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Right now, we don't remove comments that spoil or attempt to answer the question. This has always struck me as a weird policy, though, given how much people strive not to be spoiled in other places on the site.

I'm re-raising the question now, because recently, there's been an uptick in the number of flags we're getting on comments for spoiling some guess or revealing a solution to the question.

I'm also seeing that when someone does this, someone else invariably posts a well-upvoted comment asking them not to. This makes me wonder if the previous question is dated, and should be revisited.

Should we be deleting comments on questions that attempt to answer the question?

And, how far down does it go - what about attempts to make progress answering a question, without fully revealing the answer?

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  • $\begingroup$ The problem is on protected uestions/users with the bonus. $\endgroup$ – user58 Jul 20 '16 at 9:38
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    $\begingroup$ Can we have a specific flag on comments ? $\endgroup$ – Fabich Jul 21 '16 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ I shamelessly admit that I did it once (and I was treated accordingly). $\endgroup$ – manshu Jul 21 '16 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Lordofdark Getting a custom flag for comments is a problem, but using 'not constructive' might work as well, if you're looking for a quick option. There's also 'other' -> write in "spoiler," too. $\endgroup$ – Aza Jul 21 '16 at 15:44
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OK, since no one else is offering an opinion:

Yes, comments on a question that reveal or spoil the solution should be removed.

If you want to answer the question, you can do so in an answer. Comments shouldn't be used for that purpose.

Comments on a question often contain clarifications or hints, and although those should always be edited into the question itself, that doesn't always happen. So it's expected that someone reading the question will also read the comments to ensure that they have a complete picture. It would be pretty disappointing to discover the solution there before you'd even had a chance to attempt to solve it.

People here have become pretty good at using oblique language in comments on answers to avoid revealing spoilers. (Personally, I think that spoilers in comments on answers are not that big a deal, but that's beside the point.) We can easily use similar methods on questions if we feel the need to discuss some aspect of the solution.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree, especially on the issue that comments on answers are not that big a deal. If a user scrolls wants to solve the puzzle themselves, they know there is a risk in scrolling through the existing answers. Also, I would be disappointed if the "obviously wrong, but definitely humorous" comments answers on questions were removed unless they were getting out of hand. $\endgroup$ – axavio Jul 20 '16 at 21:44

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