I am quite sure that I gave a comment to this answer pointing out that 'differential' was wrong and 'derivative' was the correct term (which was acknowledged as right by the answer's author and led to an edit).

I can't find this comment anymore today. Did a moderator delete it? This sounds weird; I participate actively in several stack exchange sites and I have never seen this practice of removing comments after the answer has been fixed.

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    It may happen more often than you realize. If someone makes a comment, and it gets deleted before you get a look at the question, how would you even know?
    – J.R. Mod
    Dec 16, 2014 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


Removing comments after they are no longer relevant is the correct workflow for managing comments. Comments are transient by design. If someone was asking for clarification or suggesting an improvement to the post… once the information is added to the actual post, the comment(s) should be removed.

Should moderators delete obsolete comments?

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    I understand your point, but "this is the correct workflow" seems a very big claim. Your reference does not back it up sufficiently in my view (there is an accepted answer with 31 upvotes advocating it, and a second one with 24 votes saying "hey, maybe we should be more careful"). Dec 16, 2014 at 13:37
  • We designed and wrote the software and that is how comments were designed to work. They are not supposed to be permanent and material part of the post. That is by design. That meta discussion is almost four years old and comments were indeed designed that way. Dec 16, 2014 at 14:24
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    The help page about commenting is buried under the privileges section and I wonder if it makes sense to pop it up to the top level because it is a privilege that is earned at a relatively low reputation level and is widely used and very visible. It took me a while to understand how commenting on SE was different from the more typical threaded conversations I was familiar with and I think a lot of other newer users may have the same confusion.
    – ColleenV
    Dec 16, 2014 at 14:35
  • I'll agree that commenting here is different to that on other sites; I don't have any expectation that my comments are permanent. If it is asking for clarification, it should definitely be removed once clarification is provided. I agree that obsolete comments are an unnecessary source of confusion to people who arrive at the post after amendments are made. To address the main point of the objections, in the referenced meta post: Edit summaries exist to explain edits.
    – jimsug
    Dec 28, 2014 at 13:13

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