I apologize in advance if I am having trouble understanding if there is a Q/A already in place and if this is a duplicate as a result. It sounds like deleted comments not showing up is intended.

Nonetheless, this question is asking for something different: If a user (who cannot edit and chooses not to submit one) comments on a typo, and I correct the edit, then leave an @reply letting them know it was corrected, will they still get the comment in their inbox if I then delete my own comment? Presumably, if it is there and they click the link it will be dead, but if the comment is terse enough they will know why there was a comment.

Here's why I am asking: it seems like posts collecting edit litter underneath is a bad thing, and through my @reply I would hope to encourage the user to delete their comment. I understand why it would be intended that dead links not show up in my (or anyone's) inbox; so what is the cleanest way of encouraging users to delete comments that have been addressed?

This also applies to comments asking for clarification, where the clarification is put back into the original question. What is the cleaner course? Obviously a half dozen "clarification comments" beneath the question are not a better idea.

Per Grace's answers below, I have been curious about deleted @replies, but would like to see if maybe there is a less reactive way (i.e. the link there), and a more proactive way of going about it as the OP. I'm not terribly enthused by edits bumping the questions just to correct a quibble, but am wondering if there might be some other, non-modded solution.


2 Answers 2


Comment replies are annoying. That is all I have to say.

In general, deleted comments do not persist. There are two scenarios in which they do persist in your inbox, however. A comment that does not meet either scenario will be removed from the inbox at the next update.

  • If it is a comment on your own post, it will persist in your inbox whether or not it uses the comment reply syntax.

  • If the comment reply uses full display name syntax, it will stay in the inbox. For example, my full display name syntax is @GraceNote. Using @gra or @Grace will not persist. Since comment replies are case insensitive, I don't think casing matters - what is important is matching the full display name. This is similar to some of the mechanisms with chat replies.

This post has a deleted comment that addressed me as @Grace or @Grace Note. As well, Hendrik Vogt used @Grace on me earlier on Jon's answer here. Neither is in my inbox anymore.

Comparatively, this post of mine had a comment from Popular Demand that was deleted - that comment is still in my inbox. As well, this post used to have a disaster of a comment stream on it, which got mod-blasted - yet I still have a comment reply from it.

Below are screenshot of the the persisted deleted comments, each circled in red. The first screenshot is of the one on my own post, the second is of the full display name syntax. It should be noted that since the latter is the only reply from that post, I can confirm that it's still in my global inbox in the top left, not just the stackexchange.com profile. This is well after the usual cycle time, which is enough to confirm that they persist even in there.

Deleted comment on a post of my own

Deleted comment with full display name syntax

I can't provide a screenshot of the former, on account of there being no remaining evidence of the comment, other than my lingering memory of Raven Dreamer discarding East Coast pride. That said, I'm sure Hendrik will be happy to vouch for it.

  • So if I want to @reply/[otherwise notify] that a requested update was made, how should we deal with edit/clarification detritus once it is resolved? (Assuming they're not in chat, or an @reply in there wouldn't work)
    – mfg
    May 4, 2011 at 13:12
  • @mfg I think that's a separate question. It was once proposed to have moderators clean up that kind of noise, but it was met with varying levels of opposition. You can always just include in your @reply "Please consider removing your comment now that the stuff is fixed".
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 4, 2011 at 13:15
  • @Grace okay. At base that is the main question, like the Here's why I am asking says above. I been curious about deleted @replies but would like to see if maybe there is a less reactive way (i.e. the link there), and a more proactive way of going about it as the OP. I'm not terribly enthused by edits bumping the questions just to correct a quibble, but am wondering if there might be some other, non-modded solution.
    – mfg
    May 4, 2011 at 13:23
  • @mfg: What kind of bumping are you talking about here? Sorry, it seems that I'm confused. May 4, 2011 at 13:41
  • In the example of mine in the question, it was an old question with an accepted answer. When I edited based on the comment I bumped it back to the front page, which is less than desirable (particularly for a lower population site).
    – mfg
    May 4, 2011 at 13:45
  • @mfg: OK, I got confused since you mention two different topics at the same time: Comment deletions and edits of posts as a reaction to comments. May 4, 2011 at 13:52
  • @Hendrik Ping, both to let you know of some new data and also to prompt you to vouch. ♪
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 4, 2011 at 15:51
  • @Grace, couple of things: 1. I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to vouch for. Your last paragraph starts with "I can't provide a screenshot of the former", and I don't know what the "former" is, nor do I dream of ravens. 2. Yesterday there was a comment of Pekka on this answer of Pekka starting "@Hendrik ah...", and it's still in both my inboxes. 3. Similar for this CW post, a comment "@Hendrik, did you see this?" was deleted a few hours ago, but there I'm one of the editors. May 4, 2011 at 17:19
  • @Hendrik You were supposed to vouch for having made a comment that you later deleted. Instead, you've disproved everything. RUINED EVERYTHING! sigh Did I mention that comment replies are annoying? Back to the research deck...
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 4, 2011 at 17:22
  • @Hendrik Oh, here's one thing to check. Do you remember if you were the first non-Pekka comment on Pekka's answer?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 4, 2011 at 17:24
  • @Grace: Oh, I happily vouch for having posted a comment starting "@Grace:" immediately after your comment here (and for having deleted it 10 to 15 minutes later). And Pekka's "@Hendrik ah..." comment was posted yesterday 12:02, so well after the comments that are still visible (and my comment was shortly before Pekka's). May 4, 2011 at 17:28
  • @HendrikVogt Alright, that discredits the "single person comment exchange" override theory I had. I'm finding very little to differentiate my absent deleted comments from your deleted comment on Pekka's answer... but I'll keep seeing what I dig up. Thanks. ♪
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 4, 2011 at 17:32
  • @Grace: Maybe we are different? Maybe we should go and highjack some poor posts whose authors won't have any idea what's happening to them? May 4, 2011 at 17:34
  • @Grace: Just to let you know, those comments are still in my inbox. Should I try clearing my cache? May 5, 2011 at 8:23

If you want to test this out, add a comment to my answer and I will @reply you.

  • @mfg - No. Is this your second?
    – user27414
    May 4, 2011 at 13:07
  • @mfg - Interesting. I wonder if you happened to catch it before I deleted my first reply.
    – user27414
    May 4, 2011 at 13:08
  • @mfg - this is reply #2. Did you also get "this is reply #1"?
    – user27414
    May 4, 2011 at 13:09
  • I think I did. Well it's good since that seems to be working as in tended; but how then should we deal with edit/clarification detritus once either is resolved? (Deleted my comments btw)
    – mfg
    May 4, 2011 at 13:10
  • I did not see "this is reply #1" though
    – mfg
    May 4, 2011 at 13:13
  • 4
    One point, just to teach you for the future - the inbox can update and actually remove items that are in it, and it's not immediately coinciding with the actual deletion event. An hour has been the recommended time when it comes to testing the persistence of items in the global inbox. Immediate testing is not necessarily going to accurately reflect the persistence.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 4, 2011 at 14:11

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