4

Note that I'm not talking about spam or rude answers here.

Recently, this answer was deleted without anyone leaving a comment explaining why.

I'm partially at fault here since I voted to delete without leaving a comment (I figured that, since I was the first one to vote, someone else would leave a comment afterward. That did not happen).

So, what can we do to avoid this from happening again in the future?

Should we allow canned comments again?

Or decide that users with delete privileges should vote to delete if they don't want to leave a comment (and if there isn't already one)? That would mean that bad answers would stay up longer, but maybe we are fine with that?

7

The simplest answer is that if you see an answer with delete votes and no comment, then add a comment. If you cast a delete vote, add a comment.

I figured that, since I was the first one to vote, someone else would leave a comment afterward.

Not necessarily. The only thing that you can control on the stack is the actions that you take. There are several users who review a lot of posts and are fairly active in moderating the stack, but who don't often leave comments.

Commenting is exhausting

Now, I know that sometimes it can be a lot of work to write comments explaining why an answer is being deleted. It is especially difficult when the reason for deletion is a lack of backup. I myself sometimes take half an hour or more to try and get the comment right because it is a major pain point for new users.

I've been in the situation many times of wanting to take action on an answer, but feeling like a comment is just too much to handle. What I've tried to do is expand my capacity for commenting. Sometimes when I feel too tired to write a comment, I make myself do it anyway. The more of them I write, the easier it becomes. Don't go too far and burn yourself out. I would encourage you to give it a try and see if you can increase your mental capacity for leaving comments.

When you just can't comment, because I know there will be times where that happens, you can always come to chat and drop a link to the post and ask if someone else could leave a comment.

2
  • I used a canned comment that I personalized a little the other day. It helps a lot and really reduce the tiredness of leaving a comment (I probably should write a self-answer with that, thought)
    – Ael
    Jul 2 '19 at 15:09
  • commenting is exhausting => so is repeating again and again and again... I've to admit that, sometimes, when a post shows that, obviously, there have been: no reading of the guidelines, no previous search (not even a tiny one), no effort at all, nothing... well... I might VTC/VTD without any warning/effort myself :/ I guess I'm not the only one.
    – OldPadawan
    Jul 2 '19 at 15:53
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How to avoid answers being deleted without a comment?

You can't really stop a post with no comment getting deleted. It is us who have to make sure that OP knows why their post was deleted. However, OP will always see a link to this page whenever their answer is deleted, but this link is not that helpful in case of IPS.

So, what should you do?

If you're voting to delete a post and don't see any feedback there, feel free to add. Maybe you can pick one from canned comments, but it should be personalized as per the post. It shouldn't really be just copy&paste. You can find guidelines about the use of canned comments here.

Canned comments should be used just like a guideline or a tool for links to helpful meta posts. The comment you leave must have an explanation why you're voting to delete it, what OP can do to improve their post and what should they do once they have done improving.

If you see there is already a comment, but not that helpful, feel free to add one. If it sounds helpful, you can upvote as well.

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  • I assume this help center page can't be edited by moderators?
    – Ael
    Jul 1 '19 at 10:05
  • No, not really.
    – A J Mod
    Jul 1 '19 at 10:06

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