# Why my comments were deleted from this question?

Why my comments were deleted from this question? I asked the OP the definition of the principal $n$-th root of $x$, where $x$ is a real number. I exchanged comments with the OP on that.

• "principal", not "principle". But why are you asking on meta? Presumably, this is a question for a moderator. – Gerry Myerson Aug 18 '13 at 0:20
• @GerryMyerson Thanks for a correction. I edited it. How can I ask a moderator? I don't even know who he is. – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 0:38
• I'm surprised that this question got 5 downvotes. I have no idea what's wrong with it. Am I thick or what? – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 2:28
• Do you see the "Contact us" link at the bottom of the page? That's one way to contact people when it's a question for a moderator. Also, you can find out who the moderators are (and lots of other stuff you might want to know) by clicking on the "help" link at the top of the page and following links that mention moderation. Shortcut: math.stackexchange.com/help/site-moderators and go to bottom of the text. – Gerry Myerson Aug 18 '13 at 5:47
• @GerryMyerson Thanks. Do you think I should have contacted them in such a way rather than opened a meta thread? If yes, could you explain the reason? – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 6:24
• You asked why your comments were deleted. Only moderators can delete comments, so moderators are the appropriate people to ask. – Gerry Myerson Aug 18 '13 at 8:08
• @GerryMyerson Yes, that's why I asked them in this thread, even though I didn't explicitly said so. – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 10:17
• If I didn't open this thread, the OP's question probably would not be edited to improve it. So please reset the downvotes. – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 10:23
• @MakotoKato It would help if you did some research yourself on meta, main, and possibly meta.StackOverflow or asking in chat, before flooding the meta with two-line questions that lack motivation, argumentation and a feeling that they've properly been thought over. A downvote may be for as simple a reason as to indicate to other users that the voter does not deem the question worthy of their attention or otherwise unfit -- the same may hold for close votes. – Lord_Farin Aug 18 '13 at 12:55
• @Lord_Farin [@MakotoKato It would help if you did some research yourself on meta, main, and possibly meta.StackOverflow or asking in chat, before flooding the meta with two-line questions that lack motivation, argumentation and a feeling that they've properly been thought over.] Do you think my question in this thread would be solved by researching on meta, main, meta.SO? – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 22:09
• @MakotoKato That is completely irrelevant -- if you can't find things on meta or elsewhere, and say so, we can at least rest assured that you have tried. It is in your own interest to adhere to my advice, for your current posting practice is observed to attract down- and close votes (which eventually make your question disappear from the main page); moreover, it is IMHO common courtesy to search around and provide all information and attempts you have made already before publishing the question -- this policy holds on meta as much as it does on main. (End of discussion.) – Lord_Farin Aug 19 '13 at 7:28
• @Lord_Farin [That is completely irrelevant -- if you can't find things on meta or elsewhere, and say so, we can at least rest assured that you have tried.] This is absurd. It is clear that the answer to the title question cannot be find on meta or elsewhere. – Makoto Kato Aug 19 '13 at 14:16

Moderators often prune obsolete comments and lengthly exchanges to improve the quality of the site. You asked the OP the same question three times in a row and refused his invitation to move your conversation to a chat. You are advised to avoid extended discussion in the comments, and you should be aware that repeated instances of this behaviour may result in a suspension.

• I declined a chat because I'm not good at chatting in English. The OP finally showed the definition of the principal root which seemed sensible after several exchange of comments. I think you should not delete them. I believe the exchange would improve the quality of the question. – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 1:58
• Alexander, do moderators still receive automatic flags for extended comment discussions? – Asaf Karagila Aug 18 '13 at 2:05
• [You asked the OP the same question three times in a row] This is not true. Since the OP could not provide the general definition of the principal root, I asked a few different special cases to guess what the OP meant. – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 2:06
• @MakotoKato He edited the definition into the question, so the comments are obsolete. Please keep in mind that chats do not have to be lightning quick- you are free to take them as slow as you would in comments if that is what you wish to do. – Alexander Gruber Aug 18 '13 at 2:06
• @AsafKaragila We receive an automatic flag when a user posts many comments within a short period of time. – Alexander Gruber Aug 18 '13 at 2:07
• @AlexanderGruber [He edited the definition into the question, so the comments are obsolete.] I don't think the question has the definition. – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 2:13
• It was not lengthy conversation. It's about 6 comments(the Op's 3 and mine 3). – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 2:15
• @MakotoKato You're right, the link he posted was not edited in as I had thought, so I added it. – Alexander Gruber Aug 18 '13 at 2:16
• @MakotoKato I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't have, only answering your question about why they were deleted. My advice to avoid this kind of complication in the future is to go into chat whenever a user needs more than a couple comments to clarify a point. Comments are for small clarifications and minor information, not discussion, and as I said such exchanges are often pruned by moderators (who are pressed for time and capable of human error). – Alexander Gruber Aug 18 '13 at 2:31
• @MakotoKato Actually, it was not me who deleted that conversation (but comment cleaning is common chore shared by the mod team and I would have handled the flag in the same way). – Alexander Gruber Aug 18 '13 at 2:40
• @MakotoKato Also, if you are really interested in preventing this problem, you should keep in mind that you can do exactly what I did and just edit the link in yourself. That's not a diamond-only privilege. – Alexander Gruber Aug 18 '13 at 2:42
• @MakotoKato Well, the rest of MSE seems to prefer moderators to anarchy, so I guess you're out of luck, bud. Maybe you should succeed from the union. If you can get the SE team to make a MakotoKato StackExchange, I'll go hang out there with you. – Alexander Gruber Aug 18 '13 at 3:20
• – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 3:23
• @MakotoKato That message is produced when you click the link "automatically move this discussion to chat." This seems to be a result of what is known as a "Freudian Slip," in other words your subconscious mind is expressing its desire to avoid extended discussion in the comments. – Alexander Gruber Aug 18 '13 at 3:33
• @MakotoKato We generally do not tell users the exact rate, because we don't want them to game the system. – Alex Becker Aug 18 '13 at 6:59

Alexander Gruber's answer is quite correct, but since I was the one who deleted most of the comments in question I thought I'd add my reasoning. I deleted the comments for two reasons:

1. You were clearly badgering the OP.
2. I believed they were a distraction from the question, mostly because you were badgering and being obstinate.

These are standard reasons for deleting comments. Comments are treated as second-class citizens across the SE platform, and are often deleted when they distract from questions or are obsolete.

I did not delete the OP's comment linking to a definition of the principal $n$th root, which I believe was deleted by mistake.

I would also like to discourage you from commenting in this manner in the future. Badgering is not acceptable behavior, and may be considered grounds for a suspension.

• [You were clearly badgering the OP.] Since the OP did not provide the general definition of the principal root, I asked a few different special cases to guess what the OP meant. What's wrong with that? – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 6:22
• [You were clearly badgering the OP.] If the OP didn't want to answer, he/she didn't have to do so. Then the conversation would have ended there. – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 6:39
• @MakotoKato You could have simply asked for the definition outright rather than trying to play a game with them. This would have been quite reasonable. You also made a rather accusational comment about their use of a term they did not understand. – Alex Becker Aug 18 '13 at 6:53
• I asked the general definition at first. If he/she answered it, the conversation would have ended there. He/She finally confessed that he/she did not know the definition. So I told him/her, he/she should not use a term whose definition he/she does not know. What's wrong with that? – Makoto Kato Aug 18 '13 at 7:00