This is my first post to Meta, and I apologize if there is anything inappropriate about this question. I've relatively new to MSE, but have been moderately active for a few months, and have tried to figure out what the community norms are so that I can be a good citizen. But I am completely flummoxed by what's happening on this thread. 39 edits in one week, all by the OP? Handfulls of comments deleted en masse? I can't figure out what's going on.

How common is this kind of interaction on the site, and is there an established protocol for dealing with it?

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    $\begingroup$ some context [Re: another question of the same user]. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Sep 17 '14 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Thursday, the context helps somewhat. But I am still baffled -- who deleted my comments? And why? And what (if anything) should be done? $\endgroup$ – mweiss Sep 17 '14 at 2:50
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    $\begingroup$ My general policy is to delete my answers if the person asking convinces me of any number of, well, crimes. Not worth me thinking about it any more. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Sep 17 '14 at 4:04
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    $\begingroup$ There is something unpleasant going on here. There are two good answers by Yves Daoust, ungrateful comments by "bobie," deleted by Daost which is my advice, but votes to undelete from parties unknown. I think, if you realize you've been tricked into answering someone really unpleasant, you should be allowed to get rid of them and end your involvement. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Sep 17 '14 at 4:30
  • $\begingroup$ I kind of wish I could read those good answers by Yves Daost. I guess I'll just have to wait until I have more rep. :( $\endgroup$ – mweiss Sep 17 '14 at 5:23
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    $\begingroup$ mw, it's late but any 10K viewer can see those, take a screen capture as a jpeg, and paste into an answer here. I'm assuming from the mixture of events (including several upvotes) that they were quality answers to early versions of the question; perhaps deletion was a reaction to the question being changed. It might be better still if you emailed me, I can just email you jpegs tomorrow. The whole thing has the appearance of "bobie" trying to cheat on some contest. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Sep 17 '14 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ corrected spelling math.stackexchange.com/users/65203/yves-daoust $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Sep 17 '14 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ sent you two jpegs with subject line "MSE and your meta question jpegs" Check spam folders if nothing appears $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Sep 19 '14 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ Vaguely related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43478/…. $\endgroup$ – TRiG Sep 22 '14 at 16:02

As to the comments, here's what happened. First the question-asker deleted the all but one of their comments. Then your four comments were flagged by someone (I can only guess who). Two of these comments were direct replies to now deleted comments, and made little sense without that context, so I deleted them. Two other comments of yours still made sense and were kept. (A couple other comments that made little sense in the absence of the question-askers self-deleted comments were also removed at this time.)

I should add that moderators cannot undelete comments that were deleted by their owners, and so when tidying up after one user has deleted all their comments, our options are limited.

As for the moving target: don't waste spend more time or energy on this than you're willing to. As one of your remaining comments mentions, the question appears to be more of a challenge than an actual real question. I think Thursday's suggestion is apt in this case.

How common are these situations? Moderators delete comments that serve no (further) purpose on a fairly regular basis. In the last 30 days well more than 1000 comments have been removed by the moderators. Users making 39 revisions to their questions is much more rare, and the moderator team is watching this user.


Comments can be deleted by their author, by a moderator, or by an automatic process if flagged by enough people. Not being a moderator, I can't tell you what happened to the comments.

But being a 10K user, I can tell that the thread also has four deleted answers, of which two were scored +9 and +5 at the time of deletion (by their author). My guess is that the other user who tried to answer the question eventually found it to be preferable to disengage.

what (if anything) should be done?

"Disengage" seems reasonable.


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