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I answered a question. And, as often happens when we answer questions, there are comments.. It is impractical, if not impossible to answer the comments with other comments. In the past, I responded to various questions by just expanding my post with an addendum (or more). But I was cautioned that this was not the best or proper way to go about responding. So, I'm here, asking the question: what then, is the best/proper way to respond to a series of comments?

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I had to learn the hard way that discretion is needed with comments received in response to one's answers. Some comments are helpful and justify making an improving edit. Other comments take issue with one's answer in such a way that it seems as if the goal is to start a debate. Those, I have found, are the comments that require a decision as to how best to respond without promoting any debate (as that is not the purpose of Comments) or whether to respond at all.

A legitimate point in a comment should always be responded to politely and briefly, or (if raising a sizeable matter) acknowledged with something like "Fair comment; I have adjusted / added an edit to my answer." But the response should never encourage a debate to ensue.

However, the best point to remember is that there is no obligation to reply to any comment! You may judge it the course of wisdom to leave a critical comment alone and make no response whatsoever. Or, if a comment does not make much sense to you, likewise, to just leave it alone. It is up to you to decide whether to respond or not.

There is also the option of flagging comments that may appear to you to be inflammatory, abusive, or looking for a fight. Then the Moderators will deal with it.

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    Up-voted +1. Also, comments are not a permanent feature of the platform. Questions and answers are the true fabric. Comments may be deleted at any time for a variety of reasons and should not be considered as a fixture.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 7 at 16:00
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    Good answer. I have often had to respond that such a matter should be subject of a new question as it is outside the scope of the original question.
    – Dottard
    Jan 7 at 21:10

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