The new description for the new flag type "no longer needed" reads

This comment is obsolete, chatty, or otherwise unnecessary.

Obviously it replaced "obsolete" and "too chatty", and all the other cases that people used the two aforementioned options to flag. It seems "not constructive" was too subjective and they dropped it.

From what Community Managers said in the Town Hall event for comments, that was because normal users and moderators were divisive in their interpretations of "too chatty" and "obsolete". Some mods didn't care much for the reason a comment was flagged. It either had to go or stay. Others were more strict with flag definitions and all that caused problems.

For future reference, what are the most common cases where a comment becomes unnecessary?


2 Answers 2


Meta comments:

When you come by an old comment that reminds the user of a site policy, of an action that should have been done once the question was posted, that is no longer needed. The comment might or might not be actioned upon, but usually, even if there was no action, the comment is nothing but clutter if it's old.


  • I've edited the question for you and included markdown formatting. For more information, visit the help center.

  • Please include a Minimal, Short and Verifiable example. Otherwise, this question might get closed.

  • Please don't vandalize your posts.

  • Welcome to Stack Overflow! Please visit the help center to learn more about the rules of this site.

Don't flag:

Don't flag meta comments if you can't be certain the OP (Original Poster) has seen them. Newer meta comments might have not been seen by the OP

Short comments under answers:

Sometimes the OP (Original Poster) aims to communicate with the answerer, and adds a comment that adds nothing to the Q/A thread. These comments are always unnecessary if they don't contain additional material that can be useful to future visitors.


  • Thanks, you saved my life!

  • Oh, I'm an idiot. How could I have missed that?

  • -1 bad answer

Don't flag:

  • Thanks, you saved my life! This only works with the latest version though.

Edit-related comments:

When a comment is no longer valid for the latest revision of the post, or in other words, when the post is edited to address the comments. These comments should be removed because in some cases, their wording becomes especially misleading after the edit.


  • Please edit your question to include why you think this situation would occur.

  • This answer doesn't work on Python 3. You should use <some function> instead for it to work. [Response: Thanks, edited the post with <some function>.]

More obvious cases:

There are also more obvious cases where everyone agrees the comments should be removed. They don't need the above formatting, so they're listed here:

  • Back and forth banter, typically between two users, which has nothing to do with the contents of the post.
  • Responses to deleted comments, when they make no sense on their own
  • 2
    @Shog hmm, I was under the impression those are flaggable. Should I open up a meta.SO post on whether those should be flagged? (There doesn't seem to be any) Admittedly, though, I've never flagged it that way on SO
    – M.A.R.
    Sep 5, 2017 at 15:18
  • 5
    Comments like that are definitely flaggable—as rude or abusive. Comments like "Go do your own homework" are rude, and flagging them with the "rude or abusive" reason will trigger an automatic flag for moderators if this becomes a pattern. If you use "no longer needed" here, they can slip under the radar so these users continue with the problematic behaviour without being noticed. When using "no longer needed" for rude comments, it's impossible to tell whether the user is just writing comments that later become obsolete, or whether they're violating the Be Nice policy.
    – Aurora0001
    Sep 5, 2017 at 16:05
  • @Shog9 I often see comments like " Explain the reason for downvote", "Why the down vote? " Should we flag them or not?
    – Nog Shine
    Sep 5, 2017 at 18:22
  • 4
    Those sound pretty unnecessary to me, @sinister. Let your conscience be your guide.
    – Shog9
    Sep 5, 2017 at 19:15

Many times comments to answers involve asking for clarification from the author of the question to the owner of the answer. This could involve a long ping-pong of comments. Many times these conversations end up in a comment like

I've edited my answer to make it more clear.

In this case, if the edit was successful (particularly if the asker ends the discussion with a "thank you for the clarifications" or related), all the comments involved could be removed, as they have become unnecessary. This will make the site much more smooth for other users.

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