I have flagged the following two questions as duplicates:

After flagging, both generated a comment from me in the shape:

Does this answer your question? [canonical link](https://Link to duplicate)

Both flags were marked as helpful (screenshots below), and in both questions, the post notice appeared:

This question already has answers here:

[canonical link](https://Link to duplicate)

So far, both are the same. But in the first link I attached, the comment was removed once it was marked as duplicate, and in the other, the comment is still there.

Why is that?

Post 2 was marked as helpful

Auto comment not deleted

Note: this exact behavior was reported here as an answer to the new post notices announcement, marked as under , but forgotten since then.

  • No one reviewed your flag on the post where your comment still is. That's why it remains.
    – Ollie
    Dec 6, 2020 at 23:33
  • @Ollie what do you mean? If it wasn't reviewed how come it is marked as duplicate? Dec 6, 2020 at 23:34
  • Because someone else closed it.
    – Ollie
    Dec 6, 2020 at 23:35
  • Maybe I don't know what do you mean by review. The flag was marked as helpful. Didn't that happen while someone reviewed it? Dec 6, 2020 at 23:38
  • 1
    Funny. It may take a minute to get you an answer, I don't have much reputation on SO.
    – Ollie
    Dec 6, 2020 at 23:53
  • I still think the review might have something to do with it. See this. And then it might have been closed by a user with a tag badge.
    – Ollie
    Dec 7, 2020 at 0:02
  • Also.
    – Ollie
    Dec 7, 2020 at 0:07
  • 1
    @Ollie "And then it might have been closed by a user with a tag badge" Nope, it was closed by three users, none of them is a gold-badge holder. Also, I don't think that would make a difference. The comment should be removed regardless. At least that's what happens with comments generated by close votes (as opposed to flags) so long as the comment is not edited.
    – 41686d6564
    Dec 7, 2020 at 0:38
  • You're not listed as one of the close voters on that second question. Did you manually add the comment, and not vote to close? Dec 7, 2020 at 1:11
  • 5
    @1201ProgramAlarm The OP doesn't have the "Cast close & reopen votes" privilege. He/she flagged the question (at least according to this post).
    – 41686d6564
    Dec 7, 2020 at 1:21
  • That is correct. I don't have this privilege. I flagged this post. I added screenshot of the flag that is marked as helpful. Dec 7, 2020 at 6:05
  • Might be a one time glitch, did you ever notice this on other questions? Dec 7, 2020 at 8:24
  • 1
    @Shadow10YearsWizard, it is not a one time glitch. Here is another example: stackoverflow.com/questions/64642380/… Dec 7, 2020 at 8:57
  • 2
    @TomerShetah My best bet would be that meta.stackexchange.com/a/339888/369802 was never fixed, and the comment that was deleted, was deleted manually because it was flagged as no-longer-needed. Only a SO mod can confirm that though...
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Dec 7, 2020 at 9:19
  • 5
    This will be addressed as part of our bug duty rotation.
    – Rosie StaffMod
    Mar 23, 2021 at 16:19

3 Answers 3


This bug has been fixed for future flags - this was a fun one to look into, thanks for the report! Any new Close Flags created after today (January 31, 2022 at 17:00 UTC) will now handle this correctly. Any flags and explanatory comments created before today will still exhibit this behavior as no backfill was done. If you still see orphaned explanatory comments that are created after these changes, please create a new post with a link to the question you're seeing this on.

When a post is flagged as a duplicate, an explanatory comment is created and associated with the flag. Later, when the flag is cleared, the explanatory comment associated with it is removed.

The explanatory comment was generated with a Recommend Close Flag. Then, another user later flagged the post with a Close Flag. This cleared the Recommend Close Flag and upvoted the explanatory comment. However, this new Close Flag did not have an explanatory comment associated with it beyond the user upvoting it.

Later, when the Close Flag was successful, our code would look at any active flags and remove explanatory comments associated with those flags. Since the new Close Flag had no associated explanatory comment, it would fail to remove it.

Now, the explanatory comment is handed off when a Recommend Close Flag is superseded by a Close Flag and will get removed appropriately.


I think (and this is only speculation) that the difference is that the last close vote on the first question was cast by Community. This means that the OP agreed to the duplicate suggestion, which closed the question. In the second case the question was closed by three users voting to close as a duplicate of the suggested target.

As to why this would delete the comment on the first question and not the second, I've no idea. I will probably need someone with more access than me to determine exactly what's gone on here.

  • 1
    Thanks ChrisF for the speculation! That makes sense actually! Please let me know if you can confirm this theory! Dec 7, 2020 at 17:04
  • 1
    This is the most plausible explanation. I think it's still a bug though because that's not consistent with comments generated by close votes (which always get removed, unless edited before the closure).
    – 41686d6564
    Dec 7, 2020 at 18:29
  • 1
    @TomerShetah I haven't had chance to look at this again, sorry. If I see a CM online sometime soon I'll ask them if someone can take a look.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Dec 8, 2020 at 12:36

This bug is still present today. Another example can be found on this question.

In this case the suggestion done by ChrisF does not apply, as the question was closed using a binding vote by a goldbadge wielder.

Screenshot in case someone deletes the comment:

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