Why is it that so many people leave answers in the "comments" section, as opposed to the "answer" section? (You may leave your answer in either section 😉)

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    if I don't have time to formulate a quality answer (sources, quotes, etc) I will leave it as a comment – Menachem Aug 1 '16 at 0:49

Mi Yodeya has very strict quality standards. When I have an answer which is not of high-enough quality - for example, it lacks sources - I often post it as a comment. When I do post it as an answer, it gets downvoted quite quickly, or attacked. I wish the site was friendlier... But as it is, I rather post it as a comment then get negative feedback for posting it as an answer.

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    Negative feedback helps you improve ideas by showing problems. You wouldn't want a Chavrusa with someone who always just said "You're right!" How dreadfully boring. (And inaccurate as none of us is always right. One shouldn't be afraid to find out one is wrong, especially on a site like this where all one has to lose are magical unicorn points.) – Double AA Aug 1 '16 at 1:58
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    If something's worth saying, it's worth saying as well as possible and then trying to improve. – Isaac Moses Aug 1 '16 at 3:10
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    @IsaacMoses If someone has no time constraints, that's true. I agree that posting a bad answer as a comment solely to evade downvotes is inadvisable, but posting something useful as a resource so that others can improve the question or write good answers is a good idea if you don't have the time, inclination, or wherewithal to write a proper answer yourself. Incidentally, it's possible that a useful, answer-like comment would be downvoted if posted as an answer because it's either missing a reference, is only a reference, or is so bare-bones that it would be wanting as an answer. – Fred Aug 1 '16 at 3:28
  • @DoubleAA yes, the Resh Lakish, Rabbi El'azar's Rabbi Yochanan problem. But here he want to say that the answer is not ready and he want to help despite that – kouty Aug 1 '16 at 3:46
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    @Fred The other answer to this question discusses contributing underdeveloped ideas for consideration. That answer has 9 upvotes currently. Knowing that one's ideas are half-baked and acting accordingly is healthy and productive. It's thinking one's answer is good and then being upset that others differ that belies an issue with either you or everyone else. – Double AA Aug 1 '16 at 3:52
  • Note plenty of answers on this site are highly upvoted and lack any sources. But if you don't bring sources, you better be sure you are 100% right and no one argues. – Double AA Aug 1 '16 at 3:57
  • @DoubleAA Per the reasoning in my above comment, I voted for the Yishai's answer (post undeveloped answers as comments to help other people answer). I'm a bit less clear on this answer, which seems like it could be interpreted in a couple of ways: 1) Post potentially unpopular, unsourced answers as comments to get your opinion out there while dodging downvotes. 2) Post answers without sources because, while they aren't good enough as answers and will be downvoted, they are still useful as comments that could improve the question or lead to good answers (similar to Yishai's answer)... – Fred Aug 1 '16 at 4:29
  • @DoubleAA I think #2 is appropriate behavior, regardless of whether the specter of downvotes is motivating that behavior. However, if someone is posting unsupported comments that they know the community overwhelmingly thinks are wrong (per #1) (e.g., The real answer to your question is that Judaism is bad, and Jews are too stubborn to care! - obviously, LN6595 wouldn't write anything like that), then that's not appropriate commenting behavior. – Fred Aug 1 '16 at 4:35
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    For information about the strictness of Mi Yodeya's answer-quality standards, particularly with respect to presence and quality of sources, please see these two Meta posts . – Isaac Moses Aug 1 '16 at 17:02
  • @IsaacMoses That gets to the heart of the problem. If you look at this answer meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/a/824/6599 you will see that posting answers without sources is hotly debated, with nearly equal upvotes and downvotes. Some of the big users, specifically Double AA who has made his opinion known here, are sticklers for quality and will comment and dovnvote a post that does not meet their quality standards... – LN6595 Aug 1 '16 at 17:10
  • ...But users like me and those who voted for my answer here, agree with Yirmiyohu in meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/a/824/6599 and would be happy to post away, drawing on our rich store of Judaic knowledge accumalated sometime over our decades of study - if we could. – LN6595 Aug 1 '16 at 17:15
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    LN6595, I don't understand what you mean by "if we could." Are you contending that @DoubleAA or others would delete your post? I claim that that's false. Do you mean "if we could without receiving any requests for improvement"? I agree with DoubleAA that requests for improvement are a good thing and should be welcomed by anyone who cares to write in public in the first place. || What debate are you talking about? Can you point to a Meta answer that says that sources are (or should be) required? Can you point to one that says that they aren't (or shouldn't be) preferred? – Isaac Moses Aug 1 '16 at 17:16
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    Are you, in fact, claiming that a post that makes assertions implicitly based solely on personal knowledge would not be more useful, and therefore should not be considered more valuable, if sources are added? Because otherwise, I don't see any disagreement here about policy or even standards at all. – Isaac Moses Aug 1 '16 at 17:20
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    @LN6 I dont downvote posts just for having no sources. You are making that up. If a post doesn't have sources, I might downvote it if I, a random internet user, think the answer provided by another random internet user is wrong. My word vs theirs. (There are unfortunately lots of users out there who think they are smarter than they are, including many who claim "rich store[s] of Judaic knowledge accumalated...over...decades of study") Are you even reading the meta posts Isaac linked for you? I state this explicitly there yet you continued to misrepresent me and the community in general – Double AA Aug 1 '16 at 17:25
  • @DoubleAA R' Yochanan would agree with you (BM 83a). He died as a result of someone always telling him he's right. – DonielF Aug 9 '16 at 1:58

I leave comments that are undeveloped answers so others can build on them to make an answer if they want.


If I don't have an answer at all but have some information that can lead to an answer, I will often post it as a comment.


I will usually leave a comment when I have no formal source for it, as a proper answer needs a source.

Usually more of "I heard from my Rabbi" or "a Rabbi" which I guess is a source for me but not one suitable for Mi Yodeyah's answers. Of course, perhaps I should go to my Rabbi and ask him for the source that I am going to quote. But then maybe he heard it from his own Rebbe...

True Torah She'baal Peh still exists..

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