I've noticed this happening recently: when I flag useless comments, they seem to disappear get burninated immediately.

My guesses:

  • they only disappear for me
  • each of my flags has coincidentally made the post hit the automatic deletion threshold
  • they actually disappear get burninated because I'm awesome
  • something else?

What's really going on?


Depends on what you're flagging. If you flag a comment with "accept rate" in it or one which contains a common cuss word (for various definitions of 'common'), it'll disappear with a single flag.

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    @MattFenwick Comment flags never count towards your "helpful flag" count or the erstwhile "flag weight" :) – Lorem Ipsum Feb 3 '12 at 21:34
  • @Matt: I would assume a moderator still has to mark it as helpful and that it only gets hidden until the flag gets reviewed, which would make more sense. – animuson Feb 3 '12 at 21:34
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    @yoda: They don't count towards your flag weight, but they're still included in your helpful flags count, and are now tracked in your flagging history. :) – animuson Feb 3 '12 at 21:35
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    @animuson - there's no moderator involvement. One click and the comment is gone. – ChrisF Feb 3 '12 at 21:36
  • @MattFenwick No, these flags are insta-dismissed. For the other flags too, they don't mark it helpful... They can either delete/edit the comment or simply dismiss the flag (deleting it also dismisses it)... it is not a complicated UI like for posts. – Lorem Ipsum Feb 3 '12 at 21:36
  • @animuson Oh, I see — there's a new "x comments flagged" part, but still not seeing it in the # of helpful flags – Lorem Ipsum Feb 3 '12 at 21:38
  • @yoda: Mine are included, on my profile page it says I have 773 helpful, and in the flagging screen it says 719 moderator attention, 29 spam, 3 offensive, and 23 comment flags were deemed helpful, which all adds up to 773. – animuson Feb 3 '12 at 21:39
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    I just flagged an "Accept Rate" comment, it got deleted instantly, my Flagging summary shows 1 more flag, but, as intended, it did not count as "Helpful". Looks like all is well with the world. – chown Feb 3 '12 at 21:55
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    @chown I'm so tempted to flag your comment and try it for myself. – Kevin Feb 3 '12 at 21:57
  • Btw, here is a SODE query I just created that returns all comments with that magical phrase: data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/60804/…. 4601 matching comments at the time of writing this!! – chown Feb 3 '12 at 22:04
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    @Kevin, if you want to participate on Meta Stack Overflow, you should increase your flag weight comment dismissal testing rate. – Pops Feb 3 '12 at 22:52
  • And now people commenting know how to get around it *sigh*. – casperOne Feb 4 '12 at 0:36
  • @casper I wouldn't worry too much, it's still pretty obscure – Jeff Atwood Feb 4 '12 at 0:42
  • @Jeff I'm not concerned per se, as comments are second-class citizens, but sometimes too much transparency can be counterproductive. – casperOne Feb 4 '12 at 1:46
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    What's an "Accept Rate"? – Jason C Jul 19 '14 at 20:40

It also seems that "possible duplicate" comments disappear with 1 flag, at least under some circumstances. I just flagged as obsolete a comment that said "Possible duplicate of (a nonexistent post)" (presumably the duplicate was subsequently deleted), and the comment instantly vanished.

(I'm not sure whether the system checks that the linked post does not exist, rather than only checking whether it says "possible duplicate".)

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