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When a post is unclear, people comment on the post about clarifying it, as well as how to reach a solution. Occasionally, when the OP edits his post, the entire meaning of the post changes (usually, since his old post was wrong). Also, sometimes, others edit it for him and when he comes back, notices that his post has been edited wrongly, and edits it again.

Would it be a good idea to display in the comment list, when a post is edited?

For example, the comments on an answer could show:

User 1: Please clarify your answer because of ------
User 2: Your answer is wrong because ------
Edit by User 2: 'Clarification'
User 3: Are you sure this is what the OP meant? I thought he meant ------
User 1: @User 2 No, you are wrong as well. Maybe User 3 is right. Wait for the OP to edit it himself.
Edit reverted by User 1
Edit by OP: 'Content modified and formulas added'
OP: @User 2 I have edited the answer myself.
Edit by User 4: 'MathJAX added'
User 4: I have typed your formulas in MathJAX for extra clarity.

Instead of just showing:

User 1: Please clarify your answer because of ------
User 2: Your answer is wrong because ------
User 3: Are you sure this is what the OP meant? I thought he meant ------
User 1: @User 2 No, you are wrong as well. Maybe User 3 is right. Wait for the OP to edit it himself.
OP: @User 2 I have edited the answer myself.
User 4: I have typed your formulas in MathJAX for extra clarity.

which is confusing for a future reader.

  • 3
    +1 for a well written and well reasoned request, but I agree with the answer: the correct thing to do is to clean up the comments, not to clutter them more. – yo' Feb 26 '15 at 12:29
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I don't think this is a good idea because it adds extra noise to (an already) noisy comment thread.

Users should learn that they clean-up their comments after an action requested in the comment has been done.

If I stumble upon these kind of comment threads I happily flag comments as No Longer Needed.

flag comment

If a whole comment thread under a post can be removed in one sweep I flag the post with "Something else" and explain that all comments are obsolete or of no value to the post anymore and can be deleted.

In the rare case where you feel you really need the history of the question and comments to get a clearer picture of what happend you can either look at the revision history of a post and match that with the comments or switch to the not advertised timeline of a question:

timeline of a question

If you run into a case where you need to read all comments to understand a post that post needs to be edited to include all the bits and pieces from the comments. After that the comments needs to be removed.

Remember that we are only interested in high-quality questions and answers, not in the mumbo-jumbo around it.

  • The new reason that replaced obsolete is "no longer needed" – Kevin B Mar 18 at 21:13

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