An answer is placed in the comment box on your question and it would make an answer. As long as you quote it is it OK to use it?

See Comments at this question for example.


1 Answer 1


Good idea to make this a question so I can post my comment there as an answer: yes, this is fine. Actually, in order to avoid arguments over whether it does constitute an answer or not, I'll say this:

The fact that the content of an answer is taken from someone else's comment is not, itself, a problem.

This means that you can post the content of someone else's comment as an answer, as long as the answer is appropriate in other ways. It is polite to offer them a chance to post the answer themselves, sure, but there is no requirement to do so.

If you're going to do this, you do need to follow our guidelines on plagiarism, as well as the Creative Commons license that covers all contributed content on SE.

  • Following our plagiarism guidelines requires that you identify the quoted comment as a quote, and that you acknowledge the source (specifically, the user who posted it).
  • Following the CC license requires, among other things, a certain kind of attribution. As I write this, the attribution requirements include linking to the profile of the original poster, and to the original source of the post (which would be the comment you're copying).

And of course the answer is subject to all the rules and review procedures any other answer would be subject to.

There is no requirement that the answer be community wiki. (Some people would say this because it's not fair to get reputation for someone else's content, but I say if the original commenter wants the rep, they should post their answer as an answer in the first place.)

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I understand when somebody uses a question/answer somewhere else, CC requires them to link to the original source. But questions/answers are designed to stick around -- even those that are deleted may be brought back by the site, with/without the users consent. Comments, on the other hand, are designed to go away and never come back. Does it cause licensing problems that comments are transient and there's no way to revive them once deleted? $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ As an aside -- that was more of an open-ended question, I don't expect/require that you answer it directly :) $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 10:32
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @tpg2114 oh I'm way ahead of you: meta.stackexchange.com/q/201609/56541 $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ The possibility that the participant who has posted a comment is wanting to make the information they provide more widely known, without incurring an answer ban, should be considered: An answer ban can be extremely inconvenient for many participants, as there may be few sources of information as readily available to them as PSE is. Although I agree with those favoring attribution, anyone sufficiently concerned about it can keep electromagnetic and / or paper copies of whatever conclusion of theirs they want to get out, and such copies can, nowadays, can be very plausibly and reliably dated. $\endgroup$
    – Edouard
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 13:06

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