This is an example Why is adding hay to a rabbit's diet important? of comments being made while a question is being closed edited and reopened.

There are also many post verging on and with extended discussion, about whether the post is on topic.

Should we delete comments like this?

  • 4
    LOL, way to create confusion Skippy and psubsee2003 ;-) The title says "Should we clean up comments" and the question body "Should we keep comments" and the answers is "Yes!"
    – ThomasH
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 11:55
  • @ThomasH good catch, I was answering the title (hopefully that was obvious). I edited my answer to avoid any confusion. Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 13:54
  • 1
    I think we really need to remember that comments are second class citizens of the network, and we should really avoid letting them become long strings of back and forth discussion. :)
    – user53
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 17:44

3 Answers 3


Absolutely yes we should be cleaning up comments, I've been doing it on occasion, but not as much as I've should yet

There are 3 different situations.

  1. When most/all of the comments are yours and no longer relevant, delete them
  2. When you see a long comment chain that is about the on/off-topicness of a posts,
    • Open a meta question (and it can be helpful to capture some of the discussion in the question)
    • Leave a comment to direct further comments to meta (linking to the new meta question)
    • Then finally flag for a comment clean-up1
  3. When the comments are just non-constructive noise and don't contribute to the clarity of the post (or don't offer the OP any reasons why there might be close votes or downvotes), then just flag for a comment clean up1.

1 - Flagging for a comment clean up is pretty simple, just click "flag" under the post and select "other". Then describe in simple detail what you think needs done and why. Don't go overboard on the explanation, but try to be specific. The moderator who handles the flag might not agree with you, but by providing enough detail you prevent them from misunderstanding why you believe the comments are no longer relevant.

  • I started an answer of my own, but really, you have summed up the great reasons why we should clean up the comments. :)
    – user53
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 17:42

Typically, at least in practice for me as a moderator, moderators will often clean up comment chains when they become obsolete and/or don't add value. Sometimes high rep users will spot and flag these as well during reviews of new answers and edits to posts.

  • Seconded. Feel free to flag a post and use the "other" option to tell mods that comments are in need of cleanup, or flag individual ones if it's just some of them. As a mod on other sites, if I come across obsolete comments I nuke 'em, but I can't spot everything so flags help. Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 21:36

Yes, but I do not prioritize meta as much as main.

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