When I'm editing a comment, if the comment gets deleted in the meantime, I'm not notified in any way. This poses a problem because if I try to submit my edit, my edited comment is irretrievably deleted, and I have to totally recompose my comment. This gets quite irritating.

Here on Meta, when voting to close a question as a duplicate of a question that isn't exactly the same in the limited cases where it's acceptable (e.g. as a duplicate of an FAQ post with a section that answers the question), I often edit the automatic comment to clarify where exactly in the target question the duplicate is answered, or why I'm voting to close as a duplicate. I prefer editing these comments rather than posting a new one because during the time it's not yet closed, there are a total of two comments explaining the duplicate rather than just one, I prefer to have the link title be the question title rather than just the URL, and in some cases it's not a "duplicate" per se. (Before you comment saying that the comment will get deleted, that's in fact not the case if I edit; older posts stating that all comments with a link to the target get deleted are outdated.) However, if the comment has been automatically deleted in the meantime because (most likely) a user with gold badges used their hammer, the edit I made gets irretrievably deleted when I submit it.

Therefore, I propose that if I'm editing a comment, and it's deleted while I'm making my edit, show me a prompt indicating that the comment has been deleted, so that I can copy and paste the contents of the comment into a new comment.

I considered the following other ways of fixing this irritation:

  • Submit a new comment if I attempt to edit a since-deleted comment. (I'd prefer it if the user had to manually intervene to post a new comment.)

  • Prevent submitting edits to deleted comments. (It might be that edits to deleted comments actually get saved and shown to moderators, and I don't want to interfere with that.)

(Side question: if I submit an edit to a deleted comment, will the edit actually make it through? In other words, will it be visible to moderators, who can see deleted comments?)

  • 8
    I give that it is annoying but I have to see how many times users hit this corner case. You obviously hit it more then you like but I rather prefer that the dev team spend their time on features that benefit lots of users not just you.
    – rene
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 9:39
  • Related, about comments more generally than comments automatically created by flagging: Please warn the user when editing a deleted comment
    – WBT
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


If you want to add information that should stick around after the post is closed, do not edit it into the automatically generated comment. There's a good chance that comment will still get deleted when the question is closed, but even if you edit it enough to circumvent the checks for that you're kinda banking on the system not changing those checks; internally, these comments have a special flag on them and can be removed at any time. Don't depend on implementation details.

Add a new comment that provides information helpful to the asker or others facing the same problem. Let that stand on its own.

  • 1
    1. Based on what I had seen, if I make any edit to an automatic dupe comment, it prevents it from being automatically deleted. I understand that this isn't the case; can you please explain when exactly it is? 2. You didn't address the overall feature, just the provided use case. In my opinion, I don't believe that editing a comment that gets deleted should cause your edited text to go into the void without any sort of warning. 3. What about the side question? Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 21:25
  • Reconsideration request: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/329895/… Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 16:28

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