Today, I needed to search about fitting discrete distributions on my mobile device; I ended up in the thread How to fit a discrete distribution to count data?, which was indeed quite relevant.
Under the first answer, there were (are) these comments from 2013:
As a result, I had to scroll down (and down, and down...) in my phone to see if there were any other answers, which was frustrating. Judging that these 4 comments (the 5th was added later) were conversational and irrelevant to the topic, I flagged all of them as "no longer needed".
A couple of hours later, I saw that all my 4 flags had been declined (and, in the meanwhile, a 5th similarly irrelevant comment was added).
I picked up this specific comment:
I'll try to restrain myself ;-). – gung - Reinstate Monica Aug 1, 2013 at 2:47
and proceeded to raise a custom flag as follows:
How exactly is this comment (and all the rest above, and the one just added below) useful to the topic (had my "no longer needed" flags declined)? I accessed this earlier today in a mobile device, and had to scroll down (and down...) through completely irrelevant stuff until I was able to see if there were any other answers... Please be reasonable in flag handling!
Just a few minutes later, my custom flag above was similarly declined:
According to the flag dialog box, a comment should be flagged as "no longer needed" if
This comment is outdated, conversational, or not relevant to this post.
And I consider that all 3 reasons were applicable here.
Moreover, in the general SE Guide to moderating comments, I read:
It's no longer needed covers a wide variety of different comments, including:
Chatty comments. They might be polite, friendly, or even informative - but have nothing whatsoever to do with the post! Whether tangential discussions or simply two friends chewing the fat, these are pretty benign - right up until they're being shoved in the face of every reader two years later. Again, don't worry too much about these if you don't see them by default.
Jokes, "thank you", etc. - not necessarily harmful in the moment, but distracting and annoying after the fact.
On top of being outdated, conversational, and most importantly irrelevant to the post, all 4 comments I flagged seem exactly that, i.e. "pretty benign - right up until they're being shoved in the face of every reader two years later" (well, actually 10 years later in my case); moreover, the one I singled out for my follow-up custom flag seems to belong exactly to the case of "Jokes [...] distracting and annoying after the fact".
Given the above, why were my flags declined? Why are the personal formatting choices (which, BTW, seem to have just been undone) and jokes of someone back from 2013 still of interest to anyone looking to fit discrete distributions after 10 years?