Moderators can handle flags from two different places:

  1. On moderator dashboard, where the whole list of unhandled flags visible;

  2. On the post page, where the flag has raised. In this case additional frame become visible at the bottom of the page.

The following text describes the one specific case of processing the flag "not an answer" on the post published as answer.

Available options on processing this flag can vary. If that flag is raised on the post posted by someone who's not an OP (question's asker) moderator will see a button "Convert to comment". In other case (OP has posted self-answer) the button has different text "Convert to edit". That allows moderator to move the answer's content to the question body as additional edit, that will be visible in post history.

Processing the flag for the latter case (posted is the OP) I faced with the unexpected behavior. For some reason this option (i.e. button "Convert to edit" - "Преобразовать в правку" in Russian) was disabled (grayed out) when I looked at it via moderator dashboard (place 1):

enter image description here

I can't say is there a tooltip on that button (since I was on touch screen device) that can clarify the reason why it's grayed out.

At the same time when I open the post page (where the flag is raised, i.e. place 2) that button has been available to click/tap, but tapping on it leads to the the error message:

enter image description here

Now the reason why the button was greyed out became clear - post is too long. Message stated (in Russian "Максимальная длина тела 30000 символов; вы ввели 39721"):

Body is limited to 30000 characters; you entered 39721.

Can we have consistent behavior on the same button in different views? I.e. make the button "Convert to edit" disabled or enabled regardless where I look at flag - via moderator dashboard (place 1), or on the post page itself (place 2). The case when the button is active and we can get an error is preferrable, instead we need an additional text visible somewhere to clarify why the button is disabled.


1 Answer 1


I cannot read Russian, so I obviously can't verify your translation, but what I can see in the error message is the number "30000", and that tells me that this definitely is a "convert to edit" option, not a "convert to comment" option (which does, also, exist, and also has character limits).

Anyway, what that message is telling you is that you cannot convert the answer to an edit on the question because doing so would cause the question to exceed the 30,000 character limit for posts.

When you convert an answer to a question, what the system does is append the full text of the answer to the question. Specifically, it creates an edit/revision on the question with an edit summary/comment saying something like "appended answer #NNNNN as supplemental", then it inserts a horizontal line/rule at the bottom of the original question text, followed by the full original text of the answer.

If the combined original question plus appended answer text would exceed 30,000 characters, then you get an error, because the system has a rule that no post can contain more than 30,000 characters.

Therefore, this is not a bug. This is just you hitting a limitation that a post cannot contain more than 30,000 characters. The UX might need to be improved a little bit, because it might not be obvious to you that clicking a button labeled "convert to edit" would actually attempt to append the entire text of the answer to the question, but that's precisely what it's doing, and therefore the rules for that apply.

I'm also not persuaded that this should be special-cased (even if it could be, which I don't think it can; 30k characters is a hard system limit), because there's no reason why you'd want to append that much text to a question. Just delete the answer, close the question as lacking a minimal, reproducible example, and move on.

  • 30k characters isn't a hard system limit, Code Review broke it years ago.
    – Mast
    May 31, 2023 at 12:54
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    MaxBodySize can be increased from 30000 to 65536, as was done in '15. i.stack.imgur.com/w1eBm.png
    – Mast
    May 31, 2023 at 12:56
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    My post is not about how to "convert to edit" works, it's about the state of the button dependent on the page where that button placed. Added to the Q to clarify. May 31, 2023 at 13:45
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    @αλεχολυτ it's very unclear then. You should change it to reflect that you want the behavior of the button to change. Currently you're asking "Why I can't convert to comment", and this answer address this. May 31, 2023 at 14:51
  • @Shadow I've never used word "comment" in my question. May 31, 2023 at 17:48
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    To be fair, @Mast, it's a hard system limit that was expanded specifically on Code Review, but the new limit is still a hard system limit. It can't be bypassed on a per-post basis. Jun 1, 2023 at 5:13
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    I'll be honest, @αλεχολυτ, I still don't understand what you're asking, even after carefully reading the edit. If anyone else understands what is being asked, please feel free to edit the question and I'll try to make the answer more relevant/helpful. Jun 1, 2023 at 5:14
  • @CodyGray updated. Jun 1, 2023 at 8:30

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