On the site where I am moderator, I closed a question using a custom reason, and then converted the answer in a comment.


Even though the answer was posted the day before, and the comment is shown as posted when the answer was posted, the converted-answer comment is considered a reply to the comment automatically added when I closed the question. I even got a notification in my inbox.


I guess that each comment stores when it was created, and that value is used to decide which user should be notified. In the case of converted answers, the created and the posted values for the created comment are different.
I also take this happens every time an answer is converted in a comment.

  • You may have known about this quirk, but to let others also know the mechanic: if there's only a single commenter by non-OP on a post, then OP's comment will automatically notify that user since the system assumes it's a reply to that commenter. The explicit issue is that the system disregards the created time, thus also notifying "future" comment... (of course, the workaround is to convert first, then close) – Meta Andrew T. Apr 28 at 12:25
  • By objecting to the timestamp of the comment text being the same as the timestamp of the answer text, you're effectively saying that they are two different things. However, by that reasoning, you should also be objecting to the author attribution of the comment text. After all, the author didn't write a comment—they only wrote an answer. But by preserving both the timestamp and author attribution, it's saying that the text was written 23 hours ago by Tiberiu A., which is correct. This seems reasonable and by design to me. – Jason Bassford Apr 28 at 14:06
  • @JasonBassford No, the timestamp associated with the comment is equal to the timestamp associated with the answer. I am not objecting that, the fact that the timestamp used to notify users is the timestamp of when the answer was converted in a comment (which is not even shown). – kiamlaluno Apr 28 at 16:00
  • @NoDistractionWizard No, basing on the order comments are shown, it's the other user who should be notified. If I reply to a comment, I don't normally get any notification. – kiamlaluno Apr 28 at 16:02
  • @kiamlaluno And why would the timestamp on the conversion not be when it was actually converted? What else should the timestamp be? It's referencing when it was converted. – Jason Bassford Apr 28 at 16:04
  • @JasonBassford Because what shown for the comment is the timestamp of when the answer has been posted. – kiamlaluno Apr 28 at 16:06
  • It's evident the timestamp of the comment says 23 hours ago when the answer has been converted to a comment more recently. (See converted to a comment by kiamlaluno ◆ 49 mins ago.) – kiamlaluno Apr 28 at 16:09
  • @kiamlaluno I didn't mean to disagree with you, in fact I see this as a valid bug report. Looks like the system only considers the posting order (not the date). Because you posted the comment first on the question, the comment from the converted OP's self-answer was assumed as the second comment by the system. And since it's still "OP & 1 other user only", OP's converted comment automatically notified you as the one & only commenter. That's what I tried to explain in my previous comment... – Meta Andrew T. Apr 28 at 16:30
  • @NoDistractionWizard It makes more sense to say that the notification has been sent basing on when the comments were created, not posted. In the screenshot, the automatic comment created for me was created 50 minutes before I took the screenshot, while the comment created after the answer was converted was created 49 minutes before I took the screenshot. Using that order, my comment is after the other user's comment. – kiamlaluno Apr 28 at 16:42
  • @kiamlaluno What you're saying still doesn't sound like a bug to me. Unless you're specifically referencing something to do with the notification, in which case that's buried as a side-comment in the much longer question that seems to be talking about something else (all elements of which make sense to me). In short, either I don't understand what you're saying—or I disagree with you. – Jason Bassford Apr 28 at 17:25
  • @JasonBassford There isn't anything hidden, as the timestamp of when the question was closed, the timestamp of when the answer was converted in a comment, the timestamp associated to the answer, and the timestamp associated to the comments are all visible. In short, I am getting the notification about a reply to a comment I posted, but my comment is the second comment, not the first, which means that eventually it's my comment that should be considered a reply to the other comment. – kiamlaluno Apr 28 at 17:34

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