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On Stack Overflow I needed to modify an old, unanswered question with new content, rather than start a new question. However, there are four or five old comments that pertain to old content.

Shouldn't the user be given control to hide or mark(like using a different font/color) the irrelevant comments?

I know there are security concerns, but shouldn't we trust the users who asked the question in the first place? I think it would ease the burden on moderators a little. Perhaps the comment's owner can be notified about changes to their comments, then they can override the decision if they see fit.

I do realize deletion of comments is out-of the question now.

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Flag for a moderator and explain what you've done. I've done exactly the same thing on a question, and they deleted the irrelevant comments.

We really don't want normal users to just be able to delete other's comments.

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Thanks a lot. I didn't know about moderator - flagging. Well, it would seem that if there was a way to have a "hide" functionality for old comments that that would be useful. And aren't comments, by their nature, slightly unimportant? Meaning, why not give the user power to change comments(and allow moderators to rollback if there's an issue) ? I'm mainly basing this off of my experience right now. – Adel Sep 20 '11 at 6:04
Well, if you could change them you would be putting words in others mouths. If you could delete them, you could change the look of an entire conversation, and make someone look like a fool because you deleted the relevant comment. – Lance Roberts Sep 20 '11 at 6:10
@Adel there is a comment flag reason specifically for this, "obsolete" – Jeff Atwood Sep 20 '11 at 6:10
How about a dynamic or JavaScript-like toggle between old and new comments? As it is now, you click on "show more comments" and it does dynamically load new ones. – Adel Sep 20 '11 at 6:12
@Lance, sorry I didn't mean change the raw comments.. just "change" the layout. It would seem that if a question was unanswered for... say 5 days, that it was stale in a way? – Adel Sep 20 '11 at 6:15
@Adel, actually, many older comments are still enlightening, especially since most people don't clean their questions up. I don't see how you could automate which comments are useful or not. – Lance Roberts Sep 20 '11 at 6:17
@JeffAtwood - Thanks a lot, I will use the flag. And my energy has flagged a bit so let me say good night friends, thanks :) – Adel Sep 20 '11 at 6:21

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