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Removing old comments that are no longer relevant

I try to religiously look at the comments of a sentence, especially early on in a language, because there are some seriously helpful people out there.

But... often there are many comments that are no longer relevant (a problem got fixed say), or there a bunch of "I agree/me too" follow-ups.

Maybe there could be some mechanism to remove/clean-up/hide such comments?

I see some comments get hidden automagically; perhaps something similar for comments marked as 'no longer relevant'.

I realise that is open to abuse, so probably unfair to permanently remove someones comment.

Anyway, just a thought

May 14, 2013



Yes, I have the same feeling. I would delete all the obsolete and useless comments, but I'm afraid to discourage people from posting. It would be interesting to see the opinions of other users. If most users prefer useless comments to be removed, we the moderators can delete them when we read the discussions during our own studying.


Yeah, I only want to see comments that are still relevant, and not have the discussion cluttered with old or useless comments.


I think this could apply to people discussing problems on sentences that have already been fixed or have new answers accepted to prevent confusion and arguing. In this case, it would be fair for moderators to remove them. However, useless is a vague term and needs definition and at the moment most comment threads aren't too large but this could become an issue as the site grows. Useless could go from most obvious ones such as off-topic but could vary if one is simply joking about the sentence or topic (is it fair or not fair to delete). The upvoting system should be able to sort out through whatever is deemed useless and bring up helpful ones and so far I have not had any problems finding useful comments but a hiding feature sounds interesting.


I think your point of "as the site grows" is a good one... I have seen many occasions where people ask a question that has already been asked (and answered) against the same sentence and the threads were not even that long. Following on from ziggKogg's comment below, I have taken to down-voting old/less relevant comments (admittedly in my eyes :) ) . Not in a mean way, just so that perhaps if DuoLingo does have the option to collapse/hide 'negative' comments, the others will show through better.

That said, some comments are hidden. @olimo, as a moderator, is that done by you manually?

I fully expect this comment to be down-voted :)


The comments are hidden when they get a certain number of downvotes (I think 5, but I'm not sure). Moderators can delete comments but not collapse them manually.


Yeah, and I realise that is somewhat fraught with possibilities of people getting offended with their comments being deleted. Perhaps on a delete the original poster could be emailed? I liked olimos view that the moderators could do it. After all, that's what moderators are for! haha! :)


Some people get frustrated even when they get emails about their translations corrected! I can imagine what may arise if people receive notifications like "Sorry, your comment was deleted because it is not relevant or useless" :D


Perhaps it would be possible to set up e.mail preferences. I think it is an issue that will have to be addressed as the site grows. If there was a short explanation somewhere that comments will be removed if they are no longer relevant most people would understand I am sure.


I agree, all comments about things that have already been fixed should be removed. Pretty annoying to see them.

PS I trust the moderators to remove comments, but you shouldn't send email to people when you do it. Just remove the really irrelevant comments, nobody will notice.


I occasionally post 'useless' comments myself - I think it is sometimes encouraging to get a response when, basically, everyone is struggling to get to grips with the language in isolation. It is nice to get a sense of shared experience - confirmation that que no eres solos en el planeta! If only the knowledgeable and more advanced participants get to say anything - the rest of us peasants have no voice :-(

[deactivated user]

    I wish I could at least remove my old-and-useless comments. I admit I've written many irrelevant ones along the way.


    That's a good idea.
    You can search in Google for
    site:duolingo.com IgorqOliveira
    to see a lot of your older comments.


    I still don't get how to get to a list of all my older comments. I clicked on duolingo.com but get nothing but the landing page for my account. Nowhere on there can I get into old discussions. The only discussions I see are general ones - hundreds of them.


    Sometimes I ask for further explanation on a particular question and find that my comment gets thrown into a huge clutter of comments and it gets left unanswered until I eventually give up on it. Maybe make comments that have 5+ sub replies collapse to make it look tidier? Or perhaps a method of indicating that someone answered your particular discussion question.


    Well, as long as there are no protests against removing obsolete/useless comments here, I've recently started to delete some of them. This won't be a one-day work, but rather some kind of maintenance: when I see an unrelevant comment for a sentence, I delete it, that's all. I hope my fellow moderators agree with me on it.


    Many of the comments are fun to read. "What is a man?" etc. But the very old comments about incorrect issues that have been corrected should go.

    I believe it would make the learning experience more meaningful if answers to questions were more quickly available.


    I was thinking of having a FAQ, or maybe like 'saved discussions' where meaningful questions and discussions (with all relevant comments, not the meaningless ones) are sent.


    Or maybe a way of marking a comment as something that could be used in a FAQ? Actually now that people have the option to 'Report a Problem' and the comment system reminds them to use that, maybe it will be come less of an issue?


    I think these old comments should definitely be removed. I just had a very clear experience of the difference: I recently finished the French tree and got to work on the German one. Since French hasn't been around as long as German, the discussions there are a lot less cluttered and a lot more interesting. In German, I so often get discouraged after reading useless comments that I rarely even bother to read the discussions anymore - which is a shame.

    It is simply not at all interesting to know that this or that translation was not accepted by Duolingo 6 months ago.

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