I have seen it more than once that 1 rep uses want to comment, but since they lack the option of doing so, they instead answer the question, but still just comment on the question.

Remove the 50 rep requirement for comments. It's silly.

Most recent is on the Was a 5000 year old flying machine discovered in Afghanistan? question today.

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  • The limit is actually 50 reputation – Mad Scientist May 10 '13 at 18:15

The limit is there intentional to discourage comments, and many previous requests to remove it have been declined by SE (e.g. this one). Most comments are not all that useful, lowering the barrier to comment would increase the number of comments, especially from users that don't really know much about the Q&A format. For a new user it isn't obvious when to post a comment and when to post an answer.

Answers are much more important than comments, not giving new users the ability to comment emphasizes that answers are what the site is about. And while the comment restrictions occasionally prevent a useful comment from being posted, they also prevent a lot of useless comments from increasing the noise on the site.

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  • But now instead you get answers that noise the site. – Wertilq May 10 '13 at 18:36
  • @Wertilq still much less answers than comments. Also, answers are "policed" by the community better than comments. Users that abuse answers constantly are banned from answering, etc... – Sklivvz May 11 '13 at 2:01
  • @Wertilq if an "answer" should be a comment, flag it and we can convert it if it contributes, or simply delete it. Have the requirement may encourage someone to actually put forth the effort to make a good answer to earn that rep. – Larian LeQuella May 11 '13 at 4:18

Comments exist exclusively for discussing the posts, and in particular how to improve them, not for giving unreferenced pseudo answers or chit-chatting, or, least of all, having arguments. The StackExchange community mechanics have been designed from the ground up to focus people's participation on two things: asking questions and providing answers. Comments should be seen as a secondary function to support the main Q&A aim of the site.

It follows that people who can positively contribute to comments (i.e. to advise other users on how to improve their content) are people that have produced useful posts, answers or questions. People with no reputation haven't done so yet and this is the reason why they can't comment. It just takes five upvotes to gain that privilege, but before advising other users on how to best answer or ask questions, we want people to gain a little first-hand experience.

It seems only fair to me.

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