable exception that if you and the OP are the only users who have posted comment there. Some references which describe this behavior:

Although the simplest way to describe this is that if the @username is removed by the system, that is precisely the situation where the user will be notified even without it.

Re: "Also it is a little bit annoying to use @... to make sure your comment gets noticed." OTOH this is a way to ensure that those users for which the comment is relevant will be notified. (If each commentator would get a notification, we would have much fuller inboxes - and after excessive amount of notifications, people are more likely to start ignoring them completely.) I will remind you that you can use autocomplete, i.e. you can type @, the first letter of username and then press tab, to be able to enter the username faster. This feature is called autocomplete. (IIRC this does not work on mobile devices.)

Following posts and SEDE queries

You have also asked: "Are there other methods in checking your own comments, other then going on your profile?"

I will remind you that it is now possible to follow posts - so that you get notifications from them as if you were the OP. But doing so on all posts where you left a comment might be unpractical. (Still, maybe at least on those which are interesting for you, you could use this feature to make sure that you'll be notified about all comments, regardless of using @username.)

You might try to use SEDE. (SEDE has the disadvantage that the data is updated once a week, but it is at least something.) Here is a query listing the posts where you have recently commented. And from that you can build in various ways queries listing the recent comments on those posts. For example, here is a query returning recent comments on the posts where you left a comment at some point. (You will see only the comments before the last update - which was on Sunday. Notice that I have restricted this to the comments posted only after some date - otherwise that query took very long time to run. Again, maybe somebody more experienced with SQL would be able to improve the query so that it is more efficient and runs faster. When I tried the same query on meta, I was able to use a longer time interval - most likely because you have less comments on meta and there are less posts to check.)

I thought that maybe something like this might be possible also with Stack Exchange API. I have asked some more experienced users in chat - the response seems to be that this probably would not be feasible.

• The instances which made me think were here: math.stackexchange.com/questions/3884892/… and this math.stackexchange.com/questions/3884577/…. I am aware that the system with @username works like that, and you would not get notifications in 'longer' comment sections. In both linked cases I expected notifications, but I did not get one. Oct 29, 2020 at 8:18
• @Cornman In both examples, there are also other people commenting there, not just you and the OP. So you're only supposed to get the notification if @username is used. (In the first case, the OP, you and Ramanujan commented there. In the second link, there are comments from you, the OP and Dr. Mathva.) Oct 29, 2020 at 8:48
• Yes, but I would swear that earlier there would have been notifications in both instances, but it seems that my brain is tricking me here. Oct 29, 2020 at 9:10
• @mr_e_man Thanks - it was supposed to be "now" rather than "not". (Edited now.) Oct 29, 2020 at 20:59
• Kinda refreshing this 'discussion' but I am so sure that earlier I would have had a notification in my inbox, about the new comments under this answer. But I only found them because I checked. I know that we are going in circles here, as everything said before applies here. I just want to point out that I am certain that this was different in the past, and that it is kind off annoying that I do not get a notification from the system, even tho I might not have been adressed personally. I most of the time am interested in new replies, and I think this should be changed. Nov 4, 2020 at 22:41
• @Cornman Well, the documentation/FAQ says otherwise. But if you are sure that this has changed, you can file this as a bug report - either here or on Meta Stack Exchange. In particular, if you can really find in your inbox an example of a notification which you got without @username and without being the only other participant, that would help you make the case that it is indeed a but or at least that something has changed. Nov 5, 2020 at 3:10
• You are correct that @-completion doesn't happen on the mobile view, but it does work on mobile devices if you use the full site view, which is linked at the bottom of the mobile page. FWIW, the mobile sites will be "retired" once the devs have completed making all the full site views fully responsive. There are various question related to that on MSE, eg meta.stackexchange.com/q/343178/334566 Nov 8, 2020 at 10:26
• @Cornman Yes, your brain is tricking you. ;) The comment notification algorithm hasn't changed. If only 2 people are involved in a comment thread they'll both get auto-notifications, but as soon as anyone else comments, only the post owner will get auto-notifications. Of course, the notification system was enhanced a while ago so we can be notified about "followed" posts, but the devs were very careful to not change how comment notifications work. Nov 8, 2020 at 10:30