An uploader can turn comments off on his YouTube video.

Should this site provide a turn off comments option or hide comment option?

A comment thread can grow very long. Sometimes I wish I can set a limit to the number of replies that are allowed.


I've seen these sorts of ideas floating around meta.SE occasionally, but they're unpopular. For example, Ability for an answer writer to turn off comments for their answer was asked 9 years ago (score: +3/-14).

If you ask at meta.SE, I predict you will be told to ignore them and move on or flag them (offensive, off-topic, etc.) and that this isn't a social networking site.

My personal opinion? Blocking user expression often backfires: they just find workarounds like writing "answers" which are actually comments. There might also be something subtly wrong with a post that needs identifying. Maybe it's simplest to politely ask the community to tone down bickering and nitpicking: I feel basically everyone here is very reasonable.

I must admit, I find comment bickering annoying; uncontrolled nitpicking has the potential to chase away valuable contributors (maybe even prevent them from coming here in the first place): the quantity can be overwhelming. It's part of why I wrote the post The many alternatives to arguing in comments over at Islam.SE, where excessive commenting (and arguing/debating in particular) has been a major site problem.

I see hundreds of almost-valueless posts left uncommented, yet a 99% perfect post will attract squabbles and downvotes about the dubious 1%. It's human nature, I guess.

There's a feature request Add the ability to ignore users which has been around for 11 years. It's actually possible to achieve this through a browser script (assuming it's up to date), but it's generally discouraged to do so.

If someone is annoying you that much, either they're using the site wrong or you are - either way, the solution is for one/both of you to knock it off, not let one/both of you ignore it while the rest of us have to keep littering up the place.
Shog9, 2009

For whoever is reading this, please strive to write succinct comments which pinpoint a problem in the post (more signal; less noise); and be prepared to move on ("I've had my say"). While our aim may be to fix one problem, we need to avoid exacerbating another problem.

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