I have noticed that under certain circumstances the "It's no longer needed" flag acts immediately on comments and they are straightaway deleted. Yet at other times this is recorded as having been marked for moderator attention and it's a little while before the comments are removed.

Assuming I'm not seeing an extremely rapid response from one or more of the moderators (!), what is the logic around immediate removal of comments vs flagging them for moderator attention? (i.e. how can I know when to expect one type of action or the other?)

  • 1
    Relating, on the main Meta: meta.stackexchange.com/q/251636/410681. I am also under the impression that comments saying "tank you" with no other relevant content are deleted automatically as soon as they are flagged.
    – fra-san
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 15:17
  • must resist temptation to flag fra-san's comment... :)
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


I think fra-san's comment explains it. I think there's probably some sort of regex in the SE code that one-shots comments when they're flagged; tchrist has a list started at https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/238837/307535.

That said, it does occasionally happen that I (or other mods) visit the mod dashboard to handle flags and there are ... fresh ... comment flags that get handled. We're probably not there within milliseconds though, so if the comment disappears immediately, I'd assume that you hit a magic phrase in the code for immediate comment deletion.

  • If the comment is new, I may sometimes leave it simmering for a while, even if I see the flag as it is raised. This is to ensure that all involved parties have read the comment (or at least give them a chance to do so). Old comments with "No longer needed" flags are usually removed immediately as I see them, if apropriate.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 20:07

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