Recently I requested an user as follows

If you want to post it on meta, please tell me. Else I will do it.

The post, I am asking about, is related to the scope of the site. Since I am involved in the chat and curious to know whether my question is on-topic or not, I requested the user for the information (whether the user is ready or not to post on meta).

Reason(s) for asking

  1. To avoid duplication on meta

  2. Curious to know, in detail, about on-topic-ness

  3. Personally felt that the members of the community are friendly enough to ask

The user responded with the following statement

I should not be asked beforehand if I intent or not to post anything on Meta.

I was active member on other stack site. And it is normal there with almost all of the users to comment requests like above. In fact, I asked similar questions to few users in our sites also.

But I am doubting now whether to ask for such information in comments is recommended in general or not. Please guide me in this.


2 Answers 2


I would say that your question was perfectly fine. If a user doesn't want to say something about their intentions, it is also fine. If you think you're bothering/annoying a user, it may be a good idea to stop the discussion there (at least for a while), but, in any case, your question was totally fine from my perspective and, as far as I know, there's no policy that would prevent you from asking such a question (that would be quite absurd, in my opinion).


Since the user you are referring to is me, let me clarify some things to avoid misunderstandings.

In principle, there is absolutely nothing wrong in asking such questions in the comments.

The whole issue has also nothing to do with "friendliness" (we can disagree and still be friendly); in hindsight, I should have worded the comment slightly differently, as:

I need not be asked beforehand if I intent or not to post anything on Meta.

and that's all.

IMO, I just think that such questions of intent are not particularly useful, and that's all. What if I had replied "yes, I will" and then do nothing (because I am busy, away, changed my mind etc)? What if I had replied "no, I will not", and then, on a second thought (everyone is entitled to a 2nd thought, right?), proceeded to open a thread at Meta? Why should I commit, at the certain point of time, about doing or not doing something in the future, and why this (non)-commitment from my side should affect you and your own intended actions? Even if we both decided to open a Meta question, there is no guarantee of sorts that these questions would be identical (either in spirit or in letter).

So, while nothing wrong, my personal recommendation here would be to refrain from doing it, only because it does not seem to me to be particularly useful or productive, and not for any other reason. Even if the recipient chooses not to reply (for any reason, including that they have not made up their mind yet), they run the danger of looking somewhat rude; why you would want to put anyone in such a (potentially awkward) situation?

So, that was all behind my own comment, and nothing more. Hope it is clear now, and if it came out in any unfriendly way, let me hereby assure you that something like that was nowhere close to my intentions.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – nbro
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 22:39

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