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It has happened to me many times that I posted an answer and a user found a minor or major flaw in my answer, commented it and I fixed it. Then after, I thanked the guy for his helpful feedback and right after, closed the answer tab in my computer and forgot whatever about it. Suddenly when coming back to that answer, I realized the guy who feedback-ed the flaw to me, deleted his feedback comment as he saw it unnecessary anymore (since I have edited that flaw in my answer). In that case, only my thankful comment remained there, abandoned. I guess there are many such abandoned comments on my posts that I'm not even aware of. Therefore, My question is

Is there any way to get aware of such a comment-deletion?

As another question:

Is there any way to reply a feedback comment such that the deletion of the feedback comment automatically leads to deleting the answer comment?

Thanks in advance!

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    $\begingroup$ I am mostly on the other sides. When I commented asking for clarifications and the OP then edited and reply my comment. Then I would delete my comment AND flag the other comment for deletion. Sometimes (I suppose) a mod checks and delete it, but also sometimes the comment disappears immediately. So I suppose there is an automated system for that. $\endgroup$ – Arctic Char Sep 6 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ But I mostly don't see such a flag for my comment. What if the guy who posted the feedback does not alert me with flag? How then can I recognize feedback deletion? $\endgroup$ – Mostafa Ayaz Sep 6 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I agree that my comment is not strictly addressing your problem. But on the other hand, if enough people flags those kind of comment for deletion, then that also solve your problem. (Users can communicate to each other only via comments, so they can notify you ONLY my leaving another comment) $\endgroup$ – Arctic Char Sep 6 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ some users on mobile etc. don't always get shown a flag to flag your comment anyways. I do see it on meta, I rarely if not at the library computers, see it on main. $\endgroup$ – Roddy MacPhee Sep 6 at 17:10
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    $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar indeed enough flags auto-delete a comment. How many are enough depends on the nature of the comment (there are some heuristics in place). But in some cases indeed one is enough. I am not sure if who replied to whom is taken into account, actually I doubt it, but some of those might well be eligible for single-flag deletion for other reasons, something like "@username thanks!" for example. $\endgroup$ – quid Sep 7 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ These older feature requests on Mathematics Meta are somewhat related - in the sense that they propose comments that would be deleted without having to be flagged: Can we have temporary comments that can be read and deleted? and Avoiding obsolete comments $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Sep 7 at 11:16
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    $\begingroup$ One of the answers links to Meta Stack Exchange post Allow for setting comments to “auto-expire”, to become “temporary comments” other posts linked there are (to some extent) related, too. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Sep 7 at 11:16
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Let me first answer the two questions directly:

Is there any way to get aware of such a comment-deletion?

There is no functionality on the site to get alerted to comment-deletions. You have to check. Likely, somebody could write a script to check automatically, but that's a bit orthogonal.

Is there any way to reply a feedback comment such that the deletion of the feedback comment automatically leads to deleting the answer comment?

This is not possible. It seems like something one could propose as a . It would fit better on the Meta site of the SE network as it would be a global change. That said, I doubt it would get high priority as comments are not a priority of the site in general and also see below.


Having answered the questions let me recall the process as intended in its basic form:

  1. Somebody leaves a comment pointing out a problem in the post.

  2. Post owner edits the post.

  3. Post owner flags the comment as "no longer needed." [This notifies moderators but nobody else.]

  4. Moderator deletes the comment.

To note the post owner never wrote a comment in all this. Thus the problem you evoke goes away; there is no need to get your comment removed if you do not write it in the first place.

Of course the four steps above are as said, the most basic case. Maybe the initial comment was not clear and there is need for clarification and you reply. There are also cases where it makes sense to alert the person that commented specifically to the change, and we arrive in your scenario. I certainly do not want to say that you should not reply to comments at all. I just meant to point out that there is not always a need to reply to such comments.

In this case one should proceed as Arctic Char said. That is, the user commenting originally, should after having been called back by the comment of post owner, delete the comment that is now "no longer needed" (because it was addressed by the edit) and then also flag the comment that addressed them (so that it can be deleted by a moderator).

Note that in the basic process outlined above, at least in clear cases, step 2 and 3 could be done by anyone not just the post owner. Also for 3, it makes sense to flag also for other users. Several flags will auto-delete.

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Certainly Comments of the kind you mention are prone to becoming obsolete. In the absence of any "automatic" detection of them, one can always browse through a few pages of the thousand-or-so Comments you've left and mainly delete any "thanks, you are correct" type messages after a month or so (regardless of whether the replied-to Comments still exist).

Go to your Activity page (on the main Math.SE site), click on All Actions, and select the Comments subtab. Once you've reviewed the entire history, keeping the Comment timeline clean might be only a monthly chore, involving only the most recent pages of that history.

That said, I'd estimate such Comments only account for a single-digit percentage in your case, so it's not really as important as other ways you can contribute to site housekeeping.

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