Should the minimum character warning educate about likes?

yep, thats the one! Why “must my post be atleast 20 characters long?”

1 Like

Because when you don’t have very much to say, why say anything at all? Just click the like button! :smile:


I feel like this line could just as well be included in the warning somehow, as it keeps coming up as the most sound argument every time a new user inquiries about this restriction.


Does that really fit? I don’t think it does…

Or something shorter, but it just reads weird to me.

This does not feel like the right place to “educate” users about this particular aspect of Discourse. Sorry.

Perhaps keeping the minimum length 10 characters is sufficient because the notice makes enough of a psychological impact that the message (only reply if you have something to say) gets through.

I have no idea what you are trying to say here?

The issue here is some criticism of how best to encourage civilized discourse with regard to a ‘minimum length’ for replies. This is a topic you dealt with at-length in a great blog post: Complaint-Driven Development

I had an issue of users complaining about the minimum reply and some protested by writing “extra words to reach the minimum” in each post

The stock setting is a 20-character minimum. Using a 10-character quota lowered a barrier to participation while still making the point that meaningful replies are encouraged.

1 Like

I am warming up to this idea, if we can limit the heart part of the alert to just TL0 users?

Perhaps something like:


I would rather that the :heart: part not be limited.

Just a couple of days I had a TL1 raise a big stink about the limit. And he can’t be far from being a TL2. In fact I’m surprised he’s not.

His great comment was “I agree.”, which was excellent opportunity to point out that one of the reasons for the minimum is that people should be using the :heart: button instead of posting “I agree.” or “Me too.”.


Since it’s easy to get to TL1 without ever writing a post, I agree with showing the message for TL1’s too.


Good work @neil, it’s in! To celebrate I created this for you


Now I wish we allowed animated gif avatars here!


Just having seen this thread come up, I realize that these comments may be a little late. However, there are a few scenarios where the new popup will probably be viewed as condescending and, possibly, offensive.

  1. User 1 asks a question expecting a boolean answer. User 2 tries to respond with a simple “Yes” or “No.” They have no cause to like User 1’s post, they simply need to make their post longer.
  2. User A and User B get into a mild argument on a forum that has lighter policies than meta.d. User A says something like “Are you an idiot?” User B wants to respond with “Bite me.”

In the first scenario, the new message will probably just make the user feel like Discourse is being condescending. Not a good idea, as software should strive to be neutral.

In the second scenario, asking User B if they’ve tried the :heart: button could piss them off enough to trigger an all out explosion from User B, leading to a major issue which requires staff attention. This is bad.


That’s rather like “well, what if an asteroid hit you?” I dunno, I think I’ll take my chances. :wink:

The general philosophy is to deploy things and get real world feedback rather than guessing and imagineering what might happen.

1 Like

This is a frequent complaint of our users.


I’m guessing it would be more work than its worth to code in something like an
“if short and contains agree, like, best, good etc. educate, else not”

It would also defeat the purpose of the feature. Imagine typing up an amazing argument only to get a bunch of “Yes.” replies…

If a technical solution is needed, I would rather have a “mini reply” feature which allows extremely short posts but displays them in an extremely condensed format, e.g. as one-liners with a smaller avatar, reduced Markdown features (inline styles and dialects only, no images) and no like/share/bookmark buttons.


Perhaps if all they need is a boolean, one bit, 0 or 1 answer, these users should start a poll topic instead?

This is a discussion site, after all.

This whole thing is a misdirection.
You do encounter witty single-word posts. And multi-paragraph garbage. Quantity != quality.



1 Like