The Community user automatically removes an auto-generated "possible duplicate" comment when the post gets closed. For example,

When there's already an existing comment with the same duplicate link (such as when the user first comments and then votes to close), an auto-generated comment is not created.

However, Community still tries to remove a comment with the dupe link (possibly by attempting to find the right one using regexes), and messes up in cases where there's more than one comment by the same user, as in this question.

This might be related to the fact that both comments have duplicate* in them, and the bot just removes the last one it finds. Can this be made more robust, so that the bot doesn't remove anything more than it needs to?

  • When looking at the post as it stands right now, I don't see that - did you undelete that comment? Do you have other examples?
    – Oded
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 13:29
  • @Oded Yes, I undeleted it. I showed it to Grace, who said it might be a bug and asked me to put it up here. I don't have other examples, because I wasn't expecting this behavior... I just happened to catch this one right away. Also, even if there were, I'd be searching for deleted comments, which is not possible for me to do.
    – rm -rf Mod
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 13:32
  • OK. I will test locally and see if I can repro.
    – Oded
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 13:36
  • Alright, thanks.
    – rm -rf Mod
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


Confirming that this is due to both "duplicate"* appearing in the sentence and that there is exactly one link to a question.

I agree this is a bug, but I can't see an easy way to fix it to make it more intelligent.

This is also quite an edge case and with comments being ephemeral and subject to deletion at any point, I don't see a point in trying to fix this.

  • " I can't see an easy way to fix it to make it more intelligent." — It's quite simple actually... The comment that says "possible duplicate" is auto inserted by the system, but attributed to the user. If you just kept track of which comment was auto-inserted (perhaps, even make it uneditable), Community's job is to then simply delete the auto-inserted comments. The status-declined seems to be rather hasty...
    – rm -rf Mod
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 15:33
  • @rm-rf - point being, we don't currently track this. And we do want to remove comments that are not auto-inserted and still point to duplicates.
    – Oded
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 15:34
  • 4
    If you badly want to remove those comments, then do it right! You shouldn't be deleting willy nilly just based on a keyword, which may or may not be relevant (in this case, Artes' comment was not actually a link to a duplicate). You don't have to sell me on the whole "comments are ephemeral and subject to deletion" thing — I'm well aware of that, and have no issues with removing them, as you can see from the mod stats. I'm just not a fan of poorly designed automated algorithms.
    – rm -rf Mod
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 15:38

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