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I've noticed (and have done so today, in fact) that when I flag certain comments as No Longer Needed, they are auto-deleted right there and then, rather than requiring a moderator to delete them manually.

What are the criteria for comments being auto-deleted in this way as a response to being flagged (specifically flagged as No Longer Needed)?

As far as I can tell, it seems to only be on short comments below a certain character threshold (presumably because those are more likely to contain messages that are just "@Someone Thanks, fixed" or similar). Is it only if it's in response to a comment of mine (i.e. the "flagger" is the one who was being replied to)? If someone else flags such a message, even if the reply wasn't to them, does it still get auto-deleted? This is just me speculating on what the criteria might be; my main question is still the one in bold above.

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From this post on the main meta, it appears the criteria for auto deleting comments when a user flags them is the following:

Comments that are flagged by multiple users are deleted automatically. The number of flags needed is usually based on the comment's score. It currently takes 3 + (Score / 3) flags (rounded up) to delete a comment. Comments containing certain keywords can be deleted with a single flag.

From this, it appears that the specific flag used may not be relevant for this criteria since it just counts the number of flags.

Regarding the specific keywords that allow single flag deletion, it seems to be intentionally not public information.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Various derogatory or insulting terms also are on the insta-delete keyword list. To my knowledge the list is not fully public, to prevent people from gaming it (i.e. evading it or exploiting it in unintended ways) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 27 at 10:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ The rules around those keywords are deliberately not public AFAIK. Though comment length is accounted for, and +1/-1, thanks, and a number of foul-language words is known includes. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 27 at 10:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, and there's another thing re this and flag types. Custom comment flags can also auto-delete the comment, which will mark the flag as helpful and we don't see unless we look at the post manually. If you want to bring our attention to a comment thread, consider using a post flag, or at least make sure the comment you flagged doesn't vanish when you flag the comment. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 27 at 10:55
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The criteria you're looking for are not publicly documented, to prevent people from taking advantage of it (e.g. to obtain flag-related badges). Some possible candidates can be found in this Meta Stack Exchange post: What is the SE version of Seven Dirty Words? For the example you mentioned, "@Someone Thanks, fixed", I'm pretty sure the "Thanks" triggers automatic deletion.

The reason for this list is that users are often using comments for things other than their intended purpose, like giving thanks or compliments.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "I do" ... know what? If it's the "magic list of words", perhaps not, or are you referring to how short the comment is before "thanks" comments are auto-deleted? Because I'd want to know the length if you do know, and I don't see why that would be something not to share... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jul 27 at 11:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ That was responding to a now-deleted comment. I meant I know how long a 'thanks' comment needs to be in order to survive a single flag. I'm all for transparency, but if Stack Exchange doesn't want to share this, they'd have their reasons for keeping it secret. They might change it as soon as it's widely known, or even after me declaring I know it. \$\endgroup\$ – Glorfindel Jul 27 at 11:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough, I guess unless a staff member wades in for any reason, we should assume they are keeping it secret for a reason \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jul 27 at 11:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps worth noting that in this case, comments were being used for their intended purpose. The deletion was then a normal part of comment lifecycle. \$\endgroup\$ – user-024673 Jul 29 at 5:30

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