Since the review queue update, I have seen multiple instances of the following situation: a new user asks/answers a question, a reviewer finds the question unclear or lacking sufficient detail and leaves a canned comment, which are generic by design and not tailored to the specific issue on the post.

The OP then tries to guess and fix what was the problem with the question and then asks to the "user" Community for feedback. Nobody will be notified. Nobody will respond.

I see several problems with this situations:

  • The canned comment is generic and the OP may fail to understand the issue with their post, "fixing" something that was fine, while leaving the weakness of the post untouched.
  • The lack of a feedback from Community may lead to confusion and frustration for the OP.
  • The OP is often a new user, if this is their first interaction with the site, it may leave them a bad impression and discourage them to post further.

If a post is so unclear that

As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.

it should be closed. If it is a good post but could be improved, I think that, instead of leaving a generic canned comment, it could be better to provide a specific comment, tailored to the post, explaining exactly what should be fixed.

Recent examples:


Why do icebergs flip over?

Why dispersion is not seen in a glass slab?

This issue has already been raised on SE meta, but while they decide whether and how to fix it network-wide, should we refrain from using canned comments during review?



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