I left a comment on this answer that is now gone and I am not sure why. My understanding was that comments are an appropriate place to offer points of view that differ from an answer so that future readers can make their own determination of the merits themselves. I had meant my comment to be a gentle statement that in the US, "checking the contract" might not apply to a laboratory/doctor relationship because those relationships are often totally unaffiliated (patients have legal right to take any particular order to any lab they choose). If my comment crossed some sort of line I would like to better understand that so I can avoid crossing it in the future.

Cheers, M

3 Answers 3


Ref: https://law.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/comment

Comments are ephemeral. They can be deleted for any or no reason.

(In the case of the particular comment in the question here: it was flagged by the answer author as "no longer needed," and I, seeing no other reason to keep it, deleted it.)

  • The question essentially boils down to why you were "seeing no other reason to keep it" — despite that the OP suggests there were such reasons a reasonable mod well could see.
    – Greendrake
    Commented Aug 19, 2022 at 23:03
  • Cheers, I really appreciate that you took the time to respond. I can completely see how from the queue there would have been no indication that the comment shouldn't have been removed. My only goal in posting here was to make sure I hadn't stepped outside the bounds of what's acceptable on law se.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 3:26
  • @Greendrake When the OP flags a comment, it is assumed that they have seen it, considered it, and either changed their post or decided that the comment adds nothing worthwhile - either way, it's "no longer needed".
    – Dale M Mod
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 1:28

Comments are intended to offer suggestions on how to improve pots (questions or answers). Technically, Comments that do not do that may be deleted at any time. Comments that have already been acted on are often deleted. Comments that clearly will never be acted on are often deleted. (Note: if a comment is copied into a post, in whole or in part, proper attribution must be provided, and this may require retaining the comment.)

Comments are often used to offer additional information or different perspectives on a post. Technically such common may be deleted at any time, and some mods routinely do so. I think this is unwise, because such comments are often helpful. As a recently elected mod over on ELL, I find myself more reluctant to delete possibly helpful comments than some mods are, but more willing to do so than I had expected to be.

Here on Law, if a comment points out a typo in a post of mine and I fix it, or a comment suggests an idea I should mention and I do so, I routinely flag the comment as "no longer needed". If I do not make a change based on a comment, I do not so flag it. But no rule requires that exact pattern, s far as I know.

Clarification: The statements above are not my personal views on how comments should be used, they are a summery of things I have been told at various times by moderators, high-rep users on sites I was active on, statements I have read in the Help Center, and much-upvoted posts on MSO. Some of them I would perhaps change if I were asked to rewrite the rules for SE. But the above is my best understanding of agreed policy for SE, of what mods and CMs actually enforce, an what TPTB want and largely expect users to follow. Some of this has been reinforced by topics I have been pointed at since (very recently) becoming a mod over on ELL. I don't yet have any sufficient experience at that to rely on it.


Thank You comments are unnecessary

Comments are to comment on the question or answer and request clarifications. Thank you comments are unnecessary. If you find something helpful: vote.

Commentary might be irrelevant

I had written the answer you note. It is not relevant that most doctors are not the ordering party from the lab. The answer just points out that that might be a setup that exists, not that it is common. I did not see how your "but this constellation is uncommon" was relevant to the answer that is basically boiling down to "Read the contract and who is the party to the contract."

I read the comment, I saw nothing that I would want to add, so flagged "No longer needed" - as in "I saw this, ok, not gonna change anything."


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