Some of the comments to this question are conversational, and some are even irrelevant to the post. I don't understand how the first comment even relates to the question (it sounds like a comment to this question).

Even other comments regarding opening the question and changing the title are no longer needed. I had flagged all these comments, but all were declined. Please discuss what the reasons behind them being declined were.


Your comment flags on that question were handled by two different moderators.

  1. I didn't handle the flag on the first comment and I'm not a subject matter expert on Harry Potter so I have no comment regarding that flag.
  2. The second comment contains a link to a possible duplicate question and is worth keeping around so that the questions are linked since they are obviously related. In any case, you did not flag that comment.
  3. The third comment, by Alex, explained why the question was re-opened and why the commenter thinks the two questions are not duplicates. You flagged this but it was declined by one of my colleagues. I would have declined it, too, since it is worth keeping such a comment in case some other user thinks about closing the question as a duplicate (possibly a long time from now).
  4. The fourth comment, by Rand al'Thor, is about a strategy to help differentiate similar questions in general and explains that the title of the possible duplicate was modified to help differentiate these two particular questions. This is useful to keep for the same reason as Alex's comment. I declined this flag.
  5. The last comment you flagged was Alex's response to Rand al'Thor and simply said "Good point." This is no longer needed so I marked it helpful and deleted it.

I didn't "carelessly" decline your flags (since, after all, I marked one as helpful), and two moderators independently came to the same conclusion that (most of) the comments you flagged were worth keeping around.

  • I've now deleted my own comment. It's more of a general point than relevant to that specific question, and the person I was addressing has definitely seen it. – Rand al'Thor Feb 15 at 11:03

Firstly, I’m not sure how familiar you are with the way SE works in terms of moderation but only elected moderators can handle comment flags not the general community.

Regarding the specific comments, the first doesn’t seem too relevant but it does have some relevance so it’s worth keeping around for that reason.

The second (automated on close/flag) and third comments are about the state of the question: whether it should be closed or open. These are relevant to keep around as it gives information for people in the future to read if they are considering changing the questions state.

The fourth comment is perhaps the only one that doesn’t really need to stay around as, if I remember correctly, Alex has already replied to it in a now deleted comment. However, along with the moderator’s edit it perhaps gives some information that the mod felt the questions weren’t dupes and should stay open which is somewhat relevant to stay around.

In any case none of the comments are really black and white as to whether they want deleting or not.

It’s also worth thinking about what flag type did you use to flag the comments? Using the first comment as an example, mods aren’t required to bu subject matter experts. If the comment looks somewhat on topic they’re more likely to leave it around as it does in this case. So if a comment isn’t obviously “no longer needed”, rude or unkind it’s better to use a customs flag to explain why you feel it is no longer needed.

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    I think I was the one who declined the flag on the first comment. Your last paragraph is on point as I didn't really understand why it had been flagged: it was relevant to the topic of the question, didn't contain inappropriate content, and hadn't been incorporated into the question by an edit. Looking at it again now, I agree I can't see the relevance to the actual question being asked, but then it's just a comment and not an answer. – Rand al'Thor Feb 15 at 11:08
  • You remember correctly. I did respond to it. – Alex Feb 15 at 23:36

All four comments seem relevant.

  • The first comment opens the possibility of there being classes/levels of killing-ness of the killing curse (e.g. that it's not a binary position where it either kills you or it doesn't). In fairness this could probably be posted as an answer, but it's very terse in its current state.

  • The second comment advises you that a user (several in fact) feels that your question is a duplicate of another question.

  • The third comment explains why Alex used his gold-tag privilege to reopen the question and gives a lead to anyone who thinks it might be a duplicate why he thought it wasn't.

  • The fourth comment is probably the least useful since it's addressing the previous comment, but it's still relevant in that it was only posted yesterday (by a moderator) and the recipient might not have read it yet.

  • "This, to me, explains why most Death Eaters choose not to attempt it, and only people like Voldemort use it because it's his "signature" spell." This line by the commenter easily points that he was intending to answer the other question. – Gariman Singh Feb 14 at 18:58
  • @GarimanSingh - I think the issue is that we spend all of our time with the wizarding equivalent of the aristocracy, either because they were born into (magically) powerful families or because they're accepted into the magical royalty because they're the magic equivalent of "new money". Either way we spend almost no time with the little people who get by with simple spells that can't kill people – Valorum Feb 14 at 19:01
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    Regarding 2nd comment: Since the title has been changed, no one would ever think that the two questions are similar until you are readily providing a link to that question on this changed question. – Gariman Singh Feb 14 at 19:02
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    @GarimanSingh - Actually I'm debating reclosing it. They're very similar questions despite the attempt to distinguish them by changing the titles so the second comment is highly relevant, as is the third (since it's the only thing keeping your question open right now). – Valorum Feb 14 at 19:03
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    FWIW Alex has replied to that other comment but it seems to have been deleted so the fourth comment is debatable whether it needs to stay or not. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 14 at 19:16

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