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From time to time, I go through comments I made to see if they're still relevant and adding value to the site.

If I delete a throw-away comment (I made), I flag any replies as "obsolete". But how about comments that sparked a bit of discussion? If I feel my comment no longer serves a purpose, should I just delete it and flag all relies as "obsolete"?


An example would be

Is the Three-fingered salute from The Hunger Games trilogy based on something from the real world?

where I deleted a comment on the boy scout's salute being three-fingered. Now the comment by @Phantom42 following it, may be interpreted as referring to something in the original question.

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    I'd argue that if deleting your comment causes subsequent otherwise-useful comments to lose their antecedents, then perhaps you shouldn't delete your comment. – Martha Jan 27 '15 at 20:16
4

This has been discussed at reasonable length here. In short, the answer is Yes and no

Yes - If a comment is wholly a reply to yours ("cheers, I've edited that") then you can choose to flag it as obsolete. It's served its purpose but is no longer of any use to anyone, including the OP and the person who posted the comment.

No - If the reply still contains some element of useful information ("Cheer, I actually thought it might be xyz"). In that case it's not obsolete and should be left unflagged


The last remaining category would be those rare times that the meaning of a comment becomes unclear because you've removed your own comment (if for example it now looks like someone is replying to an earlier unrelated comment).

In those cases, I'd err on the side of yes, but with a custom flag explaining the problem to the moderator rather than the blanket "obsolete" flag reason.

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    Note that mods can edit comments, so if the comment contains useful info and a confusing response, you can raise a custom flag asking for removal of the obsolete part. – Kevin Jan 20 '15 at 15:50
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    Also note that mods can see deleted comments as well, so for the last case mentioned in this answer, something along the lines of "reply to my deleted comment, obsolete and now unclear" is fine. – Doorknob Jan 21 '15 at 12:56

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