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I recently posted an answer and somebody commented something important. I thought it made sense to add it to my post. On the one hand I feel like I should write there "thanks to x-user for pointing this out". But, on the other hand, the information on GLU.SE is available for people outside this forum and they might not know who that user is.

  • What would be the wisest to do?
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No, in a post, it is not recommended to give credit to a person who commented to add valuable information for the following reasons:

  • users may change their names over time. If there was a name pointing to a user who for any reasons changed their name it may hurt this user's privacy and for other users the information given has no value at all.
  • the name of any user should not influence a post's quality. In the end the quality of a post is what counts independent of who wrote it, or edited it. That's the whole point of being such a great community driven site, where everybody is free to contribute not only by posting questions or answer but also by editing and giving input through comments. In the end we want to become a huge community driven resource for the German language in the scope of a Wiki rather than a collection of individual opinions.
  • there is nothing bad about putting information we had been given in a comment into our posts. In fact this is stronly encouraged. It was the whole point of allowing a comment system in the first place. If a user feels uncomfortable about being quoted without credit they should answer rather than comment.
  • Ideally all comments should become obsolete and be deleted over time. In this case any reference to a now deleted comment becomes vain.

In case we want to thank this person who commented we can do so with another comment pinging the user like e.g.:

@c.p. hey thanks! This comment was great, I will add it to my post.

This will make sure that the other person will get noticed of edits on you post (and may then want to vote on it), and it will also make sure that, if for any reason this user was unhappy with your edit, they will be able to let you know.

Ideally, the user will then also realize that their comments became obsolete and may decide to self-delete them. If however we want the comment to stay as a reference (or credit if you like) that should also not be a major issue. It may still happen that it gets accidentally deleted during a clean-up rush but it then not be such a great issue because if information from a comment was already include to a post.

This only works of course if we all take care to include valuable information from comments in our posts. This sadly does not happen as often as it could.

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