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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.

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  • 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? 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." Mar 19 '15 at 14:28
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    Oh, first time I see full use of self-close-hammer. Nice! ;) 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 ;) 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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