I flagged the comment trail here as off-topic, but my flag was declined. I'm confused as to how downvotes and Captain Kirk are on-topic to a question about two Babylon 5 characters.

Why was my flag declined?

  • 3
    The comment ontopicness on this site is a lot more relaxed than on some other SE sites. Frankly, i find that it improves the site tremendously. Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 15:23
  • @DVK Which is fine, I just want to make sure my flags match the site. Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


I think comments about downvotes are on-topic, because they’re supposed to help the asker improve their question (in the eyes of the downvoter).

We often have comments that lament the lack of a comment from the downvoter, but there’s not much to be done about that. The question of whether downvotes should require a comment has been discussed ad nauseam (the answer is no), but those comments are still on-topic, because they still seek to improve the question and/or understand why others didn’t like it.

Same applies for comments about downvotes on answers.

I don’t know anything about Babylon 5 or Star Trek, so I can neither follow nor comment upon the particular comment thread you linked to.

  • Asking why something was downvoted doesn't rub me the wrong way. It's the comments saying "Another downvote? Really? Ok, I'll upvote to offset" that I think don't really add anything to the question or the finding out why anyone is downvoting. Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 18:14
  • 2
    @DavidWilkins - I've posted comments like that before, but they would also include "it's actually a good question because of reasons A, B, C". The point is that challenging the downvote and providing reasons for that challenge make this kind of comment valid.
    – user8719
    Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 20:11
  • @JimmyShelter Kinda like mine did, with the comparison to Kirk. This is the question I was comparing it to; Drusilla is a one-off character that only appears in that episode
    – Izkata
    Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 22:15
  • Well I am really glad I posted this here, I should be able to more accurately flag in the future. Thanks guys! :-) Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 0:52

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