# Should I thank people when they post comments?

When I ask questions on MSE, a lot of people often leave very helpful tips and suggestions in the comment section under my question. I feel that it's only right to thank each and every one of them for his contribution in the comments section.

The trouble is, this often clogs up the comment section quite quickly; eg if $$5$$ people leave helpful comments then that'd be $$5$$ thank yous!

So, should I continue to thank commenters?

Thanks for your time and help.

• – Asaf Karagila Mod
Apr 25 '21 at 15:03
• Speaking for myself, if you read and digest a Comment I leave, that is thanks enough. In many cases this should result in your editing your Question or (perhaps) solving it and answering it to your own satisfaction. On the other hand my Comment may reveal that I misunderstood your Question, and a response on that basis is appreciated. Apr 25 '21 at 17:47
• "+1"="Thanks. I have read and digested this comment and found it helpful". Apr 26 '21 at 11:06
• @user1729 since when +1 means that? +1 afaik, doesn't imply a Thanks Apr 26 '21 at 16:00
• I sometimes leave comments that are meant to be temporary. What you can do is leave your thank you and delete when you are sure it has been seen. I add a message like (will delete this message soon to avoid clutter) so that they don't think I have changed my mind and no longer wish to thank them Apr 27 '21 at 11:27
• I will "+1" a comment as a low-clutter acknowledgement / appreciation / tip of the hat / thank you. This is possibly not the way comment voting was initially designed to function, but I haven't seen a good argument that this is detrimental, and I strongly believe that small courtesies help an on-line community run well, are frequently ignored by the coders, and that it is up to community members to implement them. Apr 27 '21 at 13:50
• @VerónicaRmz. Since very early on in this site's life. To quote one of the site's founders and designers: "it is far better to leave a comment explaining specifically why the comment/answer was so useful to you rather than a generic "thanks!". If explaining seems like too much work, well, that is what the handy little upvote arrow next to every comment and post is for :) " (link). Apr 27 '21 at 14:41

## 1 Answer

No, you shouldn't thank each of them with an individual comment. This is because if, as you say, there are 5 people who helped you then you would be posting 5 comments, which is a lot of noise. You are better upvoting the helpful comments, and maybe also posting a general "thanks!" comment, which they can read if they want to*.

There are a number of reasons for this, and for full gory arguments I direct you to this meta.SE question and its answers. Fundamentally though, its a matter of site philosophy, and is underlined by the fact that greetings in questions (like "hi!" etc.) are automatically removed, while "the thanks parts at the end of posts" are left in simply because they "are much more difficult / risky to detect".

Let me highlight what I think is the main argument in the meta.SE discussion, which is taken from the accepted answer:

If this is supposed to be a website which is servicing more than just the primary author, we need to think about how we construct messages so that they appear more clearly to those searching on search engines for questions that match their own. If I am looking for a solution for question X, I want to find someone who had the same problem, not their short autobiography and formalities before getting to that actual question.

So 5 messages saying "thanks!" is a nice gesture, but future readers don't care about this, and in fact your comments may detract from the original, helpful comments.

*I will often revisit posts I have interacted with to see how they are going on, as a form of procrastination. I guess other people act similarly.

• Another great idea, in addition to upvoting helpful answers and accepting one, is for the asker to edit their question, to add at the very bottom of the question, "Edit: Thanks to all those who helped me out!" (Brief!) Apr 28 '21 at 20:39
• @amWhy Nice idea, thanks! I think I'll do that. May 2 '21 at 22:25
• Thanks for the answer. :) May 2 '21 at 22:25
• Great, @A-LevelStudent Glad to help! May 2 '21 at 22:30