Occasionally, there is a question that refers to a common situation. The situation itself may even be studied and have a name.

Linking to that information (with some description) is not an answer, because it doesn't actually answer the question at hand. BUT, it does provide information that may help influence answers to be better quality or indicate that more information is available that both the asker and answerers are unaware of. Any future visitors may also benefit from the information.

This may not happen often, but my question here is spurred by deletion of a comment of mine that I feel helps provide clarification on the issue at hand.

What is the correct way to share this information without it being removed? Or should it not be shared at all?

The question I refer to is here:

How can I effectively tell people that their defensiveness over me bringing up an issue is part of the issue?

And I wanted to share information about "The Backfire Effect", also related to Confirmation Bias

2 Answers 2


We're pretty strict about what we allow in the comments on this site. This is because of how often the comments explode into arguments and discussions. We're even doing an experiment where the "leave comment" message is being rebranded as "suggest improvements" to encourage better use of the comments. If a comment isn't suggesting improvements, or requesting clarification, it's likely to be deleted.

If you have suggestions to improve a question, you can leave a comment suggesting how the question can be improved, or you can propose an edit which includes the information you feel the answer is lacking.

If you do propose an edit that adds some supplemental information, make sure that your edit doesn't conflict with the original intent of the answer, and that you justify the edit in the edit description.

You could also write your own answer that focuses less on providing a "Do this" solution and more on providing an understanding of the situation so that people are better able to reason about similar decisions in the future.

  • If the question were still new and without a "top" answer would I suggest this improvement to every answer? I know it kind of annoys me when I see someone else copy-paste the same comment to every answer. May 16, 2018 at 21:06
  • If you're wanting to leave the same comment on every answer, it's likely that you're not actually suggesting improvements. I'd ask yourself if you're actually suggesting adding relevant information and see if an alternative solution would work better. Perhaps you could write your own answer to the question that focuses more on theory than on what to do.
    – sphennings
    May 16, 2018 at 21:10
  • Recent related question on IPS meta: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2867/… - which suggests "valid answers offer practical and structured methods in the likes of try this, you might encounter X response, prepare to deal with Y, and consider Z subjective views or feelings" May 16, 2018 at 21:18
  • @DoubleDouble That's a answer with a score of 0. I wouldn't consider that indicative of site policy.
    – sphennings
    May 16, 2018 at 21:26
  • The same goes for this answer at the moment - which is why I point out the two are related. May 16, 2018 at 21:50
  • This answer has only been around for a few hours. That's not long enough to assess community sentiment. Other meta discussions have gone into more depth about what is and isn't considered an acceptable answer on this site. I'd suggest using those questions for guidance rather than a post on a discussion about changing how creating a custom close reason.
    – sphennings
    May 16, 2018 at 21:56
  • @DoubleDouble either way, Sphennings' solution indicates you would do this on the question... not every single answer
    – Jesse
    May 17, 2018 at 4:17
  • "Propose an edit which you feel the answer is lacking" rather than questions is lacking. I have not found these other ones that go more in depth. May 17, 2018 at 12:00

It's because this website is goal-oriented. The information you're wanting to add doesn't do anything on its own.

You need to use the information to provide some sort of value. Here are some things you can do with useful info:

  • Use comments to ask for clarification. For example, you could say "Do you think you're experiencing the Backfire Effect? If so, are you looking to avoid it completely or just circumvent it?"
  • If the question can clearly, objectively use a clarification that does not change any meaning, you can propose an edit.
  • Answer the question. If all you have is info, but can't seem to form an answer, you have to wonder if the info is really that important.

The point here is that simply linking info is lazy.

Don't be lazy. Do something with that info.

  • It might be lazy, but it is still useful in many cases.
    – Džuris
    May 23, 2018 at 11:26

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