I tried to make a very innocent, yet reassuring answer (that I agreed with the content posted like many others on this site) and you wrote about gaining a reputation before I can post?

This is the internet. People post. I cannot make a comment in response to a direct subject? I didn't know it was so critical on this site... I've found A LOT of knowledge in general commentary online, i.e.- other peoples' experiences, not necessarily direct Q&A.

If you're an editor, you should edit your site to be much more clear of what it is you do, and what it's for. Who are you to say my comment wouldn't have helped someone? I'm sure you'll delete this, too.

  • $\begingroup$ How can you gain a reputation if you're not allowed to comment? I'm just a girl on the internet trying to interact with other educated individuals and learn, but there's some sort of "class system" ??? $\endgroup$
    – user19143
    Mar 20, 2016 at 6:19
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Typically you gain reputation by asking and answering questions. The reputation system is not without its problems, but it has its advantages as well. For example, it democratizes site management. $\endgroup$
    – Obie 2.0
    Mar 20, 2016 at 6:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Maybe he's describing that an Answer was really a comment, and he couldn't post comments, but the content was not suitable for an Answer. So, an answer to this question would be a pointer to the docs. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Mar 20, 2016 at 7:44
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    $\begingroup$ It was a comment posted as an answer, I've updated this question and deleted the confused comments here. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Mar 20, 2016 at 10:55
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    $\begingroup$ Well, if you don't like our supposed "B.S.", you are welcome to go find one of those other sites you mentioned. Our system actually works pretty well, since we have chat for sharing ideas, the normal site for specific questions, and the meta for talking about how to improve the site. Maybe before you join a site you should at least read their rule book or learn how it works, instead of complaining your head off at one person who is generally helpful. Also, although I don't expect you to know this, we do like to ask these kinds of questions without naming names. $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2016 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ @nitsua60 Yeah, the calling out by name didn't really seem warranted so I've removed it although it will still be in the edit history. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Mar 20, 2016 at 14:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @nitsua60 And I fail to see how your comment is helpful. The purpose behind mine was to say, "don't complain, we all dealt with this; before you join a website and do things inconsistent with how their site works do some research; and I happen to like the system this website has." Why exactly should we bend to accommodate rude people who have no respect for the way the site works? We're not trying to pander to any random person on the internet who doesn't like our site, we're simply trying to help people who can respect others. $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2016 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ Irish, Frostfyre is a respectable individual with a good reputation. Also could someone edit out that B.S.? However I agree with you in saying it is a bit confusing when you first come to this site. But you should be more willing to find out what this website is rather than hating on it because you are confused. $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2016 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ If someone could actually provide a link to the question/answer in question, that would be really helpful for someone like me who completely missed the discussion. Out of context, this discussion makes completely no sense. $\endgroup$
    – fi12
    Mar 20, 2016 at 17:19
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    $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon I was just trying to remind you to Be Nice; your earlier comment didn't read as very nice to me. But clearly your take on things is more popular, so I'll retract my earlier comment, with apologies. Soldier on. $\endgroup$
    – nitsua60
    Mar 20, 2016 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think we need to "bend to accommodate rude people" in the sense of changing the site rules. I do think it would be good to be very polite and understanding of people who are confused by or dislike said rules, both as a general application of "Be Nice" and in order to retain new users She didn't understand/didn't like the system for deleting comments masquerading as answers. If we don't respond kindly, it will likely merely reinforce people's conceptions of the site, and likely drive them away. It's a basic retention strategy. well-known to customer relations reps. $\endgroup$
    – Obie 2.0
    Mar 20, 2016 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ Legitimately, though, can someone post a link to the question? $\endgroup$
    – fi12
    Mar 21, 2016 at 0:20
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    $\begingroup$ @AarthewIII I don't think I would. Since I don't generally look at the user when reviewing, I also don't know which post this is in reference to. I'd be happy to discuss my decision with you, Irish, if you provide details on what the post was. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Mar 21, 2016 at 1:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Jonah I do agree with you, to some extent. However, there comes a point when that manner of speaking becomes a little bit soft spoken. We need to be polite and kind to people, and a little more forceful when they are. I try to treat people with respect, although some seem to test me a little. I like this site as much as another person would like a good tv show, which probably means I don't appreciate other people trashing it. Although I'm fine if they respectfully disagree, people have different tastes. $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2016 at 3:24
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    $\begingroup$ @AarthewIII 1) Glad you approve! 2) At the moment, not really. I have a lot of work done, but I'm hesitant to post links to my Dropbox account on the Internet, even with a great community like WB. I may take some time this week to put a sample on the blog, though. Would be a good place to get feedback, maybe... $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Mar 21, 2016 at 3:39

3 Answers 3


Answer: here, on Meta.

And this probably serves as the real question, now that some moderator moved it.

I think people (in the comments) are confused by your nomenclature. I suspect you did not "leave a comment" as in using the commenting feature, but posted an Answer. Comments (content) don't go in Answers (posting feature), so it was deleted.

This has nothing to do with the content of the comment, agreeing or disagreeing etc. as you are supposing. Rather, general comments can't be presented in an Answer post.

Irish, I'm sorry you seem to have had a bad experience, and hope you stick around and enjoy the imaginative, ceative experience that is Worldbuilding. Start here. Once you understand the nature of Stack Overflow, it will make sense.

There's a help menu item at the top of the page. Stack Overflow has become so famous and in the popular culture that there are even jokes about it and cartoons mentioning it (in the hover title). So, they probably don't feel the need to emblazon "this is not a forum" all over the place anymore.

  • $\begingroup$ @Irish I think this is the crucial answer here. Your mistake (a very understandable one!) is to confuse "answer" with "comment." This does have a tendency to look like a forum with discussion back and forth, but it's not really conceived that way. Keep reading, commenting, and so on, and you'll soon get the hang of it. $\endgroup$
    – CAgrippa
    Mar 20, 2016 at 23:50

To be clear, this is a question and answer site. If posting an answer to a question then what you post needs to be an actual answer. Yours was not, so to keep the question and answers clear and clean it got deleted. Frostfyre helpfully commented to explain to you why this was happening.

If people want to leave comments then that's fine, it's what comments are for. However to make sure you understand how the site works (and to stop spammers) you need to have participated a little bit before you are able to leave comments. Write a few answers (that actually answer the question) or ask a few questions and you will unlock the ability to comment.

Additionally note that we're talking about building fictional worlds here. Your answer seemed to be describing real life experiences not relevant to building new worlds.


I think that the answer in question is https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/38384/2113 (deleted, so visible only at 10k reputation or higher).

It was deleted by a vote of three users, not just one. The site is community moderated, so most actions are taken by consensus of members with sufficient reputation. A moderator did participate in that vote, but did not use moderator powers in it. You can recognize moderators by the diamond next to their names.

The answer is more of a comment than an actual answer to the question. This is not a forum. It is not appropriate to post comments as answers. The delete reason is given as

This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker.

This is a standard message. Due to the way that the site works, this is attributed to a specific user. But it is actually generated by the software.

The intent of the message is to point you at some of the help text so that you could better understand why that post was inappropriate. It's saying to please not post comments as answers. Since you don't have enough reputation to post comments, please stick to actual answers or to questions.

If you think that the comment could be phrased better, you are welcome to make suggestions. That's what Meta is for. But please realize that the deletion was entirely in keeping with how this site works.

  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible for a mod to "not use moderator powers" when voting? I thought not, per this Meta post. (Note well the status-declined tag and Jeff's answer, waaaay down there.) +1 for everything else, though. $\endgroup$
    – nitsua60
    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If a moderator votes when only one more vote is needed, then it doesn't really matter that they are a mod. $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    Mar 22, 2016 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ @nitsua60 What Brythan said. A moderator can choose to cast a vote when only one more vote is needed, and technically that vote won't carry any additional weight due to their diamond. However, from a social or community point of view, actions taken by people with a diamond attached to their name tend to carry more weight. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Mar 22, 2016 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry--I was mistaken in thinking that deletions took 5 votes like so many other actions, so I read the mod's 3rd vote as being a binding 3rd-of-5 rather than a (slightly differently-interpretable) still binding 3rd-of-3. Thanks for pushing me to look that up again. $\endgroup$
    – nitsua60
    Mar 23, 2016 at 0:56

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