When I attempt to reply to a comment, I address the user via @username. Sometimes I get a little popup with the user's name; other times I type it in. When I post my comment, sometimes the @username shows up and sometimes not. Why is this? Am I doing something wrong? Chrome on Snow Leopard.

  • They may be suppressing it now since it's kind of noisy I guess? I think the note still gets sent (I just got a notification about a comment without an @user in it)
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Jul 20 '14 at 18:45
  • It's been like this for a while. I'm not exactly sure why it's suppressed, you might get more information asking on META.SE.
    – stoicfury
    Jul 21 '14 at 7:31
  • 2
    It is suppressed only when the user would already be notified automatically. For example, if you comment on an answer by Bob, and there are no other comments, then an @Bob will be stripped. Jul 22 '14 at 10:37

Stack Exchange notifies users of comments under the curcumstances

  1. you comment under their question or answer
  2. you @-notify them
  3. (you comment and it magically deduces without an @ it was in reply to their comment. This seems to happen only if you are the second commenter, but I haven't spotted the rule it uses - perhaps you have to be the author of the Q or A it's under, but I have definitely spotted it correctly notifying me without an @.)

In case 1, the @ is clearly unnecessary, so it doesn't encourage it by helping you.
In case 2, you can only @-notify someone who is already involved there, so it doesn't encourage you by helping you.

If it doesn't help you write an @, it always means the @ will have no effect, either because it would notify them anyway or won't notify them anyway, so I always pause if I'm not getting help, to think why.

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