** This is in its preparation stage **
We have got literally thousands of comments that need deleting, these comments fall into one of the following categories:
- Comments saying "thanks", "+1", "this worked for me", etc
- Comments saying "please add
Xinto your post"
- Comments replying to the above saying "edited
Xinto my post"
- Comments saying "nice edit", "lol @ edit description", etc
These do not do anything to improve the quality of our content and are just noise. Lots of noise, especially in the cases of some of the older questions we've got.
This aspect of the site has been neglected long enough, and it's time for action!
It becomes apparent after further investigation that it is possible to stack obsolete flags on comments and these will be removed automagically by the system, without moderator intervention. Over the coming week I am going to collate a list of obsolete comments that need killing, and this question is mission control.
To ensure that these do not trouble our moderators with large numbers of flags (since these will sit in the moderator queue until each comment gains enough flags), this will be a heavily coordinated effort, unlike some of the previous cleanup efforts, requiring multiple users to be present and active so that we can kill off each comment without leaving any behind in the moderator flag queue.
The first phase will be completely manual using the Stack Exchange data explorer - I will be starting at literally the first post available on the site and working forward through every single comment manually to collate a list. There will be no algorithms involved, I intend to do this completely oldschool.
After we've got a list, these will be broken down into usable chunks and ordered by the number of flags required to get rid of the comment before being passed on to the volunteers so that they can be actioned.
How it works
As stated by Grace Note - obsolete flagging actually does work the same way behind the scenes as spam/offensive flagging, which I'm sure is news to... well, everyone. This means that flagging these comments requires the following criteria to be met:
successful deletion requires a total of (3 + (comment score/3)) flags
This means that a comment with no upvotes requires 3 obsolete flags to make it vanish.
To those brave few willing to take part
Since we've all got different flag weights/daily flag limits, this will need some coordination to ensure we don't get half way through a batch of obsolete comments only to find that we only have 2 people available with enough flags remaining, so anybody interested in taking part, please leave a comment with the number of flags you have available for comments.
I'm intending that we do this during the weekends, unlike some of the other cleanups we've done this isn't going to effect the front page or bump anything up, and provided we have enough people with enough flags available the moderators shouldn't see any remaining flags from this effort by the time we're done.