I posted a comment on this answer fairly soon after the answer was posted, then immediately edited the comment to provide a specific counterexample to the assumptions in the post. (There is a 5 minute limit from the time of posting for editing comments.)

Post-edit, the comment was a fairly long and detailed (within the length limit for comments), especially compared to the shorter initial version. As soon as I clicked "Save," the comment completely disappeared, with no warning whatsoever! Why is that?

  • 6
    You should never assume that any comment will survive any length of time. Comments are expected to disappear at any moment, and for any reason. The only things that should be permanent are questions and answers. Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 14:51
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    @JasonBassford Transience and disappearance after a comment has served a purpose is one thing. Disappearing as soon as you click "Save" is quite discouraging of investing any time/energy in trying to make a comment that is useful to anybody.
    – WBT
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 14:58
  • I think it's interesting to see the strong negative reaction to this question, esp. in context of a more mundane instance which had more positive reception; the answer here wasn't even obvious to an experienced mod. The answer also shows why nobody would want to explain why they think it's a bad question, as prompted by the interface when downvoting.
    – WBT
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 15:25
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    WBT I'm saying this as a regular, and especially lately, this is not remotely the first instance that I do not understand the voting on a question here. I guess the downvoters themselves could explain, but maybe people are just feeling a little bit down lately? (I'd edit and emphasize the fact that this didn't happen months or days later and the comment was probably not even read by many people before deletion; that's an important point)
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 15:56
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    @WBT A comment disappearing immediately after I've edited it has never happened to me. I daresay that such a thing happening is extremely rare. But, again, the why seems immaterial. There should be no assumption of comments lasting any length of time at all. Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 19:17
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    @JasonBassford If you had no expectation that your comment would have lasted any length of time at all, as you say you shouldn't have had, why did you write it? Surely, you must've thought it would probably last long enough for me to see it, & this assumption was likely reasonably justified by your experience with SE. Had it disappeared immediately instead of being saved either of the two times you clicked the "Save" button, wouldn't you have been surprised & at least a little confused, perhaps enough to wonder why that happened, especially when what you were writing wasn't clearly offensive?
    – WBT
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 19:42
  • 2
    @WBT Normally, it would last long enough for somebody to see it. The odds are in that favour. But it wouldn't concern me if all comments got wiped out either. If I really want to communicate something, I provide an answer. Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 20:34
  • +1 for the good question! I mean, no matter what one's expectations might be, something unexpected like a sudden comment deletion is still strange enough to wonder about. And from this question, I've learned that comments that include "+1" or "-1", e.g. this comment, might be prone to auto-deletion upon a single flag.
    – Nat
    Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 4:52

1 Answer 1


It was deleted with a single flag, probably cause it contained one of a few words that are on a blocklist.

The comment read

-1 for overgeneralization and asserting inaccurate assumptions as fact. If you came to a Web page searching for a solution to a specific recurring problem and found (a) a description of how to solve it, which involved a long/hard/complicated process, as well as (b) an ad for an inexpensive product which reliably and quickly took care of it without negative side effects, would you consider that "spammy?" Such quality is rare in practice, but possible in theory and does occasionally happen.

My suspicion is the -1 triggered single flag deletion.

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    Thanks for the answer. Should the interface not prompt for explanation of downvotes by posting a comment, if such explanations then get autodeleted in this way?
    – WBT
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 14:24
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    Well, honestly, I have no idea, and I was like "wait what? OHHHHHHHH" before I worked it out. I gues its better to go "I disagree with..." than outwardly revealing how you voted (or lying about it) as far as the network goes. Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 14:26
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    Check the comment history - looks like we had a race between the flag and an edit to the comment
    – Shog9
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 14:32
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    I am assuming that "Check the comment history" is advice applicable to moderators only.
    – WBT
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 19:43
  • So any time someone gets a comment that includes "-1", they can just flag it for auto-removal?
    – Nat
    Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 4:48
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    Starting with -1 I presume, and possibly based on flag type. Try not to get too enthusiastic about flagging those ._. Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 4:54

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