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Anyone who has been on SE for any length of time knows the bypass of copying the comment, deleting it, and reposting it. Yes, that puts our revised comment out of order, but that is often acceptable.

Given that option being available, does the time limit for comment editing really serve a useful purpose? If editing after that moved us to the end of the comments, as the workaround does, that would be no worse and is arguably less error-prone.

Meanwhile, the lock discourages fixing typos. That's a significant cost.

What problem is edit-locking intended to solve, and is this really the best way to solve it?

Feel free to close as duplicate of, e.g., Should we be allowed to edit comments?.

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    What comes to mind is silliness. People going back to old comments on questions seldom visited by experienced members and putting something unsuitable which may be on a post that turns up in a Google search. If a comment is placed newly on a post, then at least someone gets notified - though this seems like a weak argument. General silliness then. Not sure of the exact rationalisation.
    – W.O.
    Nov 30, 2022 at 3:24
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    And how often is that even attempted? I suspect the original rationalization is tied into the design philosophy that nothing in comments will ever be worth retaining for long.
    – keshlam
    Nov 30, 2022 at 3:32
  • In general, comments are "second-class citizens" compared to questions and answers - they're usually meant to be ephemeral, and not intended/expected to stand the test of time. So I don't necessarily see a strong case for removing the time limit on comment edits, especially given the possibility of abuse lingering for a while (since comment edits don't create notifications for anyone, as far as I know).
    – V2Blast
    Nov 30, 2022 at 4:35
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    Counter-question: what problem is solved by allowing to edit years old comments? Is this a problem we want to be solved?
    – VLAZ
    Nov 30, 2022 at 6:33
  • Agreed. The abuse argument is not valid (but there could be other reasons). LBRY and YouTube do not lock comments for editing (YouTube completely broke editing comments due to the constantly deteriorating quality, but that is another story), and I have never seen it abused. Any abuse is already in the first revision. Nov 30, 2022 at 15:19
  • @W.O. If the edit window for comments is long, then, yes, absolutely, it will be used as a vector to post spam and R/A content with little or no notification that the content has been posted. We already see accounts that come back days, weeks, months, or even years, to edit completely unrelated spam or R/A content into posts. Some of those are because the question or answer was clearly initially posted with the plan to come back and edit it. Others are because the account becomes compromised. Fortunately, edits to posts make the question active, so we can detect such edits.
    – Makyen
    Nov 30, 2022 at 16:23
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    To be clear, I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice for the edit window to be a bit longer than it is now – I routinely run into the 5 minute edit window, which is frustrating – just that an excessively long edit window, particularly an unlimited edit window, will be abused, as evidenced by the fact that such abusive edits (e.g. spam and R/A content) already happen to posts.
    – Makyen
    Nov 30, 2022 at 16:27
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    And editing comments is worse than posting new comments ... How? If you want to lock down edits when you lock down commenting at all, that makes some sense. Before then I honestly don't see benefit.
    – keshlam
    Nov 30, 2022 at 16:51
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    I'm not necessarily arguing for years-old... But I would like a more reasonable window to fix any tupoghralpc etrrors caused by touch keyboard and auto-incorrect.
    – keshlam
    Nov 30, 2022 at 17:35
  • Extending it by an additional 5 minutes would be fine by me, better than fine, I'm also tripped up by the edit window from time to time.
    – W.O.
    Nov 30, 2022 at 18:23

1 Answer 1

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If you post a comment describing a procedure, then a third party comments “I agree, I do that also”. Then you edit it to be something the third party definitely would not agree, others that read this wouldn’t immediately notice you edited.

This can lead to generally bad situations, the value of editing a comment is not worth the risk.

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    Did you mean “definitely would not agree”? Nov 30, 2022 at 8:04
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    That's a problem with unqualified "I agree" more than with editing, since it can happen in answers too. That doesn't cause us to lock old answers. What's the difference?
    – keshlam
    Nov 30, 2022 at 16:58
  • We have a tolerance for wrong answers meta.stackexchange.com/questions/193871/… but there is much less tolerance for rude or aggressive comments and something about editing a comment that makes someone look bad (even when editor is oblivious) can be considered rude. Best to not allow comment edits. Nov 30, 2022 at 17:06
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    @JamesRisner Again, how often would this happen? And how does it differ from editing an answer that was commented upon? It really seems you are either fixing a problem that doesn't exist or only fixing half of it; pick one, please. We have no tolerance for rude/aggressive answers OR rude comments; they get flagged and hidden or deleted. I'm still failing to see a difference in kind that merits a difference in treatment.
    – keshlam
    Nov 30, 2022 at 19:28
  • There must be a reason every site has insta ban OR edits are time locked? What’s your take on that? Nov 30, 2022 at 19:50
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    Everyone assumes someone else had a problem? One particular person was a problem? "Every regulation implicitly has an offender's name attached to it" is not always true; sometimes people overprotect "just in case that happens too.'
    – keshlam
    Jan 11, 2023 at 21:20
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    If this is really the concern, put comment edits through the same review process as question/answer editssnd explicitly make changing the sense of the comment a reason for rejection. Then let the community decide which, if any, edits are problematic. That would let us fix late-noticed typos/garbles while giving the protection folks apparently believe is needed. Note that this ties back into the comment vs. answer issue and why folks may decide to push an item that is on the fence one way or the other.
    – keshlam
    Jan 11, 2023 at 21:24

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