I posted a comment on this question yesterday: Are self-sealing stem bolts a Star Trek in-joke?

It was meant as a joke, and I don't think it was offensive. The last I looked, it had about 20 upvotes. I think it's been deleted, which I'm a little sad about, as I thought it was fun.

It wasn't super-informative in terms of the question, although it did mention a fictional Star Trek component which is something of an in-joke, so it wasn't entirely off-topic.

Are joke comments not wanted?

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    Although I usually go for "humour with a point," many of my most highly-voted comments could be considered jokes. Considering I have a comment that's received more votes than my most highly-voted post, I'd hate to lose it because one or two people don't have a sense of humour. :)
    – DavidW
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 20:06
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    A whole bunch of my 'funny' comments get deleted. I try not to let it bug me. Per my own comment from a few years back; "I favour a stricter interpretation of the rule. Feel free to post jokey comments but don't get bent out of shape if a friendly moderator comes along and sweeps them away."
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 20:33
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    As a rule of thumb, don't too get attached to any comments you post. They're considered ephemera and may be deleted at any time if a moderator feels that they're not contributing. Depending on the contents, it may be appropriate to write an answer or post in chat instead, if you want the content to stick around for longer.
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 20:43
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    As for "most highly-voted comments", see also scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2113/4918 "How can I find the most upvoted comment(s) on a site?" in case you want to judge them yourselves.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


Nine comment flags were raised on that question last night. I went through the comments this morning and deleted a bunch of them which were straying into extended only-tangentially-relevant discussion (various IRL examples, continuing on from Barmar's comment). I declined a couple of the comment flags, including the one on Barmar's comment since it gives some useful/interesting information, although the follow-up comments got too many to keep them all.

Your comment was one of those flagged, and I almost declined that flag too - certainly I wouldn't have deleted that 24-upvoted comment if I'd just happened across it while browsing. But since it was flagged, and didn't add anything useful except a bit of humour (and I didn't find it funny), I went ahead and deleted it.

But it's not doing much harm, I was on the fence about it, and usually I do leave much-upvoted joke comments alone rather than deleting them. Since it was considered worth a whole meta post, I've now undeleted it.

For the general principle on joke comments, see What should we do about "funny" comments? Personally I often use the number of comment upvotes as an indicator of humour value in lieu of "usefulness". If there's several jokes cluttering up a comments section and none of them got upvoted much, I might clear them up, especially if they're flagged. If there's one joke comment with a lot of upvotes, I'll usually assume the community likes it and leave it alone.

  • “Since it was considered worth a whole meta post” — I mean, only by me, and I'm a weirdo. I can totally see that it's a fine line, and that comments aren't really designed for jokes. Thanks for the link to that question, it's just what I was looking for and failed to find. (Can I tag it with deleted-comments, as it discusses deletion?) Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 18:22
  • @PaulD.Waite Hmm, it's not technically about deleted comments, rather than about the possibility of deleting comments. I wonder if that tag should be renamed comment-deletion?
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 18:27
  • Yeah could be a good shout. "deleted-comments" could be for questions about specific comments that got deleted (if more thin-skinned divas like me is something we want a tag for on meta), and "comment-deletion" for the general concept? Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 18:31
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    @PaulD.Waite Actually there's a hell of a lot of meta posts which are about deleted comments but don't have the tag ...
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 19:19

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