Most Stacks do not allow answers in comments. This is for good reason- comments evade quality control and ensure that a controversial answer appears directly below a question.

How do comments work?

However, my flags of comments that are used to answer questions this way are rejected. Am I right in thinking that Law allows answers in comments? And, if so, why is this the case?


First comment, declined, no reason given

First comment, using comments to bypass quality, no reason given

First comment, again no reason given

Multiple comments, used as the question had several answers and the poster wanted their answer to be at the top

  • 2
    I think it depends on which mod is handling the flag. Some are obviously better than others at upholding standards (both Law SE-specific and network-wide).
    – user4657
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 1:02
  • Can you be more specific - I've reviewed the flags that you've cast and only one of them is about calling out a comment as an answer.
    – Dale M Mod
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 6:39
  • @DaleM I've added examples. Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 8:00

3 Answers 3


Law.SE espouses the SE-wide guidelines for comments.

I would not read a comment flag that is "declined" with no explanation as a "rejection." It only means that a moderator declined to delete the comment after looking at it.

In the case of comments that are flagged as "attempts to answer," the comment might be left alone because it is referenced in further upvoted comment discussion that would not make sense without it (but which, as with all comments, could at any point be deleted or moved to chat).

Or a moderator might not delete a comment simply because the mod feels like erring on the side of light moderation.

Other users can still flag the comment, which will provoke another look, and which on review will show the previous flag(s) which should prompt more careful scrutiny.

You can also reply to the comment and encourage the commenter to post the answer as an answer. And reference any of the Meta.SE threads on answers as comments.


It seems to me that it is not uncommon for a user to give what I might call a "stub answer". There are of two basic kinds: a) A resource is linked which could be the basis, or part of the basis, for a valid answer, but no write up is given and further research needs tom be done. This comment is of that type: I later built an answer starting with the suggested link. b) A response is given which could, later, be developed into an answer, but lacks cited sources and probably lacks needed research, but it can be the starting point for an answer. The second example in the question is of this type. Neither type purports to be a full answer.

It seems to me that both types of stub answer can lead to a full answer, either from the same user or from a different person. As such, I think they are are more often helpful than not. I do not see these as seriously "attempting to avoid quality control". In particularly the 2nd example above, where the same user later (after further research) posted a full answer, one that currently has 25 upvotes, does not seem to me at all an attempt to avoid quality control. I don't see this kind of comment as one that should be deleted by a mod. The fourth example is a little more dubious, but only one comment there is from a user who also posted an answer, and it is only about one aspect, while the answer from the same user is more thorough. One pair of comments there could almost be an answer as it stands.

In short, I don't think the kind of comments represented by the examples in the question really represent answers or need to be deleted by moderators.


Multiple comments, used as the question had several answers and the poster wanted their answer to be at the top

ehm.... maybe... But I need to point to what differentiates my comment from my answer: I pointed to something that OP said and provided a huge complication to the situation as presented.

That I used exactly that point as the basis for my answer (freedom of religion by the parents) was not meant as an answer in the comment: the point of the comment was to indicate a huge flaw in the premise or OP that was "I have the right to preach to anybody". Criticism of the question is not always an answer.

However, I agree that the child protocol comments might be better served as an answer.

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