When reading the tour, I saw (in the section titled Improve posts by editing or commenting) a sample comment that only provided a thanks, nothing else. On StackOverflow I learned to avoid this.

Are the rules here different? (I mean, a thanks here and there helps to create a friendly atmosphere)

If not I'd suggest to change this tour section. Thanks ;)

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    I never edit questions to remove a Thank You. I agree that it adds friendliness and nobody can tell me that it does any harm. IMHO: leave as much thank you comment as you want to… – clemens May 17 '17 at 11:36
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    @clemens thanks for showing me similar questions, I searched before, but I didn't find them. To be a little bit more constructive: Wouldn't it be better to add a constructive remark to the example comment in the tour? (Letting the thanks there.) – Wolf May 17 '17 at 11:40
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    it's a lack of foresight. They thought only programmers will hate each other on SO hence the etiquette but then other sites received normal people's attention hence the weird stuff here and there impying social kindness is evil :) And thank you for asking :P – percusse May 17 '17 at 17:19
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    In reply to such thanks, I will sometimes add a "you are welcome" comment, but only if I also have something else to add in the comment to improve the quality or provide clarification to what is under discussion. Or to let them know that the biggest "thanks" is an upvote. – Steven B. Segletes May 19 '17 at 16:07
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    The nice thing about a "thanks" as opposed to an unvote is that the latter are anonymous. So IMO "thanks" goes a little further. That said I wouldn't use a bare "thanks" very often if at all; a "thanks, by the way this also fixed..." or "thanks, it's even better if you..." is much more useful. I'll often add a note of thanks and/or "(+1)" to a comment that disagrees with a minor point in an answer, to make my overall support clearer – Chris H May 22 '17 at 14:28

As on all StackExchange sites, the idea of comments here is that they are ways of allowing clarification or feedback on questions/answers but should always be viewed as 'less important' than the material they are attached to. In particular, they may be deleted where moderators deem this appropriate.

In terms of 'Thanks' comments, they are not encouraged here and certainly if flagged may be removed, but at the same time there is no particular need to 'track them down'. As such, it's likely that you will come across 'Thanks' comments, particularly if a question was asked/answered recently. (A 'thanks' message is more likely to be removed if it's 'older' than if it's just been left on a freshly-answered question.)

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    I thought that it was like that, anyway thanks for the clarification. But I'd feel better with a tour reflecting this in a more open way. Is it hard to change the illustration there? I mean your not encouraged here seems me a little bit obfuscated in the tour... – Wolf May 17 '17 at 13:44
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    @Wolf I'll see what I can do: we have limited 'local' control over the content. – Joseph Wright May 17 '17 at 16:29
  • AFAIK, "Thank you" comments may need a single flag to be removed. – Braiam May 21 '17 at 20:01
  • @Braiam Normally if flagged 'thanks' comments will be removed, yes, though it does depend on any wider context. – Joseph Wright May 22 '17 at 11:19

A pure phrase "Thanks!"

  • is a direct acknowledgment,

  • often (though not always) has the connotation that no more action is needed, and the author of "thanks" sees the problem as (at least) partially solved, or

  • is often (though not always) an implicit marker for the end of the conversation from the side of the author of "thanks".

Said that, whenever a "thanks" clearly serves more than one of the purposes above, having it is actually helpful. Whenever a "thanks" conveys a message already stated by a different means, there is no need to restate the message, and "thanks" is counterproductive.

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    I find this an interesting aspect. Let's see if someone is able to build an improvement request for communication in the SE sites out of it... – Wolf May 29 '17 at 12:16

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