I made a comment asking if something was correct (@user shouldn't it be foo not bar?) then later realized that I was an idiot and they were completely correct. So, my first thought was to delete the comment. However, then both the post owner and the person whom I @ mentioned have a notification for a nonexistent comment. I have had this happen to me and found it very annoying, and would like to avoid doing it to other people, what should I do? Leaving the comment there seems either detrimental or useless, since I know it's wrong and anyone answering the question (shouldn't it be...) will be wasting their time. Yet if I delete it, it's annoying. What should I do?

Edit: @PolyGeo recommended I create another comment explaining the situation (ignore previous comment, I was wrong) and then delete both comments. This is a possible solution, and if others agree then I will mark PolyGeo's answer as accepted and start doing this. However, the problems I see with this solution are:

  • Notifications only display part of the comment. While I'm pretty sure the ignore-my-previous-comment comment would fit into the amount, it may not if I also feel the need to explain why I was wrong or whatever else may come up.
  • Creating a comment with the intent to immediately delete it feels hacky and possibly unethical.
  • I'm not even sure if it works. It would be quite reasonable for the Stack Exchange system to not notify someone of a comment that would seem to be a mistake. I would take the same action (post and immediately delete) if I accidentally made a comment on the wrong post for whatever reason, in which case it would make sense not to notify anybody.
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    Your comments won't persist as notifications as they're deleted. There's a window in there, IIRC... or we possibly remove them entirely. I don't recall off-hand, and unfortunately can't dig quite at the moment. – Adam Lear Dec 24 '15 at 2:20
  • @AdamLear there's a window, but in my experience it's very short -- minutes at most, definitely not hours. A still-pending notification for a deleted comment gets removed. – Monica Cellio Dec 24 '15 at 2:25
  • @MonicaCellio I meant more for the "create a comment with an explanation and immediately delete it" case. That's not going to work. – Adam Lear Dec 24 '15 at 2:27
  • @AdamLear oh, I thought you were saying not to worry about the original comment (just delete it and move on). Yeah, the "ignore that other comment" trick probably doesn't work. – Monica Cellio Dec 24 '15 at 2:29
  • Another way, if the user got 20+ rep, is invite the user to a chat room, and explain in there. He will get notification about the chat room, and it won't clutter the post itself. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Dec 24 '15 at 10:06

You're overthinking it. Just delete the comment.

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I would comment along the lines of "Please ignore my comment - I was wrong", then delete the wrong comment, and then delete the comment apologizing for it.

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  • This option passed through my mind when I started writing this but was forgotten by the time I'd written everything else, see my edit. – Shelvacu Dec 24 '15 at 2:01

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