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As a mod you sometimes notice things getting somewhat abused.

Here's an example

enter image description here

Names blurred out since its about the action, not the people.

I see, 3 instances of the right thing.

I see a flag (yay!) I see a delete vote (Your choice!).

I see a comment that while slightly charmingly non grammatical, shows a clear attempt to educate the user. (and well if it were a pro forma comment, I wouldn't complain.)

I see... two comments saying the same thing. Both of them are canned comments, and well, in this case seemingly redundant.

If its already been said before, well, there's no real need to hit it with multiple near identical comments IMO.

So... how do we do this better and more intelligently? What does the community think?

  • Of the two canned comments they are auto-generated from review queue delete votes? The last is a "This is commentary on another post, not an answer" vote and the other one is a "This is an “I’m having this problem, too” comment" vote. So these are just reflecting the reason the reviewers voted to close. If I see an appropriate comment already there I use the "No comment needed" reason. – DavidPostill Oct 1 '15 at 10:20
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    I don't seem to recall getting canned comments when I review. If its due to a script, some tweaking/awareness may be needed? – Journeyman Geek Oct 1 '15 at 10:21
  • I also have some these canned comments in AutoReviewComments - Pro-forma comments for SE which I use if I'm the first to comment on an answer ... – DavidPostill Oct 1 '15 at 10:26
  • I'm under the impression that's what's doing it. – Journeyman Geek Oct 1 '15 at 10:35
  • Let me try disabling it. – DavidPostill Oct 1 '15 at 10:35
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    Snapshot of canned comments dialog from IE (with no user scripting) imgur.com/5YJHPgx – DavidPostill Oct 1 '15 at 11:13
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    @JourneymanGeek the canned comments are present on Low Quality review queue, when you opt to delete the post. – Sathyajith Bhat Oct 1 '15 at 11:42
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    As one of the people who posted one of those comments pictured without ever knowing what was posted, I really wonder what the benefit is of a comment being posted on my behalf where I cannot even see what will be posted. Perhaps there is a larger Stack Exchange discussion as to wether someone should be able to see the “pro-forma” comments as a part of the review queue process? Honestly most of the time I see them after the fact, I feel like… It just feels weird and the tone doesn’t seem to be anything but canned and robotic. – JakeGould Oct 2 '15 at 3:28
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    Can somebody please explain what you folks are talking about?  As Sathya says, when I go into the Low Quality Posts review queue, and I see a post that was flagged as low-quality, I get four buttons: “Looks OK”, “Edit”, “Recommend Deletion”, and “Skip”.  When I click on “Recommend Deletion”, I get this menu, which appears to be identical to the one DavidPostill posted.  … (Cont’d) – Scott Oct 2 '15 at 6:33
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    (Cont’d) …  And I get one of the five canned comments only if I click on the corresponding radio button before I click on “Delete”; if I leave “No comment needed” (the default) selected, I get no comment.  If you’re getting a comment posted on your behalf where you cannot see what will be posted, you may have malware on your system, but AFAICT it’s not Stack Exchange’s fault. – Scott Oct 2 '15 at 6:34
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    @JakeGould I don't recall ever having had a comment posted on my behalf without first being able to see what it was going to be. Can you provide a workflow example where that happens? – DavidPostill Oct 2 '15 at 9:22
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    I used to post redundant pro-forma comments but have moved to avoid doing this in recent cases. +1, have to agree that they cause clutter. – bwDraco Oct 2 '15 at 23:46
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I agree that redundancy is a bad thing.  I also believe that redundancy is a bad thing.  :-)

Is this a real problem?  I know I’ve seen it happen on occasion, but there have also been plenty of times that I have cast the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or whatever vote to delete, and nobody before me has left a comment.  And it’s well known that there is an epidemic of down votes unaccompanied by comments.  If an occasional post gets two or three comments explaining why an adverse action is being taken, is that a real problem?  And does it qualify as “abuse”?

I appreciate anonymizing the users involved, but it might be interesting and useful if you profiled their rep levels.  Are they in the range 2000-2500 or 2000-3000, who are new to the Low Quality Posts review queue (you need 2000 rep to access it) and maybe don’t understand that “No comment needed” is an option?  Or are they 5000 and above, who should know better?

OK, to prevent this from being flagged as “not an answer”:

  • If you want to ping the authors of the second and third comments and tell them that they’re overdoing it, it’s OK with me.  But I believe that it’s not a worthwhile use of time and energy.  And note that the users might reasonably believe that they have different reasons for saying that the low-quality post deserved deletion, just as people who agree that a question should be closed don’t always agree on the reason.
  • If you want to add something to the Stack Exchange software so that, once a pro forma comment has been posted, you have to jump through hoops to post another, that’s OK with me, too.  But, at the risk of repeating myself, I believe that it’s not a worthwhile use of time and energy — and I suspect that the developers would agree.
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    That's an interesting point tho. I was assuming this was due to userscripts and not site specific requirements. All of the users whose names I redacted are folks who've been here a while. If people are aware it happens and why it happens, well, things get easier. – Journeyman Geek Oct 3 '15 at 6:27

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