Masochist that I am, I wanted to edit a question to include some code that had been added as a comment... from my iPhone running iOS 5. Unfortunately, the comment text is not selectable, either in the mobile version or full site version. Why not?

If I touch any comment, the grey box runs from the top of the first comment all the way down to the bottom of the add comment box. Selection from elsewhere is fine.

(image from iPod running iOS 4.3)

If I am not logged in, comment text is selectable. And, as noticed by Arjan, you can't flag comments from the mobile version of the site either.

  • 2
    Using the default browser on a Nexus S running Android 2.3.6, on the mobile site, regardless wether logged in or not: I can always select the text from comments. But when logged in I cannot flag nor delete comments, while the upvote icon is always visible. On the full site, touching once reveals the upvote, flag and delete options, and touch & hold allows for selecting too. On an iPod Touch running iOS 4.3 and the default browser I get the very same results, except for selecting, which never works.
    – Arjan
    Jan 8, 2012 at 18:18
  • I am unable to select comments on the Android browser at all. I came here to post this same thing and found this report.
    – Jason C
    Nov 17, 2013 at 2:12

2 Answers 2


Double-tapping and leaving your finger on the comment seems to bring up the magnifying glass on iOS 5, which will let you make a selection. If the grey box appears, it's easiest if you let go of the screen and start the double-tap again.

I'm unsure what's causing the grey box, so I don't know if this is intentional, but for now it seems to be your best bet.

  • But, that does not resolve the issues with not being able to reveal the delete and flag icons? (I'm quite sure the grey box is not intentional; if anything that should probably apply to a single comment, not to all of them, and only then reveal the upvote, flag and delete where applicable.)
    – Arjan
    Jan 10, 2012 at 6:13
  • Oh, of course. I still think that there's something wrong here, but you can at least select text per the question. (I had originally posted this as a comment, but jrturton asked for it as an answer)
    – Tim Stone
    Jan 10, 2012 at 14:06

On my iPod running iOS 5, I have been able to select the text from a comment, but it depends for which question I try. For example, if I try selecting one of the comments of this very question, when I tap the comment, the background changes color for the time of the tapping, it changes back, but nothing happens.
Trying with a different question with more comments, I have been able to select the content of a comment, event if it is not predictable when it happens, and how.


As far as I understood, the difference is that, when I was able to select the comment, I first clicked on the "add comment" link, and then selected the comment. Doing so for this question didn't work, though. It seems like the number of comments makes the difference (or maybe it is just a random coincidence).

  • Still then, your screenshot also shows the comment-vote buttons at all times, and I assume you cannot reveal the delete and flag options either?
    – Arjan
    Jan 8, 2012 at 21:40
  • I cannot edit a comment, or flag it, from my iPod; that is correct.
    – apaderno
    Jan 8, 2012 at 21:59
  • I assume you mean you can edit, but cannot delete (nor flag)? (I can edit just fine, and your screen capture shows the "edit" link too.)
    – Arjan
    Jan 8, 2012 at 22:42
  • 1
    It was supposed to be "I cannot delete a comment, or flag it."
    – apaderno
    Jan 8, 2012 at 23:25

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