After adding a comment to a given answer on one of the Stack Exchange Community pages (Super User) I was requested by the answer's author to delete my comment due to unrelated content regarding the question's author.

In my non-heavy Stack Exchange user opinion my comment is not that unrelated to the original question because it could help other users with the same problem. I would prefer not to delete it.

Is an author (from a question or an answer) entitled to request a user that has commented to delete his or her comment?

Should the user follow the author's request or leave the call to a moderator/admin to decide whether or not the comment should be deleted?


Link to the post that arose this question here.

  • 5
    I once refused to delete a comment I'd made. In my opinion, it was directly related to an answer. (I had been pointing out an inaccuracy.) The person who gave the answer simply didn't like my comment. So, I didn't delete it. They could have flagged it, but, assuming they did, the flag was rejected, or not enough other people also flagged it to get it deleted. Anybody is free to request a comment be removed; everybody is free to not delete their comment. May 17, 2020 at 17:16
  • @alvaropr - You asked a new question within a comment, I simply indicated your question, was not actually related to the author's original question. I actually did flag the commentary, but I first asked for the commentary to be deleted, to give you a chance to delete it yourself by choice. I eventually did edit my answer to address your question.
    – Ramhound
    May 18, 2020 at 17:50

2 Answers 2


Everyone is entitled to request a comment to be deleted. There is even a feature for it, right in front of the comment and takes the form of a flag. The difference of using a flag is that your comment will be gone without you noticing or being notified, assuming a mod agrees your comment is no longer needed.

Comments should be used to ask for clarification or point out issues with the post. Once those clarifications / issues are addressed, preferable by an edit of the post, then the comments can go. If you feel your comment doesn't get handled to your liking, either write a (better) answer or ask a new question to get your concerns / case addressed. If your comment wasn't meant to improve the content of the post, you shouldn't have left the comment in the first place.

In the example you provided asking you to remove that comment is valid. SE sites are not forums. We don't continue in a Q/A handling every next occurrence of the same thing. You ask a new question where you link to the answer and explain why that answer doesn't work for your specific case. Make sure to spend enough time beforehand on making clear for casual readers what the difference is in your context otherwise you end-up with a closed as duplicate question. Just to be complete: stating "My case is different" is not enough.


In practice, it is impossible to answer a question by posting a comment. 600 characters is not enough space to give a fully reasoned answer.

Thus the rule about not answering a question in a comment is a pointless one. There is not the space to do so.

But if it is desired to better enforce that rule, which in its current form is pointless, the obvious solution would be to reduce the limit from 600 characters to some lesser amount.

If the legitimate purpose of a comment is only to ask for clarification of the original question, this might well involve asking a question: such as "have you inadvertently overlooked fact x?" or (if the question is ambiguous) "which of the two possible meanings, x or y, did you intend?"

The function of the moderators is to decide whether something posted (whether a comment or an answer) should be deleted. A user should merely flag a matter for the moderators' attention.

Ordinary users should not be invited or encouraged to conduct disputes on a user-to-user basis. That is the basis for flame wars, but the purpose of having moderators is to avoid such undesirable activity.

An ordinary user should ignore a request to delete, unless it comes from a moderator, and should certainly resist the temptation to argue with other users. Part of the job of the moderators should be to make it clear to all users that, because of the all too frequent consequences (such as flame wars), users should not invite others to delete.

If the site is to be conducted on an amicable basis, o/p's should not be making this kind of request. No one, except a moderator, should be dealing with issues relating to deletion of content, because any other arrangement merely invites trouble, and creates a situation which can all too easily get out of hand.

  • 1
    So a comment does not allow enough characters to answer a question, thus having a rule that prevents asking a question as a comment is a pointless one, I don't see the connection to your suggestion of decreasing the limit. If the current limit isn't enough to answer a question what is the point of decreasing it?
    – Ramhound
    May 22, 2020 at 15:56
  • 1
    It's important to point out, the author of this question, asked a question within a comment under an answer to a question. I simply respectfully declined to answer, what I thought, was an entirely new question by another user. The author still has not submitted a question that can be answered. The author wasn't asking for clarification about the answer I had submitted, they had an entirely different question, then the author of the question which I answered.
    – Ramhound
    May 22, 2020 at 15:58
  • @edd999 I'm not sure I follow your train of thought. This answer is very opinionated, and unfortunately your opinion is not synchronized with the reality of how this site works. Also, the views on moderation are pretty far from reality. You should think of comments like they are tissues, once used and no longer needed they should be thrown away. Unless of course you are the type of person to leave them laying around the house...🤔 May 22, 2020 at 18:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .