I've been wading through SO comments mentioning 'accept rate' and cleaning up where appropriate. But following the recent SE data explorer refresh, the number outstanding has exceed 5 000 and I'm not sure the query I'm using is catching most or just some of them.

I'd say around 50% of the candidates - perhaps more - warrant deletion. The problem though is the sheer number. I can only flag around 50 or so a day, and from September 2011 there are around 20-60 candidates from each day. Often a post will have a number of other off-topic or obsolete comments that need flagging. I can't keep up.

Flagging accept rate comments is quite satisfying - they are instantly deleted. So this need not flood the moderator flag queue.

I don't think a wholesale delete is the best solution - I come across questions where the comment thread is broken by a deleted AR comment. Better to review each post, and flag comments as needed.

Anyone care to chip in?

(I should add that I've worked through all the pre-September 2011 items matching 'accept rate'. Pre-September references to meta question 5234 still need review though.)

  • How are they insta-deleted when flagged? – Matthew Read Nov 29 '11 at 23:20
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    Please provide several examples of the type of comments you are flagging. – Mr.Wizard Nov 29 '11 at 23:20
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    @MatthewRead See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/99812/… – martin clayton Nov 29 '11 at 23:21
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    And what about cases where it's part of the answer. Should that be edited out? – Bart Nov 29 '11 at 23:22
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    @Mr.Wizard - the SE query returns over 5000 for your perusal. An example scenario is where the OP didn't know about AR, was gently reminded, and now has a decent rate. In this case there are usually a few comments to flag as obsolete: 'do you know about accepting?', 'what's accepting?', 'see this (link to faq)', 'oh wow, thanks, have accepted answers to all my old posts', etc. – martin clayton Nov 29 '11 at 23:25
  • @Bart - I think you have to review them, it's not appropriate to just edit out in every case. – martin clayton Nov 29 '11 at 23:27
  • martin, I guess I was asking for archetypal examples, which I think you just gave. The idea of flagging comments, other than offensive ones, is new to me. I also suspect I am an offender in this area, in that I have left comments such as "thanks for accepting my answer" a fair number of times. Where can I find the guidelines for what kinds of comments should be purged? – Mr.Wizard Nov 29 '11 at 23:28
  • @martinclayton Sorry, I just noticed the link I gave was wrong. I meant to link to this particular case as an example. And I agree, it should be carefully reviewed, but this is quite blatant IMHO. – Bart Nov 29 '11 at 23:31
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    @Bart - I believe the site policy is that we should only mention AR in a constructive way. Once an OP has the right idea, the mention and any discussion becomes obsolete. The example you gave is too recent to edit - perhaps the OP will see the light. Having said that, (s)he is a two-year SO veteran, so seems like wasted energy on the part of the answerer. – martin clayton Nov 29 '11 at 23:38
  • @Mr.Wizard - Some references: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17364/… meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19756/how-do-comments-work Any comment that contains on-topic matter should not be deleted, even if it also contains obsolete reference to AR. – martin clayton Nov 30 '11 at 0:22
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    @NullUserExceptionอ_อ: It matters. Every one of those comments is noise, and a broken window. Most people do these comments the wrong way, and they're never removed by the original commenters. – user102937 Nov 30 '11 at 0:32
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    @NullUserExceptionอ_อ - It's noise. Granted, it's not as important as some other things. But the effort required matches what I can put in. (I should add that I'll stop if I'm cluttering up moderator queues - I don't want to make work for people.) – martin clayton Nov 30 '11 at 0:32
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    @RobertHarvey What is the right way of doing these comments? – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 30 '11 at 0:37
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    @NullUserExceptionอ_อ: I do it like this: Please read meta.stackexchange.com/questions/16721/… – user102937 Nov 30 '11 at 0:38
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    @NullUserExceptionอ_อ If you discuss "Accept Rate" with a person who's never accepted an answer, without linking the meta post, they have no idea what you're talking about. – user102937 Nov 30 '11 at 0:40

Does it really matter if a two-year-old question that nobody looks at anymore has off-topic comments? Sometimes you have to pick your battle...

If a question is active, there'll be enough people passing through to flag inappropriate comments, and it isn't, then it's not the end of the world if it remains unmoderated.

Surely there are more useful ways to spend spare moderation resources!

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    I'm not sure where there are spare resources - I certainly wouldn't advocate using them for this. I don't use up many comment flags in my day-to-day SO activity, and so I spend five minutes on 'no-brainer' janitoring. – martin clayton Nov 29 '11 at 23:31
  • @martinclayton: I thought you were "wading through comments" and emptying your 50 daily flags into this venture? Anyway, it's certainly nice of you to do this, but what I wanted to say is that I don't think this issue really warrants a general call for attention. – Kerrek SB Nov 29 '11 at 23:38
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    Perhaps - its certainly not the highest priority - but it's a low-effort thing. I'm thinking of giving up as the trend seems to be for there to be too many per day to keep on top of. – martin clayton Nov 29 '11 at 23:42
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    How can you guarantee that a question isn't looked at any more? I come accross a lot of old SO questions when googling issues I have and they're usually very helpful. – Helen Nov 30 '11 at 9:41

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