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I'm asking because I've seen long conversations taking place in the comments section. Sometimes they are long, seemingly endless requests for clarifications that should be moved to chat; others they're a long string of high fives, thank yous, a chain of nice answers, etc.

I know that in the case of the latter, questions can be protected, and I've seen conversations moved to chat, but I don't know the proper way to flag them (i.e. I've looked through the flags and haven't seen any that apply to either scenario).

If the comment doesn't add to the answer, I don't see the point. That said, it doesn't bother me when there are a few lines like this; but when the comments are longer than my screen, it seems inappropriate.

Do I just flag each individual offending comment?

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  • Flag the last comment with a custom message "please remove entire thread; comments now obsolete". – Dan Bron Jul 27 '16 at 10:29
  • You can also flag the post with a custom flag - I've done that before. – Mithical Jul 27 '16 at 20:33
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    Moderators always prefer to see a single flag rather than several flags that effectively say the same thing. It is less work at their end. So, yes, use a custom flag. – Chenmunka Jul 28 '16 at 12:19
  • I agree with what @DanB says, with the caveat you could flag the last comment, or else flag any other comment in the thread, particularly at a pivotal point in the conversation where things seem to have veered off course. I've used a custom message similar to this one on other exchanges: This comment should probably be removed along with several other surrounding comments. Something like that should do the trick. – J.R. Jul 28 '16 at 20:35
  • @Mithrandir I considered flagging the question with a custom flag, but that doesn't seem fair to the OP as there's nothing wrong with the question itself. Plus, II'd rather have my flags deemed helpful instead of declined as having declined flags is helpful to exactly no one. I've only ever had two flags declined, and both involved a difference of opinion between the mods and me regarding duplicate questions, so I'm pretty selective as to what I flag. – Giambattista Jul 28 '16 at 22:30
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I usually just flag the first comment in the thread that has gone off-track for moderator attention and explain the situation. Usually if one comment is flagged, our moderators review the entire thread and do whatever is most appropriate.

I would not recommend that you flag every comment. You have limited flags, so you wouldn't want to use them all up on one comment thread, especially if a moderator looking over the comments can see that they all belong together and should all be moved to chat. Also, it may be that the moderator would choose to preserve some of the comments and might end up declining the flag. It's not a big deal if it's just a couple, but I think if you get too many declined flags, you will be temporarily suspended from being able to flag.

This answer on Meta is a good guide to flagging comments: How does comment voting and flagging work?

That answer describes some situations where enough flags will cause a comment to be soft-deleted by the community. You should hang on to a couple flags each day just in case you come across something really egregious. Because a comment doesn't "bump" a question, fewer community members are likely to see comments on less active questions, so your comment flags can be important. Use them wisely.

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