I have a mildly popular answer that has generated a number of (IMHO) helpful comments over the years.

I am asking the community if you think that the answer might be cleaner/more helpful if I took the comments and added them to the answer and have the comments removed? This might reduce some of the noise and decrease the chances of folks missing some helpful options that are not obvious in my answer.

This answer was my first on Ask Ubuntu and could probably use some clean up at this point to include these suggestions. Or, should I just leave well enough alone?

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    I think over 200 votes deserves more than "mildly popular". Aug 21, 2020 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


In general I try to merge comments that suggest improvements to my answer into the answer. The idea is to get the post itself into the best possible state. It's also good to clean up comments that are no longer needed after their suggestions have been incorporated (sometimes I thank the commenter in the post and leave the comment as is, but people often remove their own comments after edits have added their suggestions).

However, it's always good to be cautious about changing a highly upvoted answer (I don't want it to look like people approved of something that, actually, they never saw), and in this case it seems that the comments are proposing methods that could be answers in themselves (if I receive a comment like that, I usually comment something like "that's a great answer - I suggest posting it" rather than incorporating it into my post), and elements of those suggestions seem to appear in the other answers. At the moment the comments on your (very popular) answer seem to be a fairly confusing conversation, and, given that other answers on the page seem to achieve the same things as the commands they are suggesting, I would be inclined to leave the post as is and simply remove all the comments. If you do want to include any of the suggestions as additions to your answer, or even post a new answer based on any of the suggestions you particularly like, that would also be fine.

  • Fair enough. I appreciate your feedback. I was, hopefully, trying to clean up some cruft. If you, as a moderator, want to remove all of the comments, that is fine by me. Considering the age of the answer, it probably should be a community wiki answer and maintained as such. I didn't want to be arrogant and remove them myself. Thanks. Aug 13, 2020 at 4:34
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    @KevinBowen if any of my answer came across as being critical of your question, then I apologise. I think it's a very appropriate meta question and I upvoted it. Also, I didn't mean at all to imply that it was somehow remiss of you to not already have removed the comments :) I will wait to see how my answer here is received before removing any comments from the post in question. BTW, I don't think community wiki status helps much with maintenance these days since any user (even anonymous visitors) can suggest edits (CW was invented before that feature), so I wouldn't suggest it for that post.
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 13, 2020 at 8:28
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    Hehe. I apologize for making you feel that you needed to apologize. ;-) Don't worry about it. My verbalizing the question here, helped me in thinking about it and I don't really see much value in the comments. I'll sit on this for a few more days and then we can clean up the comments. Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it. Aug 13, 2020 at 22:37
  • Is a specifiv amount of reputation needed to remove comments from own answers and questions? I couldn't find something like this here: askubuntu.com/help/privileges I would also try to apply this best practice for example here: stackoverflow.com/questions/63087969/…
    – Cadoiz
    Aug 18, 2020 at 11:47
  • @Cadoiz no, all users can delete their own comments but not those made by others, although comments containing certain words can be deleted by a single flag from any user, and other comments may be deleted by several flags. What specifically are you pointing out in the post you linked to as best practice?
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 18, 2020 at 12:39
  • Sorry, that was a bit misleading. I thought, you would sugest to change your answer as described and then "remove all comments" to avoid confusion. But I noticed that I can't clean up comments by other users in for example the linked question.
    – Cadoiz
    Aug 18, 2020 at 12:51
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    Yes, if comments ask for details or suggest improvements that can be incorporated, they can be removed after the post is edited. You may flag such obsolete comments as no longer needed so mods will see and delete them @Cadoiz
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 18, 2020 at 13:09

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