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Often, an edit in response to a comment makes the comment appear out of context to visitors from the future.

What is the best way to handle this? Currently: Commentator needs to actively look out for edits and delete own comment after an edit addresses it.

Is there a way to improve this situation? Is it worth looking at a feature that addresses this?

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meta.stackexchange.com/questions/146708/… also addresses this issue. –  barrycarter Dec 21 '13 at 16:19

1 Answer 1

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Flag the comment as "obsolete".

However if you feel that the comment is not immediately recognizable as obsolete, as The Establishment notes you should flag it as "other" and take the time to explain to the moderators why exactly you think the comment should go away.

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+1. I never knew this existed. I'm going to dig around now and find out what exactly happens to these flags. –  ArjunShankar May 23 '12 at 12:52
    
@ArjunShankar As with every flag a moderator will either dismiss it - if (s)he disagrees with your assessment that the comment is obsolete - or act on it, which mostly means deleting the comment. Editing the comment is also possible, but unreasonable to expect for most comments. –  Yannis May 23 '12 at 12:55
    
I think I agree with this answer to a related question. i.e. it is hard to judge for a third party not involved in a comment thread to act on flags. While currently, as you say 'flag as obsolete' is the thing to do, do you think we could have something better? –  ArjunShankar May 23 '12 at 13:01
    
Actually, I was swaying off topic. The right thing to do in the case of situations which I stated in my question is what you state in your answer. –  ArjunShankar May 23 '12 at 13:04
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@Arjun You're right, sometimes flagging a useful looking comment as "obsolete" will befuddle the moderators and cause them not to take the appropriate action. If it isn't obvious just from reading the comment itself that it's useless, you should probably use the "Other" flag reason and explain that the question was edited, rendering the comment obsolete. That helps to explain the dissonance between your flag and an otherwise reasonable-looking comment. –  Cody Gray May 23 '12 at 13:13
    
The mouseover text mentions you can flag comments as "unconstructive, offensive, or spam", suggesting the commenter is a bad person. Until just now, I didn't realize you could flag as "obsolete", which doesn't imply the commenter is a bad person. Unrelated: my spellchecker thinks unconstructive should be nonconstructive. –  barrycarter Dec 21 '13 at 16:24

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