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The "Community" bot seems to have started writing comments. These seem less than helpful. For example:

Should I write "I opened him the door." after I had made him open the door?

Please add further details to expand on your answer, such as working code or documentation citations.

Asking for "working code" makes no sense at all. And "documentation citations" doesn't help in this case either.

I think this must be a fault of the automated system. But there doesn't seem to be a way of flagging the comments for mod attention.

Can someone turn off the automatic comments, or at least modify the advice to make it more suitable to ELL.


Actually I've had a look at some more comments, they seem to be automatically generated from the "first question" and "first answer" queues.

I think they are toxic. They are unwelcoming, unfriendly, hostile and everything that we shouldn't be saying to first users. Comments on first user posts should only be written by humans. This needs to be turned off on ELL.

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3 Answers 3

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I was scratching my head over the "Community" user too. Turns out it is just a new feature of the "whole new review queues project", and reviewers can now leave anonymous comments as "Community". Quoting the Meta SE post on this:

Reviewers are encouraged to leave comments for the post-author, but now they can also choose from a few options of canned feedback which will appear as a comment from the Community account.

To further complicate the matter, comments left anonymously by "Community" cannot be deleted. Yes, you heard right. Not even by moderators.

enter image description here

I think for the time being, the best bet might be a call on reviewers to not go for that option.


Update:

Now the Community comments seemingly have become effaceable.

enter image description here

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  • Perhaps these community comments could be made unlocked, so that mods can delete the most nonsensical ones? Not a clean solution, but perhaps a fallback or quick fix? Should be discussed…
    – Stephie
    Aug 29, 2021 at 6:06
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    There’s at least the request to fix those impermeable community comments: meta.stackexchange.com/a/369050/348196
    – Stephie
    Aug 29, 2021 at 6:15
  • @Stephie Thanks for the link! I didn't see it. Yeah, your suggestion sounds reasonable.
    – Eddie Kal
    Aug 29, 2021 at 7:43
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    Rumor has it that mods can delete the community comments from the user profile? Can’t confirm, the sites where I am a mod are so far nonsense-comments-free. TL has some instructions. Sorry for pinging you again, just thinking we should deal with them as quickly as possible for the reasons listed in the question.
    – Stephie
    Aug 29, 2021 at 10:05
  • I don't think this is fixable, I've written my answer below, but I can't think of a way of leaving negative anonymous comments that could ever be welcoming. The only solution is to remove this feature completely.
    – James K
    Aug 29, 2021 at 16:08
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    @Stephie Thank you for that piece of information! Indeed, comments can be removed through the Community user's comment history. I haven't gotten around to checking each and every one of them though.
    – Eddie Kal
    Aug 30, 2021 at 7:22
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The “weird” community comments asking for code etc. came as a presumably unwanted side effect when the new review queues were rolled out.

The request to fix misleading canned comments and allow site-specific templates is already documented on Meta SE and the issue has been discussed between moderators and CM and from what I could find, escalated accordingly.

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On ELL the canned comments aren't helping. Firstly they contained references to "showing the code". However that may be fixed.

But more fundamentally, the comments aren't useful because they aren’t specfic enough. And they cannot be made specific enough.

Reviewers are clicking the box to leave a feedback, and because it is easy lots of new questions get a comment about "adding details".

The impact is being negged by a anonymous mod A new user won't know that "Community" not a real person, only that someone is telling them to add details. But New Users don't know what sort of details to add. The feedback is anonymous, so the new user hasn't got a contact to ask. There is no engagement with the new user.

A useful comment could be written by a reviewer to explain what sort of details. But it differs in each case.

The automatic comments have no welcoming tone. They are usually not helpful. And they cannot be flagged.

This feature is not appropriate to ELL and should be turned of completely on this stack exchange.

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  • I agree with your conclusions 100%! Btw, what do you mean "The impact is being negged by a anonymous mod"? "Neg"? "Negated"?
    – Eddie Kal
    Aug 30, 2021 at 7:28
  • Canned comments have been used in review queue a way before the last changes, which only turned those comments in anonymous feedback which shows the Community user as author. (Probably, the idea is that some users would pay more attention to who wrote the comment instead of paying attention to what the comment said.) Personally, I found the canned comments useful only in few occasions. I now avoid posting them, especially since I noticed the same canned comment posted from two or three users for the same question/answer.
    – apaderno
    Aug 31, 2021 at 12:46
  • It could also be that the Community user has been done the author of feedback comments to avoid more than one comment is posted. Having only a feedback comment per post is positive, but the limitations on handling those feedback comments need to be fixed.
    – apaderno
    Aug 31, 2021 at 12:51
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    @EddieKal It might have been meant to be “nagged”, but “negging” is also a thing either as an old form of “nag” or as a term evolved from a tactic used by “pick up artists”
    – ColleenV
    Aug 31, 2021 at 14:16
  • "Neg" to say negative things to a person. (to lower their self esteem)
    – James K
    Aug 31, 2021 at 15:37
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    Obligatory xkcd comic on negging
    – ColleenV
    Aug 31, 2021 at 17:55

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