I was looking at one of my old answers, and I noticed that all the comments below the answer had been deleted. I'm curious about why this has been done. The comments weren't argumentative; they were people asking for more information, and me giving it to them. I'm not saying that there was anything brilliant in the comments, but I don't understand why they were removed.

What is the criteria for deleting a comment (by someone else), and who has the power to decide that a comment should be deleted?

  • 6
    You added the (by comments) requested information into your question. Now these comments are redundant information.
    – juergen d
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


I'm the one that deleted the comments. Here's the chain:

enter image description here

They were flagged as obsolete, and I deleted them. There's a nice short answer on mSO about obsolete comments:

Comments are, by their very nature, transitional. Flagging helps keep them under control and tidied up.

Basically, a comment is obsolete when it asks for information that has since been provided in the post or it is a notification that information has been added. They're redundant information.

Diamond moderators (anyone with a ♦ after their username) have the ability to delete comments if they match certain criteria. We can also undelete comments if we make a mistake (which happens!).

There's a little flag button that shows up when you hover over a comment - these were flagged with the obsolete reason.

  • 6
    It's also worth noting that it doesn't take a moderator to delete comments. If enough users flag them they will automatically delete even before a mod handles the flags. The threshold carries by type of flag and content (just one flagger can nuke anything "why you downvote me" type comment by flagging it not constructive, I think 3 will work for obsolete, etc)
    – Caleb
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 20:12
  • 1
    It's also worth another note that it doesn't take flagging to get them deleted. If you see a chain of such comments, and one is yours, you can delete that yourself :) On Android Enthusiasts I sometimes create a "self-destructing" comment pinging other commenters to do so, wait 60s, and delete it again (they still get the "ping" in their inboxes). This speeds up things a little :)
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 20:26
  • @Caleb unfortunately you cannot flag a comment you have upvoted. The system seems to see that a contradiction: "useful" comments cannot be "obsolete". As that upvote cannot be undone, you then have to wait for someone else to do that (can be done by anyone who didn't upvote it himself).
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 20:31
  • 3
    @Izzy this is a long standing irregularity. It is documented here. The good news is there is a hack-around, see the accepted answer.
    – Caleb
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 21:13
  • 1
    Loaded my gun with... SOUP :) LOL Now let's go shooting-down upped comments. Thanks!
    – Izzy Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 21:20

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