I noticed that many new users come to this website with the misconception that it would be a website would be a forum to post their personal opinion, not a Q&A site for posting factual answers.

The result is that we often get "answers" which don't actually answer the question but only state the authors personal opinion about the matter without giving any sources or references to back it up.

Such answers usually get flagged as "Not an answer" and subsequently deleted by moderators. But in order to guide these new users to become more constructive users in the future I am looking for a phrasing for a standard comment text we can post in this situation. The comment should:

  • Explain that we only allow answers which actually answer the question
  • Make clear that personal opinions should not be posted as answers
  • Be polite
  • Not discourage from further participation
  • Preferably include one or two useful links to relevant meta-posts or pages from the help center

Can you suggest a standardized comment message in 500 characters or less which fits these criteria?

  • Have you considered stealing</strike> borrowing the wording from Skeptics? :)
    – user4012
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 1:43
  • @user4012 feel free to suggest.
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 8:46
  • "You provide the gasoline, we'll provide the ideas" :)
    – user4012
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 14:06
  • I was trying to add such a comment to my AutoReviewComments extension, but one piece that's missing is a good How do I write a good answer?-explainer. Yes, there's the tour and how-to-answer, but those aren't really that geared towards this site. Is there a post that details this?
    – user11249
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


My current comment is:

Welcome to Politics! Remember, this isn't really a discussion forum, but rather an expertise-based Q&A site.

I'm not entirely happy with the "an expertise-based Q&A site"; as it's not all that clear, but I'm having trouble to concisely formulate a better description of what constitutes a good answer. I also wasn't able to find a help page or meta post describing this other than /help/how-to-answer, which I don't find all that useful here.

I've made this post community wiki. Feel free to edit and make it better.

  • This seems pretty close btw. Adding comment so I remember to check it out later.
    – user11249
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 22:37
  • note-to-self 2: hinduism.meta.stackexchange.com/q/876/9748
    – user11249
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 11:16

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