On the question Is the Golden Gate Bridge toll fee indicated before entering the bridge?, I flagged the comment (mirror) as irrelevant:

As I approached the London congestion zone (which I was warned about) the satnav showed a right-turn coming up, to avoid the charging zone. But when I got there the street signs indicated "no right turn" and I was stuffed. Who do I complain to? TfL, TomTom or my mother? None: I took it on the chin and paid the fee. You were lucky to get an invoice for the regular fee of $8 - here it would be a penalty if I didn't pay (online or by phone) by the next evening.

My flag got declined. I don't see how this comment adds anything to the question "Is the Golden Gate Bridge toll fee indicated before entering the bridge?". Did I miss something?

1 Answer 1


The rule of thumb I follow as a mod is as following:

  1. Rude or abusive comments get deleted immediately
  2. Comment threads over 10 comments are moved to chat after a couple of days
  3. If there's less than 10 comments on a given post, it's okay if some of them are off-topic

Comments are second class citizens on StackExchange, so they can be deleted at any time and therefore their quality is generally of little concern to us.

  • 4
    Thanks. I don't think that one should wait to reach 10 comments to start removing irrelevant comments. Comments may be second class citizens on StackExchange, but bad comments give a poor experience to the readers + may affect the quality of the subsequent content posted by other users: therefore the quality of comments does matter. Jul 22, 2018 at 21:57
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    I don't think this is a good rule of thumb at all. We're not a discussion site. Irrelevant comments just get in the way and this comment should, if anything, have been a question in its own right. Jul 31, 2018 at 16:17
  • @DavidRicherby StackExchange rules don't require mods to be ultra strict about comments, hence I'm not ultra strict about them. You can take up the question to Meta.Stackexchange for a broader discussion.
    – JonathanReez Mod
    Jul 31, 2018 at 16:25
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    I think there's a big difference between "not required to be ultra-strict" and "not even deleting completely irrelevant comments that have been flagged and sparked off an irrelevant discussion." Jul 31, 2018 at 16:26
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    @DavidRicherby last week we've deleted around 400 comments on the site, that's far from "not even deleting". However deleting a singular "thank you!" comment from 2015 or a somewhat relevant anecdote in a short thread is not a priority.
    – JonathanReez Mod
    Jul 31, 2018 at 16:36
  • I don't think there's an imperative that every comment that could be deleted is deleted. Sometimes people share a related but not 100% useful anecdote in a comment, and some of those are more interesting than others. Aug 3, 2018 at 9:45
  • I like this rule of thumb, as written, and it is roughly how I moderated when I was a mod a few years ago. However, there is a lot of lifting the simple phrase "rude and abusive" does. With my generic "user[number]" username, you might not recognize me, but check my account history regarding this kind of thing. I'd like to know your thoughts, and on whether the mod team is living up to removing the "rude and abusive"? At the moment, I think a certain kind of politics is getting a pass, and not recognized as the intentionally rude and negative messaging that it is.
    – user27701
    Sep 28, 2023 at 18:33

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