I came across “Tikz: Arrow description closer to arrow” earlier and flagged it as a duplicate, as I don't have enough reputation on tex.se to cast a close vote. I edited the “possible duplicate” comment with a note about the actual change that the code in the question would need. Now I notice that the comment has been deleted, though neither of the other two comments have been deleted. This removes the context of the OP's “thank you” comment (which I realize are discouraged anyhow). I'm not concerned about that so much, but I don't see that the comment was: rude or offensive; not constructive; obsolete; or too chatty. For what other reasons might it have been deleted?

The actual content of the comment wasn't so important, but the code in the question was

(m-1-2) edge node[auto] {$Q(g)$} (m-2-1)

and, based on the question of which it was a duplicate, I pointed out that the code the user would need is

(m-1-2) edge node[auto,inner sep=0pt] {$Q(g)$} (m-2-1)
  • 3
    After the discussion below, I went to search for this on SO meta. It's been brought up there, as Don't delete comments with link to duplicate if they are modified. Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 20:07
  • (For obvious reasons, I won't flag it as a duplicate.) Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 21:44
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    By the way, the same holds for comments to question that are migrated and where these comments include anything related to the migration path.
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 23:24

2 Answers 2


The 'system' now deletes comments which it detects point to a dupe when a duplicate is marked: thus anything saying 'May be a dupe ...' or 'Dupe of ...' gets zapped. The logic is not fool-proof: if you have a longer more complex comment it will be missed, while comments pointing to alternatives to the dupe actually picked can get removed!

  • Would it make more sense for the system to make the auto-generated "possible duplicate" comments un-editable (or possibly coming from a Community user or something similar) and only delete those comments on successful duplicate-closing, or perhaps to only delete the auto-generated comments if they weren't subsequently edited? After all, there are plenty of duplicates where it's handy to point out exactly how the older questions/answers apply to the current problem. To those who recognize the duplication, it's might be trivial, but those asking the question, or who come across it by searching… Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 19:18
  • …might benefit from some explanation along the lines of “this is a duplicate because your question is a special case of this where …”. The comments don't even appear in my activity history, so I can't go and repost it easily, and (this doesn't apply in this case) deleting comments with votes could interfere with some badges, too :( . Should I consider tagging this (only delete non-modified auto-comments) as a feature request? Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 19:19
  • If this should be a feature request, is this a tex.se specific behavior, or would this belong on SO's meta? Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 19:25
  • @JoshuaTaylor The comments are only deleted when the question gets closed. This is network-wide and I think 'by design'. The people who control the back-end are of the opinion that comments should not be 'key': the most important data is meant to be questions/answers/dupe links.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 19:31
  • Ah, I see. I agree that comments shouldn't be all that important, but it sounds like there are still some potential improvements. At any rate, if it's all the sites on the network, it would make more sense on the stack overflow meta, I guess. Perhaps I'll post it there. Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 19:39

I guess the lesson to learn here is to separate the "possible duplicate" bit of the comment from the extra helpful part. Posting two comments might seem a bit clumsy but it does at least avoid the problem.

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