I have the habit of deleting my comments whenever I find them unnecessary anymore (for instance, I notified the OP that there's a typo, and it got fixed).

Mostly, the user replies with (something along the lines of) “thanks, I fixed it”, and by that time, my comment would have already been gone (after I saw the post/comment was edited) or I just right away delete my comment; often, the situation becomes awkward as many seem to never notice that the comment isn't there anymore.

I began doing this after I saw it happening several times, especially in my posts, so I thought that it is a common practice here.

I have two questions:

  1. Is this actually a common practice?

  2. If yes, should I notify the user of the deletion of my comment?

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ An option is to flag the lingering comments as obsolete. This is sometimes (IMVHO) overdone, but it results in a moderator deleting the comment that has lost all its references. Oh. And it is ok for you to delete such comments of yours yourself. $\endgroup$ Jun 6 '16 at 21:51
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I have experienced this issue. An idea just occurred: The next time I post a comment (addressed to somebody, say to ask about a suspected typo) that I expect to become obsolete, I may remember to add to the original comment, "if this is the case and you fix it, I'll delete this comment" $\endgroup$
    – pjs36
    Jun 7 '16 at 1:01

It is good practice to delete one's comments that are not relevant anymore. For comments by others that are not relevant anymore you can flag them as "obsolete," which will usually result in eventual deletion of that comment.

Thus in the case you describe, to delete your comment and to flag the "thanks"-comment as obsolete is good practice.

There is usually no need to mention that you deleted your comments. It can still make sense in case you raised a doubt and then found out it was not justified or when you otherwise retract some argument.

  • $\begingroup$ How does one flag as obsolete? Is that something that's available to me with my measly 450 points? $\endgroup$
    – Lisa
    Jun 9 '16 at 20:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, that's plenty, 15 suffice. To do it: hover to the left of the comment, just like for upvoting the comment. Then you'll see the up-vote arrow and a flag-symbol; click on the flag-symbol to get a dialogue offering you several options why you flag, one is 'obsolete.' Select it, and confirm. For details see the MSE FAQ on Comment voting and flagging $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Jun 9 '16 at 22:06
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    $\begingroup$ Doesn't this overload the moderators? (There are very many such comments that would deserve deletion.) $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Jun 10 '16 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexM.There is a pretty efficient interface for dealing with such routine flags. Also, enough flags should auto-delete. Anyway, this is not some idea I just came up with but existing practice since a long time. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Jun 10 '16 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ It wold be a major improvement to the site if users were allowed to declutter their own question pages. $\endgroup$ Jun 18 '16 at 3:30

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