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I was confronted with rude, acid comments from a certain user, just because I mildly protested for editing the OP after I'd answered, in a way that rendered my answer invalid. The user swiftly deleted the rude comments after a few seconds. The last one looked something like that:

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As you can see I managed to flag it seconds before the user deleted it. Will the flag still be addressed? It is not the first time I was confronted with such an attitude from the same user. I do not wish to embarrass the user by exposing explicit information here, I just think we can behave a bit more maturely and without anger. If I am expected to do something, please advise. Thank you.

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    What is the intention of the flag? To get rid of the offending item or to have some other affect? – Mitch Jun 9 at 15:24
  • I just wanted the user to stop to be honest. Question is, if they quickly delete their comments afterwards, is it ok to be rude? – fev Jun 9 at 15:26
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    If you look at your flag summary, it should have been marked helpful. Pinging you with an abusive comment to put it in your inbox, then quickly deleting it is behavior that should be flagged for a moderator if it happens repeatedly. Sometimes though someone rereads their comment and realized they’re being a jerk, so if it’s not persistent, I would assume someone just caught themselves having a bad day. – ColleenV Jun 9 at 15:49
  • Thanks for the tip, it was marked helpful. This was not the first rude comment the user quickly deleted, so I doubt they were being regretful. Anyways, the user did stop after that, so somehow it worked. I'll be more careful, it may be that this user simply cannot take too much dissent. – fev Jun 9 at 15:58
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    @fev It's good to ask. You don't want the flag to go away even if the comment is deleted (you want a mod to deal with it). And there's no guarantee that the software is designed that way (but it luckily turns out that the system maintains the flag even if the offending comment is deleted). – Mitch Jun 9 at 16:29
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    Always, always flag, don't even think of being stoic and keeping a stiff upper lip, even when a user deletes a rude comment, a community manager can see what was said (special powers!) and by whom (I think) and if the user persists in harassing you, that person will, eventually, be suspended. – Mari-Lou A Jun 9 at 19:59
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The flag is recorded against the comment.

There is no action to be taken, because the comment has been deleted. However, you flagged it as unfriendly and that is recorded; the system does notify moderators of a clutch of unfriendly flags, once a threshold has been reached.

I'll reiterate @ColleenV's comment, since it's worded well and fits in the answer:

If you look at your flag summary, it should have been marked helpful [and that is the case — AL]. Pinging you with an abusive comment to put it in your inbox, then quickly deleting it is behavior that should be flagged for a moderator if it happens repeatedly.

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    One thing that’s related is that deletion of a post will mark all flags against the comments as helpful, so an author of a post could flag comments on it, then delete it to cause all of their flags to be marked “helpful”. See Comment flags are automatically deemed helpful if the parent post (Q or A) is deleted… for more detail. It’s not something easy to exploit, but it is a side effect to be aware of when digging into rude/abusive flags. It’s been marked status-review and may have been fixed or fallen through the cracks. – ColleenV Jun 9 at 16:52
  • Helpful to know. – fev Jun 9 at 18:45
  • @fev in general, this is not something a non-mod needs to worry about too much. Comment flags do not result in any automatic suspensions; they just escalate to the mod team if you get too many of them. Most moderators I know will look over a user’s history before taking any action, and it would be obvious at that point something weird was going on. – ColleenV Jun 9 at 19:07
  • @ColleenV If flags against me were helpful, will I ever know? – fev Jun 9 at 19:09
  • @fev No, not unless you were actually stepping over the line. Ignorance is bliss in this case; trust your elected moderators to handle things. – ColleenV Jun 9 at 19:12
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    @ColleenV I like that, I think it is fair. Anyone can lose their temper now and then. But if it is constant then it becomes a problem. Thank you, I am actually grateful to the user, because this incident gave me the opportunity to understand how these things work. You can tell, you were a mod not long ago :-) – fev Jun 9 at 19:14

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