Previously I asked "Is there currently any way a user can find out about the 5 minute rule before actually running into it?" I guess that was a bad question, anyway the answer is no.

My gentle suggestion: How about telling new users about the 5 minute rule when they earn the privilege comment everywhere?

  • Possibly include the main points from the previous post and refute them <DISCLAIMER>I am not passively approving of deleting and reposting, this is however subtly different</DISCLAIMER> Oct 1, 2013 at 13:26
  • @RichardTingle Added differentiating points for clarification. Oct 1, 2013 at 13:34
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    Why is it important that users know about the rule before running into it? Why is this an issue to begin with? Keep in mind they can delete a comment any time, so if there's something really wrong they can still just delete it.
    – Servy
    Oct 1, 2013 at 13:54
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    And honestly, if the previous discussion was important enough that you need to paste the entire comment string in here, you shouldn't have deleted the post. If it isn't important, then you should just link to it for the 10Ker's to see and provide some highlights. Oct 1, 2013 at 13:57
  • Personally I would like to see the key points brought out in quotes and refuted individually rather than just a huge comment dump in the question. I started trying to do that myself but then I lost the will to live Oct 1, 2013 at 13:59
  • Yikes, alright. I'll get rid of the old comments. I didn't put them there because I want to refute them. It was because I thought they were helpful. Oct 1, 2013 at 14:11
  • @RichardTingle Thanks for your help trying to clean this up, I hope my last edit simplifies everyone's lives. Oct 1, 2013 at 14:15
  • Comments should be written to ask clarification, and to leave some minor notes to the poster, they should not contain any important information. If they do, then these should be edited in the question/answer. The 5 minute grace period is there to allow you to fix any mistake you'd have done whlie writing it.
    – Laf
    Oct 1, 2013 at 14:29
  • More information is always a good thing, given that this requires just a few words to be added to a page I think even a second class citizen can justify this. What downsides would this have?, assuming the downsides are none, the upsides are small and the effort required is negligable.... perhaps its a good idea Oct 1, 2013 at 14:29
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    @RichardTingle The more information to put out there the harder it is to find what's most important, and the less likely users are to want to read what's shown to them. The information is out there; anyone interested in it can find tons of references to the feature on meta. It's not a feature that's prominently displayed to the user early on because it doesn't need to be. There are so many more important things we'd rather they be reading than that they can't edit comments after 5 minutes.
    – Servy
    Oct 1, 2013 at 14:31
  • @Servy The question is; does this deserve to be on the privileges page. It seems more important than some of the existing stuff that's on there (no revision histories, deletions are perminant etc), as such it seems to deserve its place Oct 1, 2013 at 14:39
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    @Servy The debate about this needs perspective, from both sides. Obviously you're on the experienced user side. But try to look at this from the perspective of a fresh new user who knows nothing about the site. It is my opinion that it would be useful. Oct 1, 2013 at 15:01
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    The benefit is that users will immediately know they need to consider and review their comment carefully before hitting the Add Comment button. Oct 1, 2013 at 15:02
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    @Okuma.Scott please don't accept answers until you get official response from the team (only them can edit that page). If you like a suggestion posted in answer vote it up and comment, but here on Meta accepted answer to feature request should be the answer that "close" the request, either for good (implemented and done) or bad (request declined) Oct 1, 2013 at 15:13
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    @Okuma.Scott Meta behaves differently to the main sites, because you're not really asking a question but requesting something be done it only really makes sense to accept either "I'm from stack exhange and it will be done"or "I'm from stack exhange and it won't be done" Oct 1, 2013 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


As far as I can see it, all this would require is an addition in the privileges page of

What are comments?

Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. They can be up-voted (but not down-voted) and flagged, but do not generate reputation. There's no revision history, when they are deleted they're gone for good and they're only editable for 5 minutes.

The information about them being only editable for 5 minutes seems far more important than revision histories or if deletions are permanent (still not that important, but more important). As such the existing level of detail supports this feature request.

Reasons for the inclusion of this information

  • There are good reasons for the edit time being 5 minutes, however, it unquestionably inconveniences some people (e.g. correct a typo in a comment than has been replied to); knowing in advance is a better user experience than being hit by it after the event.
  • Knowing in advance that you cannot edit your comments encourages people to take better care commenting in the first place
  • Pragmatically; it stops people thinking it's a bug
  • Having this explanation added to the privilege page. Seems so obvious now. Should this go on the FAQ as well?
    – Jamal
    Oct 1, 2013 at 15:00
  • @Jamal I believe the FAQ page, already has this information Oct 1, 2013 at 15:05
  • Ah, it does. My mistake.
    – Jamal
    Oct 1, 2013 at 15:06
  • @RichardTingle I am assuming I'll just know what an official team response will look like. Standing by. Oct 4, 2013 at 11:38
  • @OkumaScott, sometimes these things are quick, sometimes slow. But yes, your post will be edited with "status-complete" or "status-declined" Oct 4, 2013 at 11:48

I would go with adding another section to the privilege page:

Can I edit or delete my comments?

Yes, you can delete any of your comments at any time and you can edit your comment within five minutes of posting it.

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