I saw this question: Video Player code (JavaScript, HTML5 etc), and I thought it might be good to give the person a way to solve the problem, even though it isn't on topic for this website. I've commented:

“You could use MediaElement.js”

But, my comment was almost immediately removed. Maybe it wasn't good enough because I didn't mention all the possibilities, but then Mokubai commented the following:

“We are not a code writing or product recommendation service.”

And blocked my ability to respond. I wanted to respond:

“@Mokubai why acting like that? all I wanted was to help. and it's the comment section, not an answer. I can't comment? what's wrong with you? also, the person who asked is new. I think it might be fair to guide him for the next time and also tell him the possible solutions for his question on the way. It won't kill you to be kind.”

But rather than discuss it in the comments, I thought it would be better to bring it to the Meta site instead.

What's the big deal to be kind and help the user in the comments, while also attaching the rules and guides how to ask a question? If it's the user's first time here, it's really not the way to attract people to come here. The other commenter user (Mokubai) should be banned in my opinion. I don't feel wanted here and I believe many others feel that way too.

Do you want this website to be for a specific-users only or it should be for anyone and give a chance to all?

  • @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket This is not an issue of “rules over kindness.” The original question is very basic: They need an HTML video player. Tons of these things exist. One can easily search the web for tons recommendations and discussions. Additionally, this is not a critical or life/death question: It is simply asking for a software recommendation. And without knowing the real requirements of this user, there is no way to say “Use this!” or “Use that!” The reality is “Software Recommendations SE” is “friendlier” because the focus of that site is inherently discussion-based. Not here. Dec 17, 2020 at 18:57
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    @Giacomo1968 I'm sorry, but as a moderator and longtime community member of the Software Recommendations SE, I can authoritatively state that the reason why we are friendlier is not because we are "discussion-based". It's because we work hard at being friendly. :) Dec 17, 2020 at 19:08
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    The main reason to go to from here to Software Recommendations SE is not they are friendly and we're not. The main reason is the asker asked for software recommendations and other users were willing to recommend software. This is explicitly off-topic on SU and the very gist of SR. So if you want to ask for or give software recommendations, go to Software Recommendations SE not because they are nice but because that's the Right Place. Dec 17, 2020 at 21:36
  • @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket And the type of questions and the natural conversational nature of the Software Recommendations SE has utterly nothing to do with the culture? Dec 18, 2020 at 0:11
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    “This user (Mokubai) should be banned in my opinion.” - You want a community elected moderator to be banned for deleting an unnecessary commentary? “And blocked my possibility to respond.” - A moderator closed a question that was asking for software recommendation, why should a moderator be banned for moderating the community?.
    – Ramhound
    Dec 19, 2020 at 9:34
  • Comments are for helping the asker, not berating moderators.
    – Moab
    Jan 12, 2021 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


It may not be "fair" to lock comments, but the question is entirely off topic for this site and the comments were not doing anything to change that.

If the comments had been "you can edit your question to be on topic" or "try this other site where your question may be on topic" then fine, but they were not. The comments were purely "try this player" and "is there some code where I can do this with it?"

Comments should be used for clarification and improvement of the post upon which they appear, they should not be used to circumvent a question closure.

Answering an off-topic question, even in comments, validates the impression that the asker was "right" to ask in the first place. New users don't know about comments or care about whether they got the answer in a comment or a real answer and by "answering" in a comment you are cementing in their minds that we do allow these questions when we don't.

Show them the right place and way to ask this kind of question, but do not make the mistake of encouraging them to ask the wrong questions to begin with.

Please read What are comments?

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).
  • Also, the bulk of Stack Exchange sites are question and answer sites. Comments for posts like this veer into discussions. Many times if I present a recommendation to an off-topic question in the comments I clearly say something like, “This question is off topic, but look at this…” And I am not too invested in that comment existing for too long/. Dec 17, 2020 at 19:08
  • @Giacomo1968 - Isn't all the Stack Exchange websites Q&A websites?
    – Ramhound
    Dec 23, 2020 at 0:20
  • @Ramhound Yes, from a basic technical standpoint. But some sites treat comments are a discussion forum that needs to be retained. Sites such as Skeptics SE and Worldbuilding SE. Dec 23, 2020 at 0:27

I believe the issue here is not whether or not the comments were appropriate or not, but rather the speed at which the actions were taken.

I really think the timing is the issue here. But first, this…

“This user (Mokubai) should be banned in my opinion.”

I might have sympathy towards your point of view, but if you truly believe that someone should be banned because their actions rubbed you the wrong way, I cannot trust your point of view.

Perhaps Mokubai acted too quickly; which is really what I think is the case here. But stating someone should be banned like this is really too much of a retaliatory swing.

My opinion about this whole issue? Everything that Mokubai states is 100% correct for all of the reasons stated. But… I do strongly believe that some Moderators are too quick to act in cases like this. The speed of the response is what I feel has ruffled feathers.

So can I kindly recommend that moderators just wait a bit for the closed question to settle before deleting comments? Maybe only act quickly if the comments are truly getting unruly. But otherwise just let it settle and then just act on the comments afterwards if they are problematic.

And even then maybe comment by saying:

“Sorry, while your comment is well intentioned, this question is off topic and simply recommending one JavaScript library for such a broad topic such as media players doesn’t really add much.”

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    Unfortunately moderation is very much ad hoc, and on best effort. We're not going to likely to sit on a comment that we feel needs deleting. If it takes a while, its probably cause we haven't gotten to it yet. Quick action saves everyone's time as well, since well, we might have folks getting 'taught' they can get an answer through an extended comment thread...
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Dec 18, 2020 at 3:22
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    @JourneymanGeek “We're not going to likely to sit on a comment that we feel needs deleting.” I really don’t think it is really that hard to understand that if there is a closure of a post, there might be contentious comments and then they will fade off. If you jump into the initial fray by deleting stuff, you run the risk of getting someone who is on edge to post a comment again… And again… And again… I have no idea how the comments queues work on the moderator side, but perhaps a 1-2 hour “Let it sit…” window is advisable. I realize it’s all ad hoc but still… Slow down on the trigger finger. Dec 18, 2020 at 18:30
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    @Giacomo1968 - A moderator can just lock a question and prevent all voting and commentary in the case you describe. However, if a question is out of scope, and that hasn’t happened yet just closing it should be enough. Which by the way is exactly what happen, the question was locked and closed. I didn’t check the history when I made my comment last night.
    – Ramhound
    Dec 19, 2020 at 14:52
  • @Ramhound Fair enough. Dec 19, 2020 at 14:53

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