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I understand that on Stack Exchange sites, comments are supposed to be ephemeral. They are intended for clarification from an author, and once they have served their purpose, they can be removed at any time.

What guidelines should I follow when I'm flagging comments for removal?

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Good question, glad you asked! There are some things you can do to make things easier for the janitors moderators.

  • Read the Meta Stack Exchange guide to moderating comments, specifically the sections on When should I flag a comment? (pay attention to the different categories of flags and when to use them) and When should I delete my own comment?. The section When should I delete a comment? explains how moderators should respond to comment flags.

  • Before flagging comments for deletion, make sure that all useful information from the comments has been edited into the post.

  • If there are more than one comments that should be removed, don't flag them individually because that can make it difficult to see what's what. When viewing a post, moderators see an overlay with the flags on that post. If there are multiple flags, the overlay can obscure the post itself. Instead, flag the post and leave a custom message explaining which comments can be removed and why.

  • If you've participated in the comment discussion, don't remove your own comments before flagging because that makes it difficult to follow the conversation. Leave your comments in place, flag the post and explain which comments should be removed.

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