This happens all too often.

  1. Someone asks a question that's mostly clear
  2. Another users posts a comment, but inadvertently (or intentionally) answers the question
  3. No one actually posted an answer, but the question was ultimately answered

This frequently happens, even with veterans to the site. What is the best way to handle these questions as I encounter them?

  • Do I go ahead and post an answer that is near-identical to the comment? I have mixed feelings between "I don't want to get rep that should have been yours" and "You should know better than to answer questions via comments".
  • Do I add another comment, requesting the commenter to post it as an answer? I have mixed feelings between "I'm being polite to make sure you get your deserved rep" and "Why bother hounding the commenter when I can just as easily post the answer myself".

Is there a concept of "common courtesy" when it comes to answering questions, or does the community follow "you post your answer, I post mine, let the best answer win"?

  • 3
    Post an answer and give credit to the user in the comments is what I would do if you're worried about it. The person who commented on the post should be able to post their own answer or would have done it first if they knew it was a valid answer. – FoxMcCloud Nov 5 at 20:24
  • 1
    Related, if not a duplicate: gaming.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10679/… – Wipqozn Nov 6 at 23:33
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    Following multiple comment flags from one user, and as mods can't write responses to comment flags, I thought it would be worth addressing this here so everyone can see it: While FoxMcCloud's above comment is a prime example of an 'answer in a comment'', it's continued existence highlights the point of this meta question perfectly, and thus removing it would be a detriment to future readers. :-) – Robotnik Nov 14 at 23:08

Post an answer and give credit to the user in the comments. The person who commented on the post should be able to post their own answer or would have done it first if they knew it was a valid answer.


Credit to @FoxMcCloud for this helpful answer.

  • 7
    Credit to @FoxMcCloud for this helpful answer. – Gigazelle Nov 6 at 4:48
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    Lol. I like it how you showed a perfect example. FoxMcCloud, answered in a comment and you answered in a answer. – GamerM Nov 8 at 1:16
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    Should've provided the credit in the answer itself, not in a comment. Comments are third-rate citizens and can be cleaned-up at any time. – Mast Nov 11 at 17:18
  1. Post a Community Wiki answer, quoting any relevant information from the comment and giving credit to whoever posted it.
  2. Flag the comment answering the question either as "No longer needed" or with a custom flag such as "This answer was posted as a comment instead".

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