The Art of Commenting


Writing comments on others' posts is an important part of participating in the STEEM ecosystem and in the blogosphere in general. At first when we think of commeting, many tend to imagine a few lines. Maybe a sentence or a happy face emoji. Some of us think of long paragraphs. Paragraphs that are deeply thought-out and full of helpful information. Others invision a meme or a funny image.

Commenting differs greatly platform to platform. On YouTube, for example, it is perfectly acceptable to write something overly-critical in a one-line reply. On Facebook those rows of happy faces and one word responses are just fine. On LinkedIn the paragraphs with informational links and mentions are quite common. But what about on the STEEM platforms? Is there a norm? Is there an ideal that we should strive to reach?

To delve into this mystey let's first take a closer look at what we consider to be an abusive use of the comment function.

Comment Spam

You may have seen this reply in the comment section of your blog or even to your own comment:

Spamming comments is frowned upon by the community. Comment spam is currently defined as:

  • 10 or more generic comments per day that are not in response to a question posed by the post or comment. “Thanks”, “Great Post!”, “Great Photo!”, “Good”, “Like”, “Nice”, “Wow”, “Cute”, “Follow me”, etc.
  • Commenting on old posts to hide self up-votes or a voting trail.
  • Copy/Paste comments that serve no purpose or the purpose is self promotion (including copying and pasting similar comments in rotating way).
  • Comments that inform the contributor that they have been up upvoted, resteemed, or flagged when the curator does not actually upvote, resteem, or flag the post.
  • Unsolicited and off topic referral links.
    Continued comment spamming may result in action from the cheetah bot.
    More Info: Abuse Guide - 2017.

Let's go through this in detail.

Generic Comments

Generic comments like "nice post" or "wow" don't add any value. They don't engage with the post writer, they don't ask a question or propose a solution, they do nothing except exist. There are many reasons why a person would write such a generic comment. They could speak very little English or have nothing more to say.

These generic comments become spam when they are the rule rather than the exception. A user who posts nothing but generic comments, irrespective of topic, situation, or language used, can be inferred as doing so with the clear intention to spam.

Commenting on Old Posts

Sometimes users comment on old posts without realizing these are old posts or simply because the post still interests them. More often than not, unfortunately, users do so with the intent of comment farming.

The act of comment farming is the systemic posting of copy/pasted or gibberish comments and upvoting them. This is done to illicitly gain monetary or reputational rewards.

Copy/Pasting Self-Promotion Comments

Comments like "I follow you, you follow me" or "Vote for my blog" are purely self-promotional and add nothing to the original post. Often we think of only new users when we think of this type of comments. That is not always the case. Regardless of whom is doing it, copy/pasted self-promotional comments are not acceptable and are treated as spam.

False Comments

Comments that advise the post owner that a transaction had taken place without said transaction having occurred -- such as a resteem -- are treated as spam. These comments are malicious in that they are designed to trick an individual who wrote the blog to either upvote the comment or to return the favor that never occurred.

Unsolicited Links

These can be referral links or links to the commenter's post. The sole purpose of these is for the commenter to profit outside of having their comment upvoted.

At times they lead to malicious third party websites that download viruses or trick individuals to reveal their STEEM account passwords. For this reason, comments with unsolicited links are particularly dangerous. It is considered best-practice to avoid clicking on any links in comments.

Comment Etiquette

It is always advised to write thoughtful, original comments that are about the post itself. They should be at least a sentence in length. Longer comments are acceptable but it is best to limit their length to several paragraphs unless involved in a deep discussion.

Posting images in comments is popular but not always adviseable. Images in comments should only be used if they serve a specific purpose. Adding them to make the comment stand out is not recommended and may result in a flag.

Comments can be in any language but it's always best to write them either in English or in the language used by the post writer. A writer who wrote a post in Korean, for example, will be able to read a comment written in Korean by another language-speaker.

Always remember that the purpose of commenting is to respond to the original post. The comment should add value and say something that needs to be said.

Tags and Mentions

Using in-line tags in comments does not effectively tag your comment. What it does is link to that tag. If relevant to your comment, it is fully acceptable to use a tag. If irrelevant, it simply makes no sense.

Mentions are similar. Not all users have their mentions settings, typically adjusted through a third-party service, set up in a way where they monitor them. If the person does and the mention is irrelevant, they may not be too pleased about it. All mentions should be relevant to the context of the comment and the post itself.

Upvoting Own Comments

Upvoting comments and upvoting posts works in the same way. It is perfectly acceptable to upvote your own comment if you feel its deserving of an upvote providing you do not abuse that privilege. Voting on own high-quality content (including comments) is acceptable as the general principle is to curate content you feel deserves a reward. If you wrote an extensive response to a post and then upvoted it, you are stating that you feel that the effort that went into your comment is valuable.

Systemic upvoting of own low-quality comments, either strung together or distributed amongst various posts, can be seen as comment farming (described above) and a form of abuse. It is also considered to be poor etiquette.

This is an example of a Comment Farm.

Can Comments Be Flagged?

Yes, comments can and are frequently flagged. Comments that fall into the abuse categories listed above can receive a @Steemcleaners or @Spaminator warning or even flag. More commonly, low-quality comments or comments some people may see as "annoying" are flagged by the readers and writer of the post. For that reason, ensuring that you only post good-quality comments is best.


High-Quality Comments

Here is an example of an average, good comment to a post. In this example, the post is a poem:

Thank you for sharing your poem 'Silent Music'. I got chills reading it! It reminded me of a time when I was young and broke a Beatles record in half. It shattered just like the tree you eloquently described. I know that's a bit silly. Very well crafted, my friend.

Low-Quality Comments

These are low-quality comments. They don't add anything to the discussion at hand or have anything in particular to do with the original post.

@__ follow me I follow you

Good post!

I vote 4 u visit my blog vote 4 me

This is an example of a Low-Quality Comment.

More Information:

The Game of Tags
Appealing the Blacklist

Do you have specific topics that you'd like @steemcleaners to address and clarify in our future posts? Let us know in the comments.


Thanks to @inquiringtimes for sharing with me the link to this post. It is an incredible post about commenting. The fact that it comes from Steem Cleaners account shows the educational effort by the team that is known for policing the system.

I have seen great comments and bad comments a lot. I upvote good ones anr flag the bad ones to keep them at the bottom. Almost all of my posts have a hierarchy based on quality of comments. The worst comments are always found at the bottom.

I know a lot of effort has been done to educate the community about good commenting habits. This guide adds another resource to an incredible library for anyone who wishes to make good use of it. I even shared a detailed guide on how NOT to comment and the focus was to help people avoid flags.

I am a regular preacher of good commenting habits. I practice what I preach since the very beginning and it has paid me a lot in a lot of ways. Already resteemed this post for wider consumption.

Hi ilyastarar,
That's very nice to hear that our guides have been useful to you :-)
It seems that you also add a lot of value to this platform by the way that you try to diminish spamming content with no value :-)
Thank you for resteeming too :-)

Easy....mining. More fun with friends!


These guys have really figured this out. You can make money while you sleep, Just signup Download the free miner. There is never a fee. (not to sound like a shill) This is like a money drop! I will post again with details of my profits.

even shared a detailed guide on how NOT to comment and the focus was to help people avoid flags.

Brilliant, I actually got a smile out of that also!!!!

Finally steemcleaners post something to educate steemians on how to behave on steemit as regard commenting. I am so happy to see this post and will resteem so as many can get to learn from reading the post.

Many of these low comment people do not actually know they are spamming. Many people have join steemit without any guild on how to go about posting, upvote and commenting on steemit.
@steemcleaners, it will be nice if you also do a post to educate steemians(especially newbies) on post abuse and plagiarism. Or maybe have a rule/stroke guide to newbies.

Omg I used to comment this way but now I will take care of that. Thank u @steemcleaners for clearing this problem.

I had similar thoughts and wanted to write a post on same. As a newbie I often have dilemma of quantity over quality and I've reduced the number of posts and refrain from posting anything for the sake of it.

What I've compensated it by commenting and supporting posts I love and replying to each of those posts. Even though I didn't get those upvotes and earning on my posts but I can proudly say I met people with common interests and turned them to followers. Last week I didn't post anything really astonishing in terms of content but I know I gained 20 followers and that really means a lot to a struggling newbie like myself

Hello thenomadictales,

Thank you for your comment. The way you contribute to this community is very valuable :-)

Thank you. That really means a lot

I'm scared to comment :) JK, great post. Being a steemit beginner I'm glad I can find posts like this to help me out. I didn't even realize you could upvote comments until reading this. lol

Good thing you found it and you are the first to comment as well.

i am more suprised that the first poster actually even read the article. lol

It's quite unusual these days.

I was going to just post a "follow me" but chickened out. I hate having to use a /s to note sarcasm.

Sometimes in my post, I actually write near the bottom something like...

... I know nobody is hardly reading articles here anymore but I appreciate when they do etc....

You are right, it changed a long time ago.......

Some great replies in here, this post got a lot of mileage helping people I see.

I commented at the person above who said they are scared to comment, LOL, I remember feeling scared when I joined hahaha!!!!

Aw, that is funny but I remember being new and feeling scared here too LOL

comments on steemit is different from other platforms like youtube and facebook, because comments in this steemit is considered as a post similar to the post on the blog itself, then should the quality of a comment should be as good as posting on our own blog steemit, so read other people's posts before making good comments, so we know what to comment on, not just spam comments that we can post

Exactly mate, like you said it differs greatly. On steemit you are expected to make an impression with your comment, some would say pour your heart on it. Comments can be as rewarding as the post too and not just about the reward you leave an impression for the author and others who would come across your comment. Greatly helps. The two words comments don't do well at all

Listen what this man says!

I'm a noob here and i don't have writing skills and I'm not so creative but i can talk about several subjects, so when i se blog about science or grat project initiative i read post and comment if i feel i have something to say.

I have to tell you that i have tried also to comment without reading and this dont work.

It's better to read a blogs and write one or two comments a day than to write 20 or 50 comments without reading blog.

It will pay off on your balance and rating points!

Hello mandalacode. Thank you for this valuable comment.
You are very right that quality commenting rather than quantity is important and more valuable :-)

thanks for the information. so I as a new steemit user directly see your post even though I read this through translate. but it's really amazing your upbringing. after I read and understand all the writing that is here this new I know how we actually use steemit. thanks for the information. wassalam

Thank you for reading and we honestly hope that it helps you get familiar with Steem.

Ikuti saya dan saya sudah mengikuti anda.
Sehingga saya bisa belajar lebih banyak dari Anda

I was doing the same as I am new user on Steemit I was not aware of it
Now I will take care of these mistakes .. thanku for sharing sach a helpful information

Thank you for your experience and your guides for which we are beginning in this world, which I love, every day I learn something new and I am clearer, you never finish learning, those who invented steemit are extraordinary ... without words

Thank you, glad you're learning and enjoying it.

Hey I like the article I also leave a comment on the post I like,as I think we should praise the good work or good things around us.
Regards @crafter

Hello, that is fine but it seems that quite large of your comments do not add value to the posts as they are often comments such as "Beautiful pic", "Very nice", etc.

I think you are right I'll think over it 🤔,but is it necessary that huge big paragraph makes a sensible comment,why not it could be to the point.please suggest.

Yes, it could be short but to the point. Something that tell the authors that you actually read the post or deeply looked through the art/photography.

Haha en pointe! As an artist, it makes me happy when people appreciate my work. However, I have come across too many 'comments-from-my-mother' (read this from a blog the other day) to feel that some are not sincere or half-hearted at least. That is why it makes my happier when people drop constructive comments on my work, because I'd know which areas I should improve to up the quality of my blog entries. :D

I hope other users take note of this. Nice job on being true to your name, @steemcleaners! :)

I've been on Steemit for a long time and had no idea about commenting on old posts and then upvoting the comment, I thought once the post received payout it's monetary value expired, including comments.

why Downvote?

Pixabay is free!!
Just answer !!

Its fine if you use Pixabay, just add the source and don't use it on posts marked with #photography.

thank you for your explanation. you are so kind! it o.k without #photography?

Yeah, because when you use #photography you're basically stating that the image is your work as a photographer.

um..I think It is necessary to give attention.
Without notice, downbote is bad.
I'm a new member steemit. so I do not know the rules well.
Give someone a warning.

upvote own comment
I like that part
And sorry if I screenshot to show some steemian else 🤗

I am glad to see that someone is continuously trying to improve this steemit system. This is whole new world and steel need to be enhanced. I totally agree with you:)

Thanks for sharing, I m happy with it, though before comment of any post I feel to read and share myself view, sometimes I go to myself old memories, and share own thoughts, which I feel it's not good or maybe writer will get hurt, how to react in simple way and self view on content, though I also accept same in positive. I upvote and resteem, as I like too.

There are actually a lot of post about what makes a comment a bad comment, but I haven't seen one about what makes a comment a good comment.

Thabk you for the information. I have only been on steemit a little over a month and have been noticing a lot of follow me/follow you comments. I admit at first I was doing some poor comments, but I think I am getting better. You just put it into perspective more so for me.

Ok, I think since I joined to the steemit cleaners channel I'm more "safe" to comment and share my knowledge through steemit. Commenting is an art as you say but there is a following steps like READ the post I stop my own upvote to comments because I learned that is better use my "0.04$" vote for someone else who make good stuff in steemit. Thanks for making this place cleaner and support all of us who make good content.

In your example of a good comment, the commenter mentioned breaking a Beatle record when he or she was young. Glad to hear this community includes people of diverse ages. I appreciate the perspectives that both youth and age bring!

That's one thing we've got a lot of here; users of different ages. Everything from kids to great grandparents.

Yesterday only me and my friends were discussing that, commenting also helps to grow on steem. Thank you so much for sharing all the important tips regarding comments. Learnt many new things and new terms like 'Comment Farming'. Thanks again

thank you for this post. I am completely new to Steem and am very thankful that @steemcleaners take the time to explain the Steem ecosystem to a nub like me. Things like this are needed in order for newcomers to understand how to use Steem.

I will then include this link to my newly created blog post about posting comments >> as a comment itself for newbies to be guided whenever they post comments as acknowledgement to the great efforts of the authors. Comments can really make an author feel more motivated to produce quality contents because their works are being acknowledged. Thank you for this post and the knowledge that I have about commenting is enhanced according to the rules it impose.

Thank you for reading our post. Giving the link to this post when someone spams with the comment may be very helpful. Thank you

This is a great way to avoid spam then, I will be checking first if most of their comments are spammy from all of other steemians. This link will serve as their first warning.

This is, once again, an excellent post of yours. this time, you are delving into ethics of our platform. I am sure many will learn from it for the education and more importantly for its high quality.

Namaste :)

You are exceptionally right, by remarking on different posts we will be more prepared in giving assessments and furthermore make us more sure about issuing sentences in our psyches and can reinforce correspondence between individual stemian

I see what you're trying to say -- that's right. It's all about communication.

Please take a look at @pankajwahane's one-worded comment spam here.

A suggestion for the next article:
Differences between Steem, Steemit and SBD, explained in an elaborate manner to put an end to this confusion once and for all!
I've seen many noobs who confuse these terms with one another.

Thanks for your service, team @steemcleaners!

Hello, thanks for the report :-)
If you have any more reports in the future, please use our form instead:

Thank you for the suggestion. Teaching about differences between Steem, Steemit and SBD are not part of steemcleaners scope, though.
Another thing is that there must have been dozens of posts that have explained it :-)

Oh my bad! Will send it through there next time though.
True, but I thought maybe there could be a more detailed explanation about it. Sadly, it's not in the scope but that's fine! Anyone else might have a good suggestion. :)

imformation that is very useful for us as a beginner in understanding the procedures in steemit.
we realized that in terms of using our steemit still very weak it became a reference to develop themselves in steemit.
thank you

A guide is a resourceful tool especially when you are in a community, with the core value of helping each other achieve a common goal, knowing what to do and what not to do, is the first and primary step to attain success. I really appreciate the time taken by Steemcleaners to educate the community on what the Art of Commenting really is. Thanks!


I am very happy that during my first month at steemit I started following you. I do not remember for which post or why I clicked the Follow but I am glad I did. This types of posts are very very important for Minnows like me, while reading it feels like teacher is teaching us in very sincere and interesting fashion . I agree that I also have done many bad comments during my one month stay but now after reading your blog, I will try to be more precise and constructive. Thank you again for your post, I like it a lot and hope to see more like these in future. stock-photo-job-well-done-words-in-red-stamp-to-illustrate-a-good-review-for-a-job-task-or-project-completed-237047698.jpg

I must say that when I started in steemit if I put at the end of the comments "follow me and I will follow you" (because it is normal in other networks) but after a while I stopped doing it when I realized how dynamic it was here, really not I know what people think about "good work" over and over again, that far from generating interest in me, it stops me upset, if they are new people it is understood. but I have seen people with many months to do it, personally I only comment if I have something to contribute either supplementary information or an anecdote referring to the subject, I think we have to "teach" the new ones these things, in post like this was that I learned it . this great XD

Am glad I saw this.. Newbies like me are used to the "thanks" and all.
I see things from a new perspective now
Keep up with the posts.

This was super helpful. Thanks for sharing. As someone who is just getting to know the nuances of this platform, I appreciate this thorough yet simple explanation of proper etiquette when commenting.

Detailed and meaningful comments add value to the post which helps search engines to index it and showcase it first when someone searches for something related to it.
I hope you write a post on people leaving threat or hate comments too. I know it is a highly touchy subject but if you post about it, no one will dare talk against you.

Thank you for your comment :-)
You are very right about search engines.

Threats and hate speech are not part of our scope. We are not trying to be moral or censorship police here. Users need to sort out disputes between each other.

Yes! I always do try to bring some kind of feedback through my comments, and try not to make nosy ones because those can get annoying

Thank you for your comment. It seems like a good way of adding value in your comments :-)

The comment should add value and say something that needs to be said.

The problem with steemit is the echo chamber mentality.

Adding a comment with an opposing view, or pointing out inaccuracy only
invites the wrath of the snowflake (of which there are far too many on here)

I used to think being called a troll was a bad thing - but now I realize it is only a response from someone reading something that they offends their worldview. boohooo.

The mechanics of steemit prevents me from ripping into idiots so many times (invoking a libtard flagging spasm, or something).

Which is annoying, because it behooves all of us to point out idiocy.

Feeding myself always gets the higher priority...

I must admit I am bad at commenting - I read and vote but do not always comment, but thank you for this - there are people that really like the 'good post, wow, keep it up' comments and it is tiring - This post really gives a lot of info and I will resteem it so that everybody can learn the 'rules' and I will also try and be more active with commenting

Hello anneke,
Thank you for reading this post and resteeming so more users can learn :-)

Thank you for your experience and your guides for which we are beginning in this world, which I love, every day I learn something new and I am clearer, you never finish learning, those who invented steemit are extraordinary ... without words

Thank you for you comment.
It's nice to hear that our guides have taught you new things.

I'm so guilty of this. :)

You are very correct, by commenting on other posts we will be more trained in giving opinions and also make us more confident in issuing sentences in our minds and can strengthen communication between fellow stemian

I have seen some whale accounts practicing comment farming, do you work against whales ? And if so, how do we report them ?

Thank you for your comment.
We do not work "against" anyone on Steemit. We simply try to decrease the exploitation of this platform by chasing up different abuses and guiding users on how to create nice content, regardless if they are low reputation users or whales.
If you want to report any abuse, you can use our abuse form here:

Please, first do read up our abuse guide before submitting any reports:
Abuse Guide - 2017.

It's a really helpful guide, especially for all the new steemit users, like me. A lot of useful information, that can seriously help this community thrive and become better. Thanks for the help, dude!

Hello roscar9,
We are pleased to hear that this information has been of help to you as new user :-)

Great post, thank you. I'm just getting started here, and this post is well thought out, and answered a lot of questions for a newcomer such as myself.

We are glad to hear that this post has been helpful to you :-)

What an excellent guide to how to (and how to not) comment !!! I love it!

I feel that due to the topic of this post, there is a lot of pressure when writing a comment :) So far it seems like there is a lot of quality comments. Of course, spammers won't actually read the post or care about it so they will continue to spam.

Cheers, it's always nice to have some advice and general pointers on how to right. The tutorial focused mainly though on how to not get it wrong, as opposed to the finneser "art" of commenting.

Thanks for the post. Very subtle view with good knowledge but is the positive views only the ones that count? What if there is creative critisism involved in the comments. Even my left hand doesnt agree with my right hand half of the time. I think pointing out the flaws, will help everyone improve.

Social Media has become the echo chamber of the mainstream media. Steemit offers a breath of fresh air. Thanks for your insight.

I totally agree with you, it is not just the fact of leaving a comment for leaving it and that does not contribute anything, but a comment that shows how much important your post was for that person

The secret to all online engagement, whether it's blogging, making videos or just commenting is being THOUGHTFUL and genuine.

It's not word count.

Its what makes all good content work online or IRL.

Genuine, thoughtful and relevant communication.

It's that simple.

Just letting you know I came here to read and support this after the latest comments nonsense fiasco on my page.

I keep voting for you guys, I keep appreciating your work, ever since I joined here.

-- wish I could do more. But I try, things are not easy in my life anymore with the injuries and fall out from the car running me over.

Sent @patrice a $SBD the other day -- always thankful for her work too, tell her I say hi!


Good information in this post @steemcleaners. However, I disagree with what is deemed a low-quality comment. For a newbie like myself, who do not have a lot of followers, I am still thankful for a comment such 'good post' on my blog. Also, I find it had to not say thank you for a comment even though it does not add value because I am polite.

Muy esclarecedora la información. A veces cometemos errores, no por burlar las reglas, sino porque las desconocemos. Iniciativas como estas permiten ampliar el horizonte de quienes participamos en esta plataforma. Continue así, dándonos información de calidad. Gracias.

Very interesting! And now i know more to alert people with bad actions.

I guess this is our example of what NOT to do in a comment. This is a great example of a "low-quality" comment that typically gets flagged immediately.

Clearly didn’t bother reading the title let alone the content.

Check out Dosh - the app that pays you to book hotels, shop & eat! Link a card & get $5, plus $5 for each refferal.
#money #freedom #FACTS🔥🔥🔥💯

Are you serious? You actually put your spammy ad on this post that is discussing people and comments like yours. I've seen it all on Steemit. Get lost. Nobody wants to checkout any garbage app.

@steemcleaners not sure who you think you are, but fuck you!

To hear the speech version of this post click the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvote this reply.

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