Lets start with a life-like scenario.

User A receives an offensive comment in his inbox from the OP of a question. A then clicks on the notification in order to flag the offending comment. A mod sees the flag and deletes the comment. Shortly after, the question is also deleted. Because A clicked on the notification in the inbox, that notification is still in A's inbox, with the offensive part of the comment still visible.

Edit: The flag was marked helpful because the post was deleted, not because the comment was deleted by a mod.

Please note that although the behaviour of the notifications is as it is supposed to be, this does not fix the possible problem of such notifications "hanging around".

User A can't get rid of that comment in any way, and it may be a long time before it is flushed out by new messages.

This issue is mentioned in Deleted comments persist in the global inbox but it is supposed to be that comments on a post that you own can hang around, not on someone else's post.

Comments for deleted answers still visible is speaking about comments which have not been read and this issue has been fixed.

To me this seem like an important issue. To have to see an offensive message every time you open your inbox is not a good thing. I can think of two ways in which this problem can be avoided:

  • Make sure notifications for deleted comments don't hang around (this I'm sure is the easier option)
  • Allow users to delete unwanted notifications (this could be useful, as this would also allow users to remove notifications that they are not interested in, or even just to keep their inbox uncluttered. It would most likely be hard to implement, though.)

What are your thoughts on this?

  • Oh, don't worry. I am still trying to get personal name-calling getting deleted in the first place. Sarcasm aside, yep, it would be nice to have an "hard delete" options for offensive content that only leaves it reviewable to mods.
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 10:52
  • 2
    Are you certain that the comment was deleted? From my experience, comments that are deleted are removed from the inbox.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 13:27
  • 1
    If you can see the deleted post still and the comment's there, it wasn't deleted. I think that deleting the post will automatically mark all flags on the comments as "helpful" but will not actually remove them.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:24
  • 1
    Sure. It's not completely the same (mod deleted comments can be undeleted)... but it should be similar enough... though you're not going to delete the question, I think? or is that part of your plan?
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:30
  • 1
    I do know that the notifications are removed, though. I see comment notifications in my lock screen on my iPhone all the time and there's nothing in my inbox any more.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:33
  • 1
    It's definitely gone now... the one you removed. i.sstatic.net/fVe1N.png
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:33
  • @Catija: Oh dear, it looks as if this question is useless...bother. (on the other hand, if I delete this question now we can check what happens in that case). I'll reopen it in a few minutes for feedback.
    – hat
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:36
  • That works. I'll capture a screenshot of my inbox for this.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:37
  • 1
    The most recent comment stayed in my inbox after deleting the question... I think that it only shows one comment per user per question? i.sstatic.net/dlJGs.png
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:44
  • @Catija: That means your suspicions were correct (unless there is something I have not factored in). That being the case, this question should stay deleted.
    – hat
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:46
  • 1
    Or I can answer it, if you want. Whichever. The info might be useful to someone else.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:47
  • @Catija, that is a better idea...someone else might have the same question.
    – hat
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


This is actually the way it is supposed to work.

I can confirm that if a comment is actually deleted (either by a moderator or the poster), the inbox notification goes away. We discovered this through testing comments on the question here. This, I think, satisfies your Feature request, in that the feature already exists. I can further confirm it because I know I get inbox alerts on my iPhone that lead to non-existent comments when I actually get to the site. I even complained about it to some degree early in my time on Meta Stack Exchange.

What happened in your case is probably that the post was deleted but the comments were not. A check of the deleted post will clear this up. If the comments are still there, they weren't deleted. When you see that your flags were marked "helpful" it's not because the comments were deleted, it's because the post was, so the flags were no longer needed. Deleting a post doesn't delete comments that have flags on them, so this is expected behavior.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .