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After promoting / converting one's own comments to an answer, should one delete or leave the original comments?

  • Option 1: Avoid redundancy by deleting my comments that are now in an Answer.
  • Option 2: Preserve context by leaving my comments so other comments around them still make sense.

Context: the comments and answer in my case.


I first consulted these meta posts on commenting to make sure that my question was not a duplicate, but did not find clear answers after reading them:

  • 2
    If nobody responds to your comment, deleting is fine. Otherwise, leave it. – Mitch Dec 15 '16 at 21:57
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    Let's see if that becomes a test case. – Mitch Dec 15 '16 at 21:57
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    I don't see any reason to leave any of those comments. You've turned one (/2) into an answer, and the rest are obsolete. It's a no brainer to me, unless I'm reading the wrong thread. – anongoodnurse Dec 15 '16 at 23:07
  • Based on the comments and answer all giving slightly different advice it seems there is no community consensus or norm here.That is fine -- I'll go ahead and delete comments to tidy up if it isn't considered rude to do so, but not worry about it one way or another. – JeremyDouglass Dec 17 '16 at 8:32
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I often let my (partial answer in) comment be, in case where its removal might render neighbouring useful comments contextless.

I remove a comment when I feel that it's clearly obsolete, since my new answer addresses the matter that was discussed in the comments.

Also, life expectancy is too short for a comment. Comment-threads get purged every day. So, I'm not really that bothered about comments.


In your specific example, the comment is highly upvoted, so I say, let it be.

  • Out of curiosity, why should a comment that has been converted into an answer remain simply because it's highly upvoted? It's likely that it's upvoted because it's a good answer. Once it's an answer, it is just repetition. And obsolete. – anongoodnurse Dec 17 '16 at 2:49
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    @medica It can be deleted, of course. I'm just stating what I'd normally do, which I'm in no way claiming to be the ideal solution. I think we're in violent agreement, perhaps. – NVZ Dec 17 '16 at 3:38
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Comments are considered to be ephemeral on ELU. Here's one source from a moderator:

Comments are ephemeral and will continue to be ephemeral, so if you have something you think is worth keeping around, then post an answer or propose an edit to an existing answer rather than leave a comment. - Kit Z. Fox

You ask:

After promoting / converting one's own comments to an answer, should one delete or leave the original comments?

Since comments are ephemeral, whether and when to delete the comment is completely up to you, subject to mod actions. I suggest the following rule of thumb:

  • SE is intended to be used as a reference repository. If you think the comment helps provide context or is otherwise beneficial to future visitors to the page in question, leave it in. Otherwise, delete it.

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