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Ironically, in light of my last Meta post, this question is really only directed to the moderators.

If I had a discussion with someone in comments to a post, and now I determine that those comments are "no longer necessary" and I am going to flag them as such, is it easier for the moderators if I delete my own comments or if I leave them?

Obviously deleting them myself saves them the work. But often my comments are the only indication that the discussion is no longer necessary. That is to say that if someone asks me a question in the comments, and I respond in the comments, my response is what indicates that the question was acknowledged (and perhaps dealt with if that was what was needed). If I delete my comments then it just looks like the other person's comments are left unaddressed, and are therefore perhaps "still necessary".

I know that moderators can access deleted comments, but my question is whether it is easy enough to access them that it doesn't cause any issues if I delete them, or whether leaving my comments will help them see why the discussion is "no longer necessary".

Additionally, by leaving my own comments, it is perhaps implied that only the other person's comments are no longer necessary, while my comments are still necessary, which is no the case. (I understand that moderators don't necessarily know who flagged a comment.)

So in short, I am asking the moderators to share what would be most helpful to them vis-a-vis users deleting their own obsolete comments.

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I can't speak for the other moderators, but when I'm facing obsolete flags on comments the first thing I do is pop open the deleted comments so I can see the flags in context. For me that's a one-click action because of a userscript I'm using; otherwise it's between one and three clicks depending on -- I kid you not -- window size.

If you delete your comments then it'll be clear to me that flagged comments that are responses to those comments are now responding to things that aren't there any more. Readers who come along between when you do this and when a mod handles the flags will see a one-sided conversation, but that's ok most of the time.

All that said, if there's something particularly tricky going on, anything that would not be obvious just from deletions and flags, please use a custom flag to explain. In particular, don't assume that moderators are experts if there's a complex or advanced discussion going on. "But what about (complex halachic issues)?" / "Thanks, edited" doesn't necessarily mean the edit really addressed the point. If I see a big pile of comments, some flagged, and I can't independently evaluate their continuing relevance, I'm probably going to either dump it all in chat (if it's long and seems tangential) or ignore the flags (more likely the latter).

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Delete your comments and flag the ones that others wrote that are no longer necessary.

  • How do you know this? – Alex Jun 28 '18 at 14:15
  • I'm not sure what you're asking. This is what I do when the conversation is no longer relevant. – Menachem Jun 28 '18 at 14:17
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    But my question was what is the most helpful for the moderators. – Alex Jun 28 '18 at 14:19

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