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This is how flagging is described in help centre:

Flagging is a way of bringing inappropriate content to the attention of the community.

Are comments like, "Thank you","Good question", "Nice answer", etc. inappropriate content? Should we flag them?

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    $\begingroup$ That's a good question! $\endgroup$
    – Pete
    Aug 29 at 1:33
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Comments are not really intended for chit-chat. So, if you wish, you may flag comments that don't add any clarification are are purely social using the reason:

It's no longer needed.
This comment is outdated, conversational or not relevant to this post.

However, generic positive comments are not a significant impediment to the smooth operation of the Physics Stack Exchange site, and if they don't all get flagged and removed, it's that's not a big deal.

Moreover, I should also mention that different Stack Exchange sites can have different standards for thank-yous and similar positive comments on questions and answers. For example, on Science Fiction & Fantasy (where I am very active), expressions of thanks are fairly commonplace.

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Technically, yes.

According to our policy:

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:

  • [...]

  • Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, upvote it and pay it forward;

  • [...]

From the same page:

Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer.

That is, they are not meant to contain any information that it would be sad to lose. There is no revision history for comments. Clarification requests are usually followed by edits to questions/answers, and/or chat discussions. The exception being if the comment explains why a post was closed.

Indeed, as a moderator, I am seeing a lot of people using the "no longer needed" flag to delete comments that had been addressed to in the post, and also for comments that were never needed in the first place (e.g. 'thank you's and what not).

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Perhaps if you argue from a very short-sighted, by-the-rules perspective; and indeed, retaining this argument for deleting these comments is probably useful if their volume ever gets out of hand on particularly popular questions.

That said, I doubt it's healthy in the long-term to discourage people being nice to each other. Who's it hurting?

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I don't think we should. Although thank you comments don't bring anything pragmatically useful to the discussion at hand, there's nothing inherently wrong in expressing your gratitude towards someone who helped you.

Even though there's no moral value in flagging these type of comments, I don't think it's prudent to encourage it since it might be interpreted as their gratitude not being welcomed, which can be either insulting or hurtful. People being nice to each other will only help the community and does not bring any detriment whatsoever.

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