I'm sure most of you have seen the occasional cynical comment on questions with things like Because the author/screenwriters didn't think of it or It's just a story or some other such nonsense. This isn't very constructive towards actually answering questions except in the case of extremely sloppy storytelling. Should these types of comments be flagged, addressed, or merely ignored?

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    @Molag I agree, but I see this in a lot of instances where perfectly reasonable answers have already been given. I don't know about you, but if I have a question about a story, I'm almost never looking for the answer because the author sucks.
    – BlackThorn
    May 19 '17 at 16:27
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    Comments that aren't very constructive should be flagged as "not constructive"...
    – Null Mod
    May 19 '17 at 16:50
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    @TBear - If they're comments, flag 'em. The mods invariably delete them. Note, however that we hold answers to a much higher standard.
    – Valorum
    May 19 '17 at 17:36
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    Oversnark might be a side effect of the sheer number of questions about plot holes we get. Ranging in size from the very large to the very small, neither extreme inspiring terribly intelligent discussion (I suppose this extends also to questions where the asker writes their own "improved" plot and wants what-if confirmation, which gives me a headache in particular). Not intended as an excuse - as others have said, if it crosses a line, flag it, it can and should be examined and dealt with.
    – Radhil
    May 20 '17 at 20:23
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    @Null Just FYI, that flag is going away at some point soon(tm)
    – Machavity
    May 22 '17 at 15:39

Should these types of comments be flagged, addressed, or merely ignored?

  • If you feel that a comment is not constructive, flag it.
  • If a comment does not relate to improving the question or one of the answers, flag it.
  • You are never required to respond to any comment, particularly one with any of the above problems.

Having said that, if you find a comment amusing and do not think it detracts from the Q&A (e.g. by spawning a long chain of argumentative replies), feel free to not flag it, or even upvote it.


Speaking as someone who periodically posts those sort of comments ...

In Star Trek Beyond, how does terminal velocity help "jump start" the Franklin?
"Because terrible writing"

Why did J remember about K when no one else did?
"Because terrible writing"

Why were the Ursa designed to track solely by fear?
"Because terrible writing"

... I can honestly say that if you post a question asking about a plothole in a specific property, you need to be reasonably prepared to elicit comments from those who can see that the problem often is that the writers simply didn't think about it (or are terrible writers)!

If you think that a comment is intentionally unproductive, click the little flag next to it and choose

"not constructive"

from the drop-down menu. A friendly mod will undoubtedly delete the offending article for you. You're also welcome to address them (if you want to) and you're equally welcome to ignore them. What you shouldn't do is take them personally

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    And sometimes it's just because they're schmucks. May 19 '17 at 21:17
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    @zabeus - It has ever been thus.
    – Valorum
    May 19 '17 at 21:19
  • Sometimes, the answer really is that the author didn't think of it. For example: Dudley Dursley's (time-travelling?) Playstation.
    – user41830
    May 30 '17 at 20:23
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    @duskwuff - Exactly. And if we can't acknowledge Bellisario's maxim here, where can we do it? Shows are made to limited budgets by small numbers of people under time pressure, working with actors who hate each other, many of whom are drunk, drugged, hung-over or just plain bored and didn't bother to read their lines
    – Valorum
    May 30 '17 at 20:40
  • @Valorum - I think we can acknowledge it. That one Potter example is just easy because the author admitted it. Other examples are harder to prove because it's the right answer to those not interested in the details and the wrong answer (and a possible cop out) to those who are. I wouldn't mind seeing it brought up more often, just with more tact or respect - but that's a limited resource around here, for questioners, answerers, and the works in question all around.
    – Radhil
    May 31 '17 at 20:07

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