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I just flagged a comment as "obsolete" in Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange. To my surprise, it was deleted immediately, just after pressing "Flag Comment".

Now I see it in my flag summary as helpful:

enter image description here

Does this mean that obsolete flags are somehow handled automatically? I went through How do comments work? but could not find any description on this.

  • It's possible it contained a trigger word for auto deletion on a single flag or it already had accumulated enough flags to auto-delete it. – Taryn Mar 19 '15 at 14:20
  • @bluefeet it was something like "@user check update" and the comment from the initial user wasn't there anymore, so it could be. But this would mean that there is some automatic flag handling, right? – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Mar 19 '15 at 14:24
  • There is indeed automatic flag handling. A certain # of flags (where that # varies depending on the score of the comment, keywords it contains, etc.) will auto-delete comments. – Shog9 Mar 19 '15 at 14:26
  • @Shog9 oh, I just found it! "Comments that are flagged by multiple users are deleted automatically. The number of flags needed is based on the comment's score. It currently takes "3 + (Score / 3)" flags to delete a comment." – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Mar 19 '15 at 14:28
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    Oh, first time I see full use of self-close-hammer. Nice! ;) – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 19 '15 at 14:52
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    @Sha You should be more attentive :D – nicael Mar 19 '15 at 15:48
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    @nic sorry, when coming from you I'm always suspicious ;) – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 19 '15 at 15:59
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There are some automatic handling processes in place for comments and it sounds like you've run into one of them.

If a comment contains a black-listed word, then a single flag will remove it.

The second auto-handling is based on the number of flags on a comment. Once a comment reaches a specific threshold, it automatically deletes the comment and the flag is processed as helpful. It's entirely possible your flag pushed this comment over the edge so it self-destructed. See this Meta Post for more details:

Comments that are flagged by multiple users are deleted automatically. The number of flags needed is based on the comment's score. It currently takes "3 + (Score / 3)" flags to delete a comment.

It has nothing to do with the type of comment flag, it is based on the number of flags a comment has on it.

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