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?


1 Answer 1


Flag the comment as

"It's no longer needed."

This comment is outdated, conversational or not relevant to this post.

However if you feel that the comment is not immediately recognizable as no longer needed, 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.

  • +1. I never knew this existed. I'm going to dig around now and find out what exactly happens to these flags. Commented May 23, 2012 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As with every flag a moderator will either dismiss it - if (s)he disagrees with your assessment that the comment is obsolete - or act on it, which mostly means deleting the comment.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
    Commented May 23, 2012 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? Commented May 23, 2012 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. Commented May 23, 2012 at 13:04
  • 7
    @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. Commented May 23, 2012 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.
    – user152261
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 16:24

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