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Often there are discussions between two or three people in comments - and most are finished without moving or simply become obsolete quickly due to edits in the answer/question.

Of course one could now delete the now-useless comments but with replies from other people it would become pretty confusing. An easy way to avoid this would be the possibility to mark a group of comments for atomic deletion. Unlike the current comment flagging system this should only have one reason, "obsolete", and high-rep people should see those flags so they are likely to vote for/against deletion of the discussion.

Instead of creating a public vote it could also be done in a way that it is only shown to the people involved (i.e. the authors of the comments) and only one of them can suggest such a deletion. With all authors agreeing these comments would automatically be deleted.

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Comments aren't worth that much effort, to be honest. –  Andrew Barber May 11 '12 at 14:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

What I've done is to flag one of the comments and use the "other reason" field.

This comment and the 6 following it are part of an obsolete conversation.

A moderator can then delete the bunch in one swell foop.

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That would indeed work but I think moderators have something better to do than deleting tons of obsolete comments. –  ThiefMaster May 11 '12 at 15:01
    
::foop:: I wish deletion made that noise :D –  Manishearth May 11 '12 at 15:04
    
What makes you think it doesn't, @TimManishEarth? –  Pops May 11 '12 at 15:09
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@ThiefMaster You'd be surprised, after all the, system warns us when there are 20 or more comments on a poast. I'm perfectly ok with this when users tell us there's an obsolete conversation going on and we can wipe the comments. But please be specific about which comments can go. Also, in large cases, it might be better to flag the post and not the comment. –  casperOne May 11 '12 at 15:17
    
@casperOne: do you put butter on your poast? –  user7116 May 11 '12 at 15:36
    
Most cases are not that bad - at least the discussions I'm involved in are usually around 5 comments long - but still, often obsolete after some edits. –  ThiefMaster May 11 '12 at 15:47

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