This question already has an answer here:
- Answering Questions with a Comment 3 answers
There is an astonishing amount of answers in comments here. Some of them gathered around 20 to 50 upvotes, and clearly provide a partial or full answer - and that isn't what the stack is for!
What got me started was this full and correct answer in comments that has since become obsolete (and deleted as of around 2018-10-03 17:50):
I find the two answers in comments rude. I flagged them repeatedly because they are showing a "My answer is above the Voting system". They are still there. They are obsolete. They break the guideline on comments that they shall not provide (patial) answers. They are answers in comments which game the system (quality control).
And there are Many More Examples - Questions in Strory ID that don't have answers but tons of answer attempts in the comments. One unanswered one is here:
One could have tried it with an answer and then discuss the merits of these answers on the actual answer, not having to rely on the not QCed comments.
Same problem here:
WHY shouldn't we?!
Comments don't have any Quality Control but only upvotes. One can't show that an comment is wrong or comment on it he way one could on an answer. One can't improve on it. One can't correct it. Or add reasoning that was missingfrom a bad answer.
Comments are meant to give a hint to the right direction or request clarification, they are not meant to replace answers or answer attempts. But this happens, especially in the story-identification. Indeed, most questions in story-identification only have a single answer that was weeded out via the comments first. This is not how the stack is supposed to work based on the help files.
An answer attempt, even a wrong one, warrants an answer on its own! A wrong answer can be discussed why it is not the right answer on its own.
A different thing arises: these comments often become obsolete and then create distracting space between the question and the answers.
Do you want to know more?
The Main Meta site has some dozen discussions about answers in comments, and they all lead to the same thing: "DON'T do it!" For example
Then there is the general help center (shared among all stacks), which tells us:
When should I comment?
You should submit a comment if you want to:
- Request clarification from the author;
- Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
- Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).
When shouldn't I comment?
Comments are not recommended for any of the following:
- Suggesting corrections that don't fundamentally change the meaning of the post; instead, make or suggest an edit;
- Answering a question or providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one);
- Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, up-vote it and pay it forward;
- Criticisms which do not add anything constructive ("-1, see previous comments you scallywag!"); instead, down-vote (and provide or up-vote a better answer if appropriate);
- Secondary discussion or debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;
- Discussion of community behavior or site policies; please use meta instead.
Other sites, like Math, drive a slightly less harsh course, but even there, it is not accepted.
What this is not:
This is not a question why people answer in comments, it ismeant to remind people tha answering in comments is not the way to go.
The edge between comment and answer here is wider than on other stacks, but Answers in comments are still outside of how the stack works: you can't downvote a comment.
Do your Part!
Now I ask of you: DO YOUR PART! Join Mobile Answer-as-Comment-Hunters Now! Burn the heretic; Kill the mutant; Purge the unclean. Go forth and hoist the flags of the inquisition, mount the flags on the sinner's contents. Turn their contents into answers and earn the Karma they don't want if you like, but credit where credit is due!
Make the SF&F.SE a better place today! For a cleaner future of the stack!
Everybody started to derail and in some parts discuss in comments on this, which is again not what comments are for as of help file. The discussion moved to chat.