I recently flagged this comment as "no longer needed", which reads:

thankyou for the tips.

To cite from the privilege page on "Comment Everywhere":

When shouldn't I comment?
Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!")

The comment seems to me to belong to this category of unnecessary compliments. It does not belong in any of the categories that comments are reserved for, which are:

  • asking for clarification
  • constructive criticism
  • adding minor or transient information

What are the reasons for declining my flag? I want to learn whether I should I stop flagging "Thank you"-comments, but I don't see any reasons for leaving this comment, as it doesn't add anything useful to the answer. The normal way to go would be, as the "Comment Everywhere" page says, to pay it forward instead of writing "thanks".

I know that "Thank you"-comments can be useful if they add something specific about the answer, for example because they explain why it solved a problem or why that answer is good, but in this case I don't see any merit in leaving the comment there.


I don't know (not being the moderator who declined it), but I'm going to guess that it's because the flag came when the comment was not quite an hour old. We do want to clean up comments like this, but it's generally ok to leave them long enough for the intended recipient to see them. I usually just let flags like that stay active for a while, but I've also fat-fingered comment flags sometimes, especially when using a mobile device.

Assuming this was an isolated case, let's assume "oops" rather than "you're flagging wrong".


See also: Moving useless comments to discussion

It seems to me on most Stacks that I'm on that comments are not rigorously policed unless there are large numbers of comments and/or arguments going on in comments. Sometimes a mod will get a notion to clean up a bunch of comments and innocuous ones like "Thank yous" will get removed, but in the grand scheme of bad comments, these are probably the least bad.

My personal take on flagging is that really only do it when something should definitely be looked at. Obviously anything profane or offensive or in violation of the "be nice" policy should be flagged early and often. IMHO, "No longer needed" means, it was needed to point out something, but the question or answer was edited and now the comment is just confusing noise. A thank-you comment may be on the noisy side, but it's not confusing to future readers like a spelling correction comment might be after the spelling has been corrected.

Finally, you might wonder why not just clean up all comments all the time that are in any way not good comments. Perhaps here that is doable at this time. As a Stack gets busier, the review queues can become longer and more onerous. Flags can become a kind of noise in the review queue. As a reviewer, we really want to catch the worst comments and get rid of them quickly, without wading through a whole bunch of flags for comments that are not ideal but don't really need to be addressed ASAP. It takes less time to decline a flag and get through the queue than to carefully consider whether to accept it or not.

  • 2
    I can't quite tell from your answer if you realize this or not, but comment flags are handled exclusively by diamond moderators, possibly Stack Exchange employees, and in some cases automatically by the system. Comment flags do not push any content into the review queues that are accessible to ordinary, even high-reputation, users. – a CVn Feb 3 '18 at 11:20

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