Over the past 24 hours, this question's comment section was summarily deleted. I do not understand why. No moderator left a comment explaining why comments were deleted. Clarification would be most welcome.

Please do note that the most useful comment in this comment section was littleO's, not mine.

  • 21
    $\begingroup$ @postmortes Well, "transient" comments should be deleted once the information contained in them has been incorporated into the question, not before. If they are deleted before they add value to the question, then we have a case of vandalism. A community of volunteers in which the work of volunteers is often vandalized with impunity is an unhealthy community. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2023 at 10:17
  • 16
    $\begingroup$ @postmortes I am not shouting at anyone. Policies are enforced by human moderators. The whole idea of "rule of law" is mostly a fairy tale. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2023 at 11:25
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ As only a moderator can help here, maybe it makes more sense to post to the moderator's chat room than to this site. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2023 at 12:21
  • 21
    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson Good point. However, if the reasons for deletion can be shared on Meta, it would be helpful to have them visible to users other than I. $\endgroup$ Mar 31, 2023 at 16:30
  • 14
    $\begingroup$ I believe that a moderator recently deleted some of my comments also. It is of course possible that they were flagged by someone in the community, but I suspect not in this case. I am concerned that some moderators may have been shifting to a more heavy-handed and unilateral moderation style that is unprecedented on this site. But when moderator actions are silent and invisible, who can tell? $\endgroup$
    – MJD
    Apr 3, 2023 at 3:08
  • 13
    $\begingroup$ @DLeftAdjointtoU So here would be the place to own up to such honest mistake. Not doing so only erodes the trust further, which has become a precious commodity on MSE in late years. $\endgroup$
    – dxiv
    Apr 3, 2023 at 6:19
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Right now there are two close votes for a lack of context, but under the guidelines for context rewrites any comments of OP may be copied into the main post to complete the context. If the OP made any comments containing context then removing those comments amounts to lowering the quality of the question. The quality of the question is more important than the screen space taken up by comments. $\endgroup$ Apr 3, 2023 at 6:26
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ From my experience, I’m telling you no moderator are going to respond to you. If you ask them more, you will likely get suspended. So be careful while asking things (e.g. to justify/defend there actions) to mods. $\endgroup$
    – user264745
    Apr 3, 2023 at 10:50
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ To be honest I’m surprised at how silent the mods have been. This meta post has been up for three days now and is even in the hot meta posts. Typically, they are the first to comment on hot meta posts. For example, look at the current hot meta post. I guess, mods are immune (aka qualified immunity) to deleting comment without explaining the reasons behind their decision. Perhaps explaining their reasoning is highly confidential and must not be shared with community. $\endgroup$
    – user264745
    Apr 3, 2023 at 14:37
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Comments are ephemeral and temporary, and are often deleted without notice. In this particular case, (1) automatic flags were raised because there were too many comments, (2) a large number of comments had already been deleted, and (3) many of the remaining comments had been flagged as "no longer necessary". The net result is that, rather than wading through the mess that the comment section there had become, I deleted all of the comments. If something is worth keeping, either discuss it in chat, or edit it into a question or answer. Do not be surprised when long comments threads are delted. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Apr 4, 2023 at 1:09
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson In your opinion, why comments are considered “ephemeral and temporary”? Is this a policy enforced by Math Stack Exchange? How many of the remaining comments have been flagged as no longer necessary? If, for example, two out of 20 comments under a post are no longer necessary, would you delete all of them? Your action are similar to those of close votes reviewer, who instead of editing a post to make it better, choose to close it because editing is messy. You are aware that new users are unlikely to discuss things in a chat room. $\endgroup$
    – user264745
    Apr 4, 2023 at 13:44
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @user264745 Comments are described this way in the help center: "Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. They can be upvoted (but not downvoted) and flagged, but do not generate reputation. There's no revision history, and when they are deleted they're gone for good." Don't put things in the comments if you want them to stick around. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Apr 4, 2023 at 13:58
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson I know you only answered my first question (comments are temporary). Your answer in itself sounds wrong. You have the power to delete comment. One day you may choose to delete all comment, after all “comment are temporary”. You should have reasonably strong ground to delete comment. IMO laziness is not a strong ground. $\endgroup$
    – user264745
    Apr 4, 2023 at 20:08
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson "Don't put things in the comments if you want them to stick around" — So, the only time when commenting is not a potential waste of time is when all the mods are sleeping? Since the OP may be sleeping or taking classes, it may be the case that the OP will not check his Stack Exchange inbox for some 24 hours or more, and comments may be deleted before the OP has had the time to digest them and incorporate the information contained in them into the question. Moreover, can one post answers instead of comments? Of course not, as comment-like answers are deleted. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2023 at 21:03
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @AlexanderGruber The issue I see here is that it seems that someone had done some work for the mods by flagging some comments as "no longer necessary". However, this sifting was ignored and everything was deleted. So although mod time is a limited resource, surely either deleting just the flagged comments, i.e. trusting the flagger, or trying to engage with the flagger/a commenter to get them to do the work instead (ensure all unneeded comments are flagged, or save some into a question/answer) would have been in general better? $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Apr 5, 2023 at 20:09


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