Why was this "not constructive" flag declined? I don't think that it contributes anything at all to the question and answers.

Did I perhaps flag some adjacent comment by accident?

  • I flagged it as duplicate. It would seem there are different rules here. I disagree that noisy comments should stay but it's up to the majority (or those that affect it the most) to decide.
    – user6209
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


Comments are, really, the least important things on the site. Flags on comments are left up to moderator discretion. We try not to be the Fun Police, so if you're having a short, civil conversation in comments, even if it's only tangentially related to the post, we're not going to delete it.

Still, comments aren't the place for extended conversations, or things that aren't at all related to the topic, and if there get to be too many we'd still probably want to clean it up.

In this case, there's no pressing reason to delete the comment. Sure, it's technically not constructive, but it's been around for almost 4 years and there hasn't been any issue with it. It could stay or leave and, aside from this meta topic, no one would ever notice.

  • Since you agree on it being "not constructive", it should be deleted. I regularly flag 5+ year old comments on StackOverflow and got 4 declined flags out of 750 helpful. Age does not matter.
    – user6209
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 17:57
  • If there is a different policy on "non constructive" flags on this SE site, then it should be written somewhere so that users know that things differ here.
    – user6209
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 17:59
  • 8
    Different communities have different guidelines. We are one of the strictest when it comes to question quality and topicality, but comments Don't Matter, so we don't attack them with the same vehemence. Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 18:00
  • Please explain how that comment is "tangentially related to the post".
    – user6209
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 18:02
  • 4
    Why do you care so much? This is a single, 4-year-old comment on the answer to a question with less than 1000 views. It doesn't matter enough to delete it. Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 18:18
  • @murgatroid99 I wanted to keep the site clean as i do with other sites too (SO, physicsSE, etc).
    – user6209
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 18:21
  • @murgatroid99 If it isnt important why did it not get deleted? It doesn't really matter. Different rules here, not very good for future readers that will think to themselves "oh look it's a forum", but anyway..
    – user6209
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 18:28
  • @user5061 I declined this flag. As others have mentioned, while it is strictly not constructive, it's an old post and those comments are doing no harm. I would view accepting a flag like this as an encouragement to go and find more such comments to flag. We moderators have enough flags on current content to deal with already.
    – fredley
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 12:22

Comments usually have a bit more leeway than questions and answers when it comes to flagging. The comment you flagged seems to be part of a conversation (and a short one at that, so not grounds for migrating to a private chat) and isn't offensive or derogatory, so we usually leave those be.

"Not constructive" is usually used for comments that are spam or spam-like in nature ("+1" or "first", for example).

  • This is incorrect. Offensive comments have a special flag for them. Derogatory comments can be flagged as offensive or custom flagged for moderation attention if insults are mild and regular. Same goes for spam. None of those should be flagged as "not constructive".
    – user6209
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 17:48
  • No, I'd say flagging "+1" or "first" as not constructive is fine. I wouldn't call that "spam" though, either. Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 17:49
  • "+1" or "first" are indeed not constructive, but same goes for the comment i flagged.
    – user6209
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 17:54
  • @user5061 - Whilst the definition of 'spam' in the general sense has grown to include nonsense or unwanted noise like 'argeoguien' and 'First' etc, Stack Exchange still uses the traditional definition of the term, which is "an unwanted advertisement disguised as opinion with no affiliation provided". Yuuki however is using 'spam' here to mean the former.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 0:45
  • @Robotnik I know the definitions of spam. Yuuki either doesn't know them, or used the widespread definition that you mention (which of course is not correct on SE sites). In either case his answer is misinformative (yet upvoted).
    – user6209
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 6:22
  • @user5061 - Wording choice aside, the point he raises about comments is pretty spot on, and despite using the word 'spam' it's pretty clear which types of comments deserve the 'not constructive' flag according to him.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 6:57
  • @Robotnik Incorrect. Wording does matter. A user that will come across his answer will start flagging as "not constructive" comments that are spam. When those comments are frequent and disguised carefully the mod handling the flag has great odds of missing it being a spam. Also, his "not constructive" definition as a whole is far from spot on. Comments like the one i flagged are not constructive, they contribute nothing related to the question or answer. This SE site deciding not to delete them in order to avoid user unhappiness does not make it ... constructive.
    – user6209
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 7:04
  • @Robotnik Spam should be handled with an "other" flag, so that it's 100% certain that a mod can check the offender carefully and take necessary actions (warning, ban, -100 rep, etc.).
    – user6209
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 7:05

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