While answering questions I frequently receive comments, a fraction of these are helpful and offer advice that I incorporate into my answers.

Do I up-vote these comments and then flag them for deletion as the advice is now live in the answer?

Further, do I wait for my comment to get flagged after it has served its purpose and is no longer needed or should I delete it? I'm frequently encouraged to clear up my comments after they served their purpose (which I then do so I can't link to these cases).

Am I actively hurting my chances at earning the Pundit-badge and should I, therefore, refrain from deleting my comments if they were upvoted but are no longer needed?


1 Answer 1


Once comments are actioned they should be removed. Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes and we don't keep them around longer than we need them.

  • If a comment requesting clarification or suggesting improvement has been actioned, flag it as No Longer Needed.
  • If you left the comment and it's been actioned, delete it yourself.

There's no need to upvote the comment. The main time to upvote a comment in these cases was before the comment got actioned, to signal you think that the clarification/improvement request is a good one.

Requests for clarification and suggestions for improvement can also be declined:

  • If you're the post author and don't want to action that comment, flag it as NLN.
  • If the author is someone else and they've visibly declined to action that comment, flag it for attention and mention the author's declined to do this, as well as flagging that author's comment where applicable.

We keep comments that are still relevant, e.g. they are part of a small back-and-forth that is fresh from a few minutes ago, or if they're non-actionable and are either upvoted or have lasting value (e.g. they contain minor moderation or meta information), or if they haven't been actioned yet and the author hasn't seen or acknowledged them yet.

This might impede your Pundit progress, but I don't think you should be actively chasing for Pundit: it's a reward that might happen or might not.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Supplementary tidbit: upvoted comments are less likely to be deleted. If they are flagged they are likely to be deleted, but if everyone liked a comment enough that it has a lot of upvotes we're less likely to touch it when come across "in the wild." \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't forget that it seems like some may (ab)use upvote for 'thanking' or 'marking read' useful comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vylix
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 9:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vylix That sounds like normal usage, not abuse. The only criteria for upvoting a comment is "it's useful" and people can vote for any reason at all including no reason (and it's not like we'd know anyway). There's reasons to not upvote a comment you're flagging for removal but abuse isn't one of them. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 10, 2019 at 9:34

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