This evening, I happened across one of the more useless varieties of "improve your accept rate" comments. Actually, that's all it was: "Improve your accept rate". I flagged the comment as "not constructive / off-topic" (I hate, hate, hate these kinds of comments. New users have no idea, on the whole, what to do with them. A comment with a link to a discussion on the topic, go here to learn more, or a little explanation in the comment itself, sure, but a bare four words... moving on).

I've seen these comments disappear when I've flagged like this before. Sometimes they don't - I figure there's a wording difference. This time, though, I saw something unexpected:

enter image description here

(that's not actually the comment I flagged initially. I went hunting for a comment without upvotes, in case that was contributing to the problem. It wasn't, apparently)

It sure looks like some part of SO seized on my flag and tried to delete the comment, but got hung up on something. The flag icon disappeared from that comment after that, and didn't reappear on refresh.

I hunted down another flag-worthy comment that didn't contain an accept-rate complaint (harder than I expected):

enter image description here

Flagging as "not constructive" worked just fine here, and as expected, the comment wasn't deleted.

  • Works on my machine! ;) Jul 4, 2012 at 4:44
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    Said the person with the ♦ next to his name... Not sure if serious, but I reprod a third time, from IE this time. Jul 4, 2012 at 4:51
  • Yeah, I was just teasing. I'm sure the diamond is what's interfering with me reproducing what you're seeing. Jul 4, 2012 at 4:53
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    The system is fighting back and sick of us being sick of them
    – random
    Jul 4, 2012 at 4:54
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    @BilltheLizard Yes, your diamond saved you (because you always have comment deletion permissions and thus passed the check I mention in my answer).
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jul 4, 2012 at 6:52

1 Answer 1


We recently moved some permissions checks around in preparation for a project that may still be a secret (I'm not sure). It has to do with API write access. Don't tell anyone.

When the comment flagging reaches a threshold, this will cause the comment to be deleted. However, the newly-hardened permission check would now fail in this case, because the current user usually doesn't have the permission to delete the comment.

A fix for this is being deployed right now.

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    I'll keep it between you and me, balpha. Jul 4, 2012 at 6:50

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