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Moderators can undelete comments that have been deleted. This is useful; it allows us to purge a big pile of comments and then undelete the two that added value. It also lets us undo accidents (hello, moderating on a phone :-) ).

There is one exception to this: if the author of a comment deleted it, mods can't undelete. That makes sense; we allow people to take back their words without risk of having them come back later.

I've just bumped into a second exception: I came across a comment that was deleted by a single flag, because the comment contained a magic keyword. The comment also contained useful information, so I tried to undelete it -- and couldn't.

The author of the comment wanted it there (this wasn't a retraction). A moderator wanted it there. But a user who is neither was able to prevent me from recovering the comment.

The regular expression behind this expedited flag-deletion is not perfect. It can't be; it's only a regex. Sometimes human judgement is needed. Not all uses of "accept" are bad, and not all occurrences of "+1" mean there's not also something valuable in the comment.

Some users are actively hunting for these comments and flagging them. They're using scripts, not their own judgement, but even if they were looking at individual comments, they sometimes make mistakes.

Please fix this.

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  • Can you edit the post to remove the keyword and then undelete?
    – Servy
    Feb 14, 2019 at 14:48
  • 2
    @Servy the comment (not post) is currently deleted (I want to undelete it), and there's no edit link. Feb 14, 2019 at 14:49
  • @SonictheIntrovertedHedgehog I guess it depends on whether the current behavior is intended or a long-present bug. I'd like SE to evaluate it as a bug. Feb 14, 2019 at 15:01
  • @MonicaCellio This question requesting the exact same thing was tagged as a bug; it was closed as a duplicate of the question I linked. If you believe it to be a duplicate of that (since it's tagged as a bug), please close this and reopen that, or change the dupe target on that to point to this. Feb 14, 2019 at 15:03
  • @SonictheIntrovertedHedgehog oh thanks; I'll look at that bug and do something with all this. Feb 14, 2019 at 15:11
  • It might be because the check that prevents undeletion of owner deleted posts only looks for "deleted by mod or by three votes"? BTW, can moderators undelete OWN comments?
    – MEE
    Feb 14, 2019 at 15:38
  • Test comment. If I delete this, can I undelete it? (Answer: yes @MEEisJohannGambolputty...) Feb 14, 2019 at 15:50
  • @MonicaCellio thanks. This is speaking in favor of my thesis in the above comment.
    – MEE
    Feb 14, 2019 at 15:52
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    IIRC if a comment is deleted by a moderator, the deletion is attributed to that mod, and if it's deleted by 3+ users flagging, the deletion is attributed to the Community user. If the author deletes their own comment, the deletion is attributed to them, and Shog commented on the open duplicate that if a comment is deleted by a single flag, the deletion is attributed to the flagger. This therefore likely means that the check that blocks mods from undeleting checks if the deletion is attributed to a non-mod user. Feb 14, 2019 at 16:00
  • @MonicaCellio It would be very nice if you tested out my theory by checking to see if you can delete a comment that was 1-flag deleted by a user who later became a moderator, or if you can't delete a comment mod-deleted by a former moderator. Feb 14, 2019 at 16:57
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    @SonictheIntrovertedHedgehog I don't have an easy way to find such cases. If I notice one I'll try to remember to check. Feb 14, 2019 at 17:00
  • @SonictheIntrovertedHedgehog and Monica. It may be an easier to reproduce test-case to ask one of the fellow MSE mods to post a comment and delete it. If you can then undelete it, Sonic is probably correct.
    – MEE
    Feb 14, 2019 at 21:09

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