I'm reading through old questions and there is a distracting proliferation of "welcome comments" by Martin:

Welcome to chemistry.se! If you have questions about how to beautify your posts, have a look at the help center. Do you want to know more about this site, please take the tour. – Martin - マーチン♦ Feb 13 at 4:40

Nice sentiment, but surely this is not how comments should be used?

Should they all be flagged as obsolete?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ BTW, something I find even more welcoming than a canned message pointing to the tour and help: Comments about a question's content that might help a new user improve it. And the best welcome? A good answer! $\endgroup$
    – feetwet
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ I really appreciate that you want to keep around the professional SE-style formalism. I myself were posting the "welcome"s, then read about comment-flagging and too chatty is bad horrors and told myself: "I'm theoretically, potentially screwed." However, seems like every SE has its own culture. Chem.SE users welcomed my welcoming, while I got a moderator message on ELL. Other SEs sometimes point all new users to special meta posts, sometimes don't do anything, sometimes downvote, sometimes upvote . . . Who cares? $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 0:32
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I agree this is a style matter more than a "problem." I do like Chem.SE, and hope users feel welcome! $\endgroup$
    – feetwet
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ NO! These comments are what encourage new users to contribute to the site. You may not have them removed.\ $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


I'm one of the welcome-commentators. IMO they're one of the things that indicate our site's friendliness. I would by no means want their posting stopped. Comments are not first-class info, so there's really nothing wrong with this.

That being said, I don't really want to see a welcome comment of 2014 welcoming a user that has 2k reps now. I occasionally 1 take a look at our older questions to remove obsolete comments. I agree that welcome comments older than a month are no longer needed. You can flag them as obsolete, and our mods will hopefully remove them.

1: Haven't done them recently and @Martin's looking to kill me because of that.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yeah, the year-old welcomes on Established Users are particularly bewildering ;) Are welcome comments at least limited to truly new users, and not slapped on users that arrive with an association bonus? $\endgroup$
    – feetwet
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ @feetwet sometimes I've commented on users with Assoc. bonus too, welcoming them. Two lines of something with a link to help center and tour with a smaller font don't really distract from the content, don't you think? ;) Heck, I myself sometimes need to read the other SEs' help centers to see what's on-topic and what's not. I've even grown the evil feeling that the users who actually read that stuff are going to be the least problematic. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 0:23
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, everyone should check out what's on- and off-topic in the help center. Welcomers can tell whether new users have been through the tour by their Informed badge (or, association bonus, since there doesn't appear to be any Chem-unique content there). I guess I just wanted to see if it's OK to flag the stale welcomes, and since it is I think you have a fine arrangement! $\endgroup$
    – feetwet
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 3:43

If the welcome comments are distracting, they can be removed and probably even should. So go ahead and flag them. As a mod, these are particularly easy to deal with, too.

Thank you for having an eye open for these things.

For what it is worth here are some of the points that I consider when writing these comments. There is a nice script/ add-on/ extension, AutoReviewComments - Pro-forma comments for SE, that automatically informs you how long the user is a member and how much rep s/he already gained. Occasionally I check if the Informed badge was already given. I post these comments to users which I think are new to the system and might need some guidance. I have addressed that on meta before: Shouldn't we be a bit more welcoming to new askers/ posters?
With that in mind, I will post the comment also to users, that have an association bonus. While I think that most users coming from a different network know about the system, I also sometimes see, that they don't know how to use the site. But I decide that on a case by case basis. Since comments are expendable I don't feel any harm doing so. I also think there is not right or wrong usage for comments (ultimately they should all be deleted).

When you start flagging these comments, make sure that you flag for everything that can be cleaned up, if there are multiple things to address, use a custom flag on the post itself (It is much easier to purge the comments instead of deleting all the flags).

  • $\begingroup$ -1 for giving away my secrets. ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 8:40

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