Yes, I know it is a common question here, and that comments are like temporary post-it notes. However, in general comments that are helpful and / or offer clarification are rarely deleted.

In the answer here a user asked for some clarifications:

Are they at war since 2022 or since 2014 ?

And I posted this comment:

@Evargalo In 2014 Russia invaded and captured Crimea. Then they signed the Minx accord and so were temporarily not in a state of war. Ukraine however didn't honour the terms of the treaty giving Russia the excuse to invade Ukraine again in 2022. And so now they are again in a state of war. Note that even though Russia says it is a limited "special military operation", it still warned other countries that it would treat foreign vessels in Ukrainian ports and Crimean sea "as enemy vessels as per war time rules".

Screenshot from archives (before the comment was deleted):

Screenshot of comments

What's the reasoning behind deleting my comment that was offering a clarification, and could help the answerer update and improve their post?

  • 2
    I note that there is now a second comment making the exact same clarification, albeit without the part about the Minsk Accords, that has been undeleted since yesterday.
    – F1Krazy
    Sep 14, 2023 at 8:45
  • 1
    I would guess it got flagged as not needed after the op looked at it and decided it wasn't relevant.
    – Joe W
    Sep 14, 2023 at 13:29
  • @JoeW If it was not needed than all the comments (including the first one) should have been deleted, right? Instead it appears as if my neutral comment has now been replaced with similar comment in favour of one with a more pro-Ukranian slant (as F1Krazy too has pointed out).
    – sfxedit
    Sep 14, 2023 at 18:43
  • It was likely auto deleted by the no longer needed flag and not manually deleted by a moderator.
    – Joe W
    Sep 14, 2023 at 19:21
  • @JoeW I wasn't aware of this - Do you mean that any comment flagged as "It's no longer needed", by anyone, is automatically deleted without any review? That seems susceptible to abuse.
    – sfxedit
    Sep 14, 2023 at 23:00
  • I am not sure of all the details around how that flag and auto deletion works but I don't think it is simple as someone flagging it like that.
    – Joe W
    Sep 15, 2023 at 2:29
  • 1
    @JoeW Looks like my concern wasn't unwarranted. Ten years back, somebody had pointed out that flagging and auto-deletion can be used to game SE.
    – sfxedit
    Sep 15, 2023 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


IMHO the comment that you were replying to

Are they at war since 2022 or since 2014 ?

is not terribly germane to that answer. It's a by-the-by question that is not addressing any particular point raised in that answer, present or past version thereof, as far as I can tell. So, IMHO, that comment should be deleted too. I've flagged it. We'll see what the mods do.

The cautionary tale here for you however is not to answer such questions-in-comments, as that can well be wasted effort.

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