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The following scenario frequently happens: member $M_1$ answers a question, but he makes a typo that member $M_2$ points out. So $M_2$ leaves a comment, $M_1$ corrects the answer. If this correction is made when $M_2$ is not logged in, the comment may remain for a while (I personally have a lot of such comments posts, but especially when I play the role of $M_1$).

What I suggest is the following: in the same way as we can choose whether an answer is community-wiki or not, we can show whether a comment is NLR (no longer relevant) or not by picking a square, with the following features:

  • the comment can be deleted by $M_1$ once the correction is done;
  • it is automatically deleted after a while (for example when $M_1$ thanks $M_2$ for the edit).

It can also concern questions. For example when an user sees a typo in the question, or asks for a precision, which will (normally) come.

What do you think about this idea?

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  • $\begingroup$ Related (but not duplicate): meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/7033/… $\endgroup$ – apnorton Mar 3 '13 at 17:13
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    $\begingroup$ What if you point out an error and malicious answerer makes a small change to his or her's answer but doesn't fix the error and then deletes your comment? $\endgroup$ – JSchlather Mar 3 '13 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ @JSchlather If he doesn't fix the error, it is probably because he didn't red $M_2$'s comment. I think in this case, after an edit, $M_1$ have the choice to delete $M_2$'s comment or not. $\endgroup$ – Davide Giraudo Mar 3 '13 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @DavideGiraudo I was commenting on how something like this could be abused to cover up mistakes. I doubt it'd happen very frequently, but it'd be something to keep in mind. $\endgroup$ – JSchlather Mar 3 '13 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ Since I flagged several of those comments today, may I ask if I should stop doin' this? It's just that these comments really feel obsolete-like... $\endgroup$ – draks ... Mar 3 '13 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ The trouble is, X makes a mistake, Y points it out in a comment, X corrects the mistake and leaves a comment thanking Y, Y deletes her comment and leaves a new comment saying "I've deleted my comment; you can delete your thanks", X deletes his thanks and leaves a new comment saying "I've deleted my thanks, now you can delete your recent comment" and so on ad infinitum. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Mar 3 '13 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson This scenario can happen with the current features. And this will be prevented by the second bullet in the OP. $\endgroup$ – Davide Giraudo Mar 4 '13 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ would it be possible to add a flag or button by which $M_2$ can indicate that his comment is No Longer Relevant? $\endgroup$ – Vincent Tjeng Mar 5 '13 at 6:59
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    $\begingroup$ There's already a feature whereby a user can flag a comment as "obsolete", and the moderators will look at it and often delete it. Since that system seems to be working, why do we need a new system to accomplish the same thing? $\endgroup$ – MJD Mar 5 '13 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ @MJD I wasn't aware of this feature. So, my question is no longer relevant... $\endgroup$ – Davide Giraudo Mar 5 '13 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ @MJD I can't seem to flag my own comment as obsolete though - and will a comment flagged as obsolete be shown as such to the community or simply removed? that could lead to a bit of a disjointed conversation. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Tjeng Mar 6 '13 at 3:40
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As MJD said in a comment:

Flag the relevant comment as "obsolete".

Moderators will then do a quick sanity check and delete the comment if it is no longer applicable.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. I just have a question: it seems that we cannot flag comments we upvoted. What do we do in this case? $\endgroup$ – Davide Giraudo Mar 5 '13 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Davide: ummm... is that so? If you really must flag a comment that you've upvoted, one possibility is to flag the parent post and include a link (right click on the time-stamp of the comment and copy the link address) to the comment that you want to raise a flag about. Another possibility is to pop into chat and get someone else to flag it for you. I have not thought too much about it, but I don't think there are any obvious problems with someone doing what I described. Of course, I may be wrong... $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Mar 5 '13 at 16:15

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