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This question is about 14 month old baby no longer eating or drinking after MMR vaccine

To understand my question here on Meta, I suggest reading my answer to the OP, and the ensuing comments below it. I won't repeat all of that here.

@Erica, I'm not suggesting the OP google the problem. In my answer, I stated a fact that I didn't think needed substantiation. My answer focused on assisting the OP in taking an active approach in building a collaborative relationship with her baby's doctor, or looking for a doctor with a more collaborative approach. Because it seems to me that when one leaves the doctor's office, one should ideally leave with less anxiety than one had when one came in, and if that's not working, maybe the doctor is not a good fit -- or maybe one is not clearly communicating the sort of partnership one is looking for.

I think this is the main thing that can be contributed to this OP. Obviously, we can't tell, sight unseen, whether the baby is having a dangerous reaction to the vaccine, and therefore not only would it be irresponsible to try to reassure the mother, but it would also be as ineffective as the two doctors' attempts were.

I mentioned a fact in my answer, as an example of something I suggest that a doctor should inform a mother about.

That's the background for my meta question.

Now, my question: If someone thinks an answer would be strengthened by including a link, is it better to criticize the answer in a comment below the answer, or edit the question to add the link the critic is saying is needed?

I'm asking because I personally am feeling overwhelmed by criticism of my contributions.

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    You don't like edits. You complain about comments that are meant to be helpful. If you see a helpful suggestion, why don't you actually try it? That would render the flag obsolete, and it would be removed. Jul 19 '15 at 15:49
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    Flag? Oh dear. I don't know how to detect when my post has a flag. Jul 19 '15 at 16:36
  • Removing an example illustrating a concept being explained to an OP, and substantiating with a link something cited as a known fact are rather different. My question here is about the latter. I hope Meta is the right place to pose this question for discussion. Jul 19 '15 at 16:45
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    aparente - I'm not 100% sure what your question is asking about, but in response to your last paragraph: thus far your behaviour on this site has not been exemplary, and in fact you have caused the most work and pain of any of our community. Which means that you will get short shrift from the hard worked mods until you can prove your intent to improve. Evidence good behaviour and things will all work much better; Show behaviours similar to those before your suspension, and we will not give you much leeway before suspending again.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Jul 19 '15 at 17:21
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    "render the comment obsolete", I believe she meant, not flag.
    – Acire
    Jul 19 '15 at 17:45
  • I did mean the comment would be rendered obsolete and removed. You say: "Removing an example illustrating a concept being explained to an OP, and substantiating with a link something cited as a known fact are rather different." As a mod, I have asked you dozens of times to support your statements. You do not. You have posted in meta complaining about edits as well as comments. In your world, neither is appropriate. That is not the SE model. Comments which help make a better answer are the norm. Jul 19 '15 at 19:29
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Neither is better.

Both actions require the voluntary time and effort of a reviewer.

For edits, the reviewer is required to do the leg work and then submit an edit, which the OP may or may not accept and leave as is.

For comments, the reviewer is requesting the OP do their own work and justify their answer with sources they feel are sufficient.

In either case, the goal of the reviewer is to get the answer improved so that it doesn't just receive down votes or flags , which could lead to deletion and possibly avoids moderator intervention.

Occasionally, you know there's a source you're looking for but can't find it, and mentioning it sometimes results in someone editing the answer with the source you couldn't find. Here, I personally prefer edits over comments. Otherwise, I prefer comments because they're learning opportunities and give me the chance to improve the answer in my own words. But that's a preference, not an expectation.

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If someone thinks an answer would be strengthened by including a link, is it better to criticize the answer in a comment below the answer, or edit the question to add the link the critic is saying is needed?

It depends.

In general, users are encouraged to compose good answers themselves without needing community support to complete the job. "What is your source for" or "where did you hear about" comments are very frequent on many answers, and it is a way of encouraging the OP to confirm with "best practice" and site guidelines.

(Particularly in the case of Q&A that relate to medical information, citation is strongly preferred over anecdote or opinion, even well-known things like typical age of developmental milestones or vaccine side effects. Some users are more familiar with current medical expertise than others, and we're all here to share knowledge. Linking to an authoritative source describing the symptom is helpful; saying "it is common knowledge that you can Google for" is less helpful and even kind of snarky.)

However. If the answer was written long ago by somebody no longer active, it is better to add additional supporting information without bothering with the comment route.

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