The author of this question originally set a scene in which three players were involved, but then posed question didn't involve one of the players at all. An observant user left a comment along these lines:

If player X isn't relevant to the question, I wouldn't bother mentioning player X at all.

(Note: This is not a verbatim quote. I cannot see deleted comments, so I'm quoting from memory.)

The question was subsequently edited to remove any mention of player X. So, I flagged the comment as "No longer needed". The flag was declined.

Was it appropriate to flag this comment as "No longer needed"?

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  • Wasn't me, but sometimes it's just an accident, wouldn't be surprised if that's the case given that the end result was deleting the comment. Delete and dismiss are next to each other in the flag dialog, easy enough to mess up. – Cascabel Sep 29 '17 at 17:55
  • Accidents are okay. Also, I realized that the title of the meta post asked "Why was my flag declined?", but the body asked "Was it appropriate to flag the comment?". The former can only be answered by the specific moderator who declined the flag, but the latter could be answered by anyone who is familiar with flagging etiquette. I want to learn flagging etiquette, not moderator behavior (I understand the two are closely related). I updated the question to be consistent. – Rainbolt Oct 3 '17 at 17:31

Yes, "no longer needed" is appropriate for obsolete comments, and as far as I can tell, that comment was obsolete, and that's why someone deleted it eventually. I don't know why your initial flag was declined.

Note that comment flags are lighter-weight than question/answer flags, just as comments are themselves less important. In particular, the only available options are dismiss or delete. There's no "helpful" option like on posts, which we can use despite taking no action, and there's no way to add an explanation.

So if a flag has merit but we decide we want the comment to stick around for any reason, you'll see the comment flag declined. This is relatively common, e.g. a mostly-obsolete comment that still contains a point that's not mentioned anywhere else.

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