I just realized that it's a general question so I've moved it over to where it belongs. Sorry.

Regard the following scenario. One asks a question and there are some comments, some of them followed up by others. In the end, all the constructive ones have been incorporated as improvements to the OP and the rest has been addressed but rejected or deemed irrelevant. The same process is carried out for the replies, one of which becomes the accepted answer.

What I usually do at this point is to remove all my comments and flag the rest as obsolete. Note that we can assume other kinds of comments not exist in the scenario.

Am I too anal and needlessly sugar-coating or does that contribute with gain for the community? In order to matter, there's a need for a lot of others doing that as well, of course.

  • Some of the comments that the original poster chose not to "incorporate as improvements" might still be relevant. The original poster has the right to not incorporate a constructive comment.
    – Jasper
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 22:09
  • @Jasper Actually they can't, as the definition of the situation provides. I believe you're talking about a different scenario, where there are essential remains of good info still. In such case, I do agree with you. However, that's not the case in the situation described here. Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 23:13
  • "sugar-coating" usually refers to using less harsh or euphemistic language when describing a situation. "It's not so bad. It could be worse" when in reality "Ive never seen conditions as deplorable as these." This comes from the world of medicine where they would often encase bitter-tasting pills with a candy coating to make swallowing easier.
    – Jim
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 23:20
  • @Jim Well, I guess it's my Swenglish shining through here. We use the expression sugar coating for adding the extra nice-to-haves, especially when the time is of the essence. Like creating a POC and investing several hours on picking the perfect icons, instead of some generics, when the aim is to prove that the data is fetchable from a server. Nice GUI but not necessary. (And yes, we do use the expression as is, i.e. with English words. Hence my confusionand I stand corrected.) Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 9:38
  • @Jim Side note. We also use overhead fully believing that it means projector. In fact, during a seminar in US, I've been corrected by a Swede who said that it's called overhead because "the picture is throwed over your head on the blanket" (i.e. light's projected on the white screen, usually elevated). And to a Swede, contradicting/correcting someone is like dropping a nuke. That's how certain he was, hehe. I told him that window and smorgosboard originate in Swedish but not overhead. We were friendly but we won't be friends after that. :) Commented Jan 9, 2016 at 9:46
  • @Konrad To be fair, in AmE we often use "overhead" to mean "projector" as well. But I've always been aware that "overhead projector" was the full name, myself. BTW, I almost wanted to flag Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 6:05
  • @modulusshift I realize I was imprecise. What we refer to as overhead, is the big, boxy thingy from the last millennium (image 1), whereas projector would be modern type, regardless of being placed on the table or mounted on the ceiling or a wall (image 2 and 3). The intriguing part is the modern version of the old system with the external mirror arm but without the butt (image 4). I've asked a few people this morning and they called it a projector too! Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 10:17
  • @modulusshift What was the reason for you considering to flag? Anyway - here are the images. Easier than explaining. 1: overhead, classic. 2: projector, portable. 3: projector, mounted. 4: projector, buttless Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 10:23
  • It was a dumb joke about unconstructive comment chains. Anyway, I'm a little too young to have seen many of those old ones in action. I'm pretty sure I saw computer based projectors in action before the overheads. Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


All flags are appreciated, even those that don't ultimately prompt deletion.

When you've removed some comments and you think the rest of the discussion might be hard to follow without them, go ahead and raise a flag. Or if you see that someone has edited their question because of a comment, and that comment now seems obsolete, raise a flag.

The moderation team will take a look at flagged comments one by one, and decide what we think is best. Most of the time, we agree with the flags, and perform some kind of cleanup action. Every once in a while, though, we'll see some value in letting the comments stay in place, so we'll let the comments remain instead. Even in those cases, though, I generally appreciate having the flags raised.

The moderation team is only three people, and we can't monitor everything. If you think some comments ultimately lead to nowhere and they seem like more of a distraction than a help, you can raise a flag and we'll happily investigate.

  • Got it. Follow-up question. Should I also encourage others to do that? E.g. I flag comments that's been incorporated into the answer and have no relevance at all. Should I also point that out to the user that posted and edited their answer? Or would it be considered as unwelcome and intrusive? Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 9:49
  • Why don't you have more people?
    – Schwale
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 14:47
  • @Subjunctive - The Stack Exchange determines how many moderators a site needs based on metrics, such as the number of active users, and the number of questions asked per month.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 16:59
  • @J.R. Ah, I see. Is it made every year?
    – Schwale
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 17:27
  • @Subj - It's not quite that simple or regular. Have a read.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 17:36
  • 1
    Reading your answer's first line encourages me.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 9:35

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