I can't see any reason for this limit - in fact it seems likely to have a negative impact on the quality of information on this site. Why would you edit a comment unless to correct a mistake?

No doubt there is some reason for it, but 5 minutes still seems like too short an interval.

More than once I've spotted an error or typo in a comment I made and wanted to correct it but could not because of this 5 minute rule. leaving another comment to point out the error seems like a rather inelegant solution.

  • 6
    This is more a question for meta SE as even if we wanted to we couldn't change it.
    – Dom Mod
    Aug 10, 2015 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


Comments are meant to be temporary. They shouldn't carry any information useful in long term. They are primarily used to ask for details or clarification, point out mistakes etc. When they become obsolete, they should be deleted. (Remark: everybody can deleted his own comments.)

This means that there should be no reason to edit a comment unless the comment contains a typo, ENTER was pressed accidentally etc., and that's what the 5-minute grace period is for.

Last but not least, having comments editable for longer time would mean the necessity of having comments' revision history, since otherwise flame and both intentional and unintentional mislead will happen. (I say "will" rather than "could" because ... well, it's the internet.)

  • I accept the answer because I asked "what is the purpose" but I still think 5 minutes is too short a time. and would point out that in practice comments are not used as described. Aug 10, 2015 at 13:43
  • @NoelWalters You can raise your issues at Meta Stack Exchange, but I highly doubt you will be listened to. If you try it, don't blame me when you fail, you've been warned.
    – yo'
    Aug 10, 2015 at 14:19
  • No, I'll go away quietly, thanks for the advice. Aug 10, 2015 at 14:50
  • 1
    @yo', except that Noel Walters is perfectly correct that comments aren't used that way, not even on Stack Overflow. They are very frequently used as annotations. I strongly suspect that editing the questions and answers to incorporate the annotations is impractical, if for no more reason than many of the original posters have fled the scene, and many of the people consulting the questions don't want to be bothered. When the stated purpose of something and its actual usage are in conflict, it's time to start checking one's premises.
    – user16935
    Aug 10, 2015 at 14:56
  • 1
    @Patrx2 I don't object your statement, I'm just stating the obvious: (1) you can't change this on per-site basis and (2) it has been discussed many times in the big meta.
    – yo'
    Aug 10, 2015 at 16:10
  • Yup. It seems to be more SE management digging in its heels than any real lack of desire for it, though, at least in the 3 or 4 articles I found quickly at Meta.
    – user16935
    Aug 10, 2015 at 18:19
  • @Patrx2 Another thing I forgot to mention is: You don't want to keep track of the comment revisions, and then it starts to be complicated with editable comments -- a lot of flame, misleading etc. can happen when you allow this.
    – yo'
    Aug 10, 2015 at 18:26
  • @yo but that would operate on the scale of hours not minutes. But the most annoying thing is the way the thing times out while you are typing. 5 minutes is no time at all. Aug 11, 2015 at 18:49
  • Now I'll go quietly. Aug 11, 2015 at 18:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .