As a moderator for GD.SE I was always led to believe our role is to clean old comments as they are intended to be a temporary item depending on the level of context and if they add any benefit to an answer. On SO I haven't had any issues or declines when I read old Q&As and see +1 and thanks and flag.

However, on other sites when I read an old Q&A and I see thanks or +1 I try to be courteous and flag them as I am aware moderators do get measured by their cleanup and I'm accustomed in doing so on SO but these flags are declined.

So this leads me to ask:

  • Should +1 and thanks comments be flagged and is the intended role of a comment still to be considered as temporary?
  • What is the proper classification for a thanks or +1 comment if it should be flagged?

I didn't see any Q&As on this topic after browsing the tags: and searching led me to: what to do if an answer has too many “Thanks!” comments? but that was several years old.

2 Answers 2


Comments like what you're describing are specifically supposed to be removed, unless they contain some other valid information. This is clearly laid out on every "comment everywhere" privileges page on the network:

When shouldn't I comment?

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:

  • Suggesting corrections that don't fundamentally change the meaning of the post; instead, make or suggest an edit;
  • Answering a question or providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one);
  • Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, up-vote it and pay it forward;
  • Criticisms which do not add anything constructive ("-1, see previous comments you scallywag!"); instead, down-vote (and provide or up-vote a better answer if appropriate);
  • Secondary discussion or debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;
  • Discussion of community behavior or site policies; please use meta instead.

The correct comment flag reason is "no longer needed", or if you're having issues getting them declined, consider using a custom reason and explain why you're flagging them.

If a specific site is consistently declining your flags on comments that fit in the above list, I recommend you bring it up on that site's meta (in a constructive way). Ask why the flags are being declined, rather than accusing mods of not doing their jobs.

  • 2
    I totally agree with brining it up with that site but my goal in this Q&A is to make sure what I was doing is still in scope because I've experienced this on several sites.
    – user214917
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 17:05
  • 1
    Considering it's on the comment priv page, I don't see how it could be out of scope.
    – Catija
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 17:06

Being the moderator who declined your flags, I can only say I am sorry, it happened by accident. As you can read up in your history, I accepted all your previous flags as helpful. I just got distracted by something off the screen and clicked the wrong button six times in a row after that which I did not mean to. Reference to the answer with the six flagged comments in question.

You already brought it up in The Loop chat room on our site and I would have answered/ explained it to you there.

We'll I would assist but lately Im discouraged on using the site. I've spent a lot of time trying to make questions or answers to be better but they get rejected and someone else makes the changes all because I didn't capitalize I. I flag comments and try to assist but they always get denied.

I hope you are not that demoralized by those six denied flags that you now believe someone is on a manhunt for you or that all your clean up efforts go unnoticed.

About your other concern that you raise in above chat message:

[…] but they get rejected and someone else makes the changes all because I didn't capitalize.

Again, this is something that should not happen (this time: not me). The correct action would have been to take your edit as helpful and hit the improve button, something that nearly all of our members do.

For things that might (and they will) go into the wrong direction, I would like to ask you to post on our WordPress Development meta site directly. As you are a mod yourself, you know that you will get a notification about the new post directly in your toolbar. When you look at our meta then you will see that we take user concerns seriously and moderators answer there directly and in most cases you will get a quicker fix than posting here on Meta.SE where we probably will not see it. Thanks in advance.

  • (1/3) Had a similar experience today and that's how I got here. I had flagged a bunch of old "+1, thank you" comments as "obsolete" on a few SE sites (I visit often).
    – NVZ
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 17:36
  • (2/3) These comments had no additional info in them; their removal won't make the remaining comments meaningless; they are not helpful for future visitors; and most importantly these thank yous have already served their purpose.
    – NVZ
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 17:36
  • (3/3) Most of them were declined, while some were helpful. Before I go to meta on those specific sites, I'd love to hear your opinion on why this happened and how I should approach with a meta question without angering any mods (if they already aren't angry with me for increasing their workload).
    – NVZ
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 17:37
  • 5
    @NVZ The comment flagging system is far from good as it always produces a doubled workload where one side always is on the moderators: Opposite to questions which can be closed by five community users, comment flags aren't part of the review queue. While it is ok in case you are six active mods and have 20 comment flags to handle, it gets harder if only two are active in a certain timespan (vacation time now) and if the count is 50+. I would suggest just slowing down on flags and open a question here to ask to get tools for users. Then go on the specific sites and cross link there.
    – kaiser
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 20:12

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