If I add a comment, then realise I've forgotten to add the @fred to ping a user I can either:

  1. edit my comment and put in the @fred

  2. delete the comment and retype it with the @fred

Does Fred get pinged in both cases? Specifically, in case (1) if I edit an existing comment and add the @fred does that cause Fred to be pinged when I save the changes?

I suppose there's a corollary: if I edit the comment as many times as I can in the 5 minutes allowed can I generate multiple pings and really annoy Fred?

  • $\begingroup$ I've seen a few instances of comments in my notification bar that are different from what I see on clicking it due to edits, so I assume that is a one per message. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Sep 20 '15 at 11:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Another corollary - can you ping multiple people by editing? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Sep 20 '15 at 18:17
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ How to game the comment system. I can feel an urge to experiment coming on :-) $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Sep 20 '15 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm, I thought this would be an easy question but there's no answer after a day. Maybe we can try some experiments during this afternoon's physics chat. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Sep 22 '15 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ @John Rennie testing as requested $\endgroup$ – Secret Sep 22 '15 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ You can copy the whole comment...delete the previous one...and open a new comment box where you write @fred and paste the whole comment.. $\endgroup$ – Soham Sep 23 '15 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie: Try pinging yourself and leave Fred alone. Ops, forgot to ping John. Fixed it. How many pings did you get? $\endgroup$ – MBN Oct 1 '15 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ @MBN: just one ping $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Oct 1 '15 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ Somewhat belatedly found mother meta post: meta.stackexchange.com/q/197393/263383 $\endgroup$ – ACuriousMind Mod Oct 12 '16 at 19:19

In the absence of an answer from on high, a few experiments were attempted during the last physics chat. It appears that if you initially omit the ping, then edit the comment and add the ping, a notification is generated.

Issues that have been left unresolved include:

  • if you edit the comment and change the ping to a different user does that user get a notification?

  • if you repeatedly edit out then edit in the ping does the victim, err, user get repeated notifications?


If you edit a comment 100 times during the 5-minute grace period only the final message is generated to the answer-and/or-question owner and to pinged user. No trace remains in the database about previous versions. If you simply delete it and do not replace it, nobody will ever know what you wrote.

If you delete a comment after 5 minutes and change its content and/or ping, the old message is cancelled and the new one remains in the inbox(es), but both versions are recorded in the database. If the 'victim' hasn't opened their mailbox in-between, they will not be aware of the change.


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