I think, we should not ban or welcome those comments on a general basis, but decide from case to case. I think such comments are helpful and should be embraced in the scenario which meet the following conditions:
- If the correct answer appears in the top of Ecosia's search results.
- If an unknowing user can distinct the correct answer from other hits which appear in the top search results This is important, because being able to identify the correct answer among others knowing the correct answer already is pretty much different from identidfying the answer if you don't know it already.
All search engine content is generated by sites like us. Ecosia depends on content we provide but we can't provide this content if we send people away.
This argument does not apply in the scenario defined above, because Ecosia already has the content.
Tone is important
Of course, tone is important here. We should avoid to appear rude. Maybe we should agree on a fixed formula with a link to this discussion here to provide insights in the reasons of this comment.
This comment can be a help of its own
If user can search the content very easily on Ecosia, I tend to not be willing to answer the question. But I feel, a friendly comment pointing the user to a search engine might be even more helpful than absolute silence. Finding the correct search query which leads you to proper results is not easy sometimes and learning how to search things on the internet is an important skill which might have some domain-specific features. If we empower the questioner by telling them a way how they would have found the answer on their own, they might have learned something more than just the answer to their question.
Omitting those comments won't answer the question.
Of course, we want to have this question answered, because this is advertising our site on Ecosia. But banning those comments won't answer the question. But this is not what this discussion is about. A person commenting Search this on Ecosia! will probably not be turned into a person providing an answer by the policy which is not welcoming those comments any more. And this is important: We are not discussing here, whether the question should be closed - I'd say it should not necessarily be closed - or whether it should remain unanswered - I'd say people shoudld answer it if they like, I personally just don't have the motivation to do so.