So I am a new user, and I know I can post a question like I am doing right now. I also realized I could comment exclusively on my questions. I have one problem. Why are the comments so limited?

I tried to comment on an answer to one of my previous questions, and when done, I got a notification that my comment was too long. How am I to accurately convey the extent of my message if it is limited to a short length? I find commenting on this site to be no better than twitter. It is hard to explain something in detail when the field is limited to such a short length. I had to answer my question to comment to the answer on one of my problem accurately.

  • What was your comment? Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 17:56
  • @djsmiley2k it was posted as an answer on his other meta question and was subsequently edited into his question.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 6:40

2 Answers 2


Comments are limited so that you put information where it actually needs to be: your question.

Comments should never really be used as the depository of information, if you need to clarify something then you should be editing your question and maybe leaving a comment on the relevant answer saying where you have put the additional information.

Informative comments, should they deleted? Yes.

Comments are third class citizens on this site and real information should be either in questions or answers. Comments are transient and should not be used for long information or discussion.

From the comment privilege page:

What are comments?

Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. They can be up-voted (but not down-voted) and flagged, but do not generate reputation. There's no revision history, and when they are deleted they're gone for good.


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).

In addition to Mokubai's excellent answer - well... its not just you. Comments are somewhat misunderstood by many new users, old and new.

Your question is a perfect example of what Robert means when he says

The current UI is a trap. It lures in unsuspecting users to do one thing while those who live in meta enforce something else. That's the rub — there's a real-world understanding of what it means to "comment", and then there's Stack Exchange.

When ideally

Comments actually have two primary use cases — to ask for clarification or to suggest improvements to a post.

And for both these things we kind of expect comments to be succinct, and transient. It isn't a place for explaination in detail. As a post author - if you find something is important enough to address in depth and is something that fits into your post, editing is a great option. If a comment exchange has reached a conclusion, roll up what's been learnt into your posts. More or less, if it is important that content be preserved, it goes into a question or answer, not a comment.

The mechanics of the site also push you into chat if comment threads get too long so its worth remembering comments are also not for conversation. Keep it short, focused and things work a lot better.

  • 1
    Here is the thing about comments. When you want to reply to someone's answer it is more efficient to do a comment. Editing your question you have to add the name to direct your message. Commenting would better suffice if it wasn't so limiting. Too many meaningless restrictions are mainly why I will probably be removing my account in the near future.
    – user897622
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 16:07
  • 2
    @DanteVega if you have more than a sentence or two of information then you probably should be addressing the wider community and editing your question rather than commenting at a specific person. The restrictions aren't meaningless, they are meant to enforce the principle of "information first, discussion second".
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 16:10
  • @DanteVega if you are directing anything in a question to anyone, you are excluding, everyone else in the community. You should assume a comment will have a temporary existence. If you had a comment that was so long, it couldn’t be submitted, it likely should have been information in the question body so everyone can read it “forever”
    – Ramhound
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 16:27

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