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Requiring multiple "delete" flags for noise comments ("Thanks!" or "Teh brokes" followed by "Teh fixers") seems a bit onerous.

What about a new rep-based privilege for deleting such things? I know it's open for abuse, but I think reasonably-repped users would use the power responsibly.

Some minor clarifications: Ultimately, this ends up sounding like "mod lite" where there's something between high-rep power tools and full mod-ship, which makes it sounds less-feasible.

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Comments are only comments imo. Most thanks me too comments will be gone once other comments have upvotes So no problem here for me. –  PeeHaa Jun 18 '12 at 16:22
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I get the strange feeling that this can be abused. –  Mysticial Jun 18 '12 at 16:22
    
Perhaps make it a "vote to delete" type of thing (so that multiple users have to agree)? Like what 10k and 20k users get for questions and answers. That might limit the potential for abuse. –  jadarnel27 Jun 18 '12 at 16:23
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@jadarnel27 That exists already. If a certain number of users flag a comment, it gets deleted automatically. AFAIK, the number depends on certain keywords (like axcept rate) and how many upvotes the comment has. –  lunboks Jun 18 '12 at 16:24
    
@Mysticial I agree; it could--I also believe that at some point users learn what is/isn't acceptable (a) comments, and (b) behavior. I don't think it would be abused a lot by higher-rep users... –  Dave Newton Jun 18 '12 at 16:25
    
@lunboks True, I get this does pretty much completely overlap with existing comment flag behavior. Good point. –  jadarnel27 Jun 18 '12 at 16:26
    
@lunboks My point is that pure noise is easily identified and IMO it shouldn't take three votes to kill it. –  Dave Newton Jun 18 '12 at 16:30
    
How about the opposite of "my"? - Deleting any comments on any post I've not had any interaction with? –  Flexo Jun 18 '12 at 16:37
    
@awoodland It came up because of some of my answers, although I've seen some chains that I wouldn't feel bad about cleaning. –  Dave Newton Jun 18 '12 at 16:39
    
@DaveNewton - My thought was that doing it on things you're not involved in might negate some of the "squelch criticism" concerns. –  Flexo Jun 18 '12 at 16:41
    
@awoodland Ah, yes, I see what you mean; that might help, yep. –  Dave Newton Jun 18 '12 at 16:47
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fyi (and anyone else who flags comments), I practically never delete "chatty" or "not constructive" comment flags. Can't speak for other mods. But comments are (by definition of SE policy) chatty and not-constructive (i.e., of no consequence and liable to be deleted forevs and forevah). Flagging them as such is therefore pointless. Sorting out 150+ pointless flags a day, which can only be truly decided by examining their context (i.e., reading the entire comment thread), which is not doable unless you open a new tab, is beyond the pale imho. Offensive comment flags are the important ones. –  Won't Jun 18 '12 at 16:50
    
@Won't Hence wanting the privilege to handle it myself when I see it. But without being a mod, because I'd go insane. –  Dave Newton Jun 18 '12 at 16:52
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@DaveNewton: Hence me not -1. I'd +1 but I'm not sure if this would result in more people bugging mods about "Thanks!" comments (o the huge manatee!) :/ Maybe if we redirect comment flags to the 10k mod tools? I dunno. I'll +1 with that condition. –  Won't Jun 18 '12 at 16:56
    
Like explained in the post you linked to, Deleting comments not by me on my answer, this actually used to be possible for one's own posts, without any specific rep value. See also some history by Shog9 in Add possibility to remove comment noise (fancy edition). –  Arjan Jun 18 '12 at 17:36

3 Answers 3

This is an interesting idea and I agree it would be really cool and useful, but it's ultimately a no-no because of the abuse possibilities.

You can be 100% sure that this would be used to squelch criticism of the question. Questions occasionally need questioning or "why do you want to do this in the first place?" type feedback. OPs often don't like that, no matter what their reputation. Being able to delete it (and hence keep a sort of upper hand if arguments ensue) would be too big a temptation for many.

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What about 40k users? –  Dave Newton Jun 18 '12 at 16:30
    
Are 25K users immune??? :) –  Adam Rackis Jun 18 '12 at 16:31
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I would be hesitant to make this a rep-dependent tool at any limit. I agree most high-rep users wouldn't misuse it, but it's a huge temptation... and don't forget, no matter what line you draw, there's more high-rep users every day –  Pëkka Jun 18 '12 at 16:33

Just flag the post with the noisy comments, and provide a custom explanation: "Comments need cleaning up."

But make sure they really do need cleaning up; some people are very protective of their comments, and we don't forcibly remove comments unless they have devolved into ad-homineum attacks, or have no worth whatsoever.

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I'm not necessarily referring to an entire chain, but for example, my answer here had a simple "thanks", which I replied to (and deleted a day or two later). I don't know--three votes/mod attention seems overkill, and I ain't gonna run for mod ;) –  Dave Newton Jun 18 '12 at 16:35
    

I think this is a bad idea and will promptly delete any comments stating otherwise.

But seriously, the abuse potential here is clear, and flagging comments is easy enough. This allows users to make irreversible destructive actions which is almost completely unprecedented. I can't think of a single other action a user can take that cannot be reversed. This is why deleting comments is up to the posting user and the commenter; deleting comments is silent and irreversible.

Unlike reverting a good edit to your question, there is practically no evidence of deleting comments (it's hard for even mods to spot deleted comments, it requires manual effort). The system just isn't set up to handle quiet abuse abuse like this; every other change you make is insignificant, reversible and or peer reviewed.

Comments are important for pointing out incorrectness, and it's just too easy to abuse this, even for 10k, 20k, 100k, whatever-k users. Errors in posts should be pointed out, and those comments should not be removed except by mods because of this potential for abuse.

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