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I asked my first question over on a different SE site recently.

After an initial false start I was advised by a mod that when I edit my question to deal with comments, I can / should flag the comments as "no longer needed".

I've not come across this advice before. I've generally just left it to the commenter to delete.

Is this advice ubiquitous to SE, and is it welcome here on U&L? Or is this something mods here might see as a waste of their time.

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    To give you an idea of how welcome this is on U&L, I have 3611 helpful comment flags, and counting ;-). Apr 2, 2023 at 19:07

2 Answers 2

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Yes, that is helpful, or at the very least not harmful. Ideally, comments that have been addressed should be deleted but it is very hard to remember to come back and do it yourself as a user, so sure flag them as obsolete and we'll get rid of them.

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Yes, please flag comments that are truly no longer needed as "no longer needed". These are fairly quick to process, so they shouldn't generate too much extra work for us.

However, don't use that flag to get rid of a comment just because you don't want to see it any longer (this is sometimes the case when a question/answer owner flags comments on their own question or answer). In those cases, you may possibly flag the problematic comment with another flag instead.

I tend to let flagged comments linger for a bit if the comments themselves are very new or if it requires me to read through a whole discussion to figure out whether the comment is really "no longer needed" or not.

Flagged old comments are easy to process, as they are almost always no longer needed (either the answer or question has incorporated it, or it wasn't significant enough to incorporate).

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  • I the particular instance I was discussion in my question, the comment pointed to a passage in documentation that was already linked. My edit was to add a paragraph clarifying why that passage was unhelpful... So to fully understand the mod would have needed to read the question in full, the documentation and the comment. I guess what you're saying here is that a custom flag starting "no longer needed" and an explanation might be better? Apr 4, 2023 at 9:21
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    @PhilipCouling If the comment is clearly no longer needed, use "no longer needed". If there is a need for an explanation as to why it's no longer needed, then prefer to use "Something else" and leave an explanation. This is if you want to be maximally helpful to us.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Apr 4, 2023 at 9:27
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    This leads to what the "steady-state" picture of posts & comments should look like on SE. Comments should relate to the post (in the post's current state) or be incorporated into the post.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Apr 5, 2023 at 1:41

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