In the question How do Americans refer to their non-metric system in everyday circumstances? , a moderator has posted under the question, and under the top five answers the following message:

Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. FURTHER COMMENTS WILL BE DELETED

Does a question really need to have a comment left with both caps lock and bold six times, especially when the problem was simply posts with too many people adding comments, as opposed to hate speech or harassment?

I tried replying to the moderator, but the individual hasn't responded.

  • 1
    Though the comment may look "aggressive" I agree that there are too many comments around. The mod. is probably trying to do their best to remind users about this issue. why not limit the number of comments that users can post?. Do we really need them?
    – user66974
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 11:21
  • Personally, I think the mod's comments served their purpose, and all but one should be deleted, the one underneath your question. Five warnings definitely lend an aggressive and/or exasperated tone to the page.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 9:29
  • this wasn't a bad question and it received a very good answer from Tchrist . It was the behavior of the forum participants, not the quality of the question that earned the extra warning. I don't know why asking this question was down voted here ... I'm glad I read tchrist's response that this question evoked.
    – Tom22
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 0:42

1 Answer 1


Stack Exchange is a Q&A network not a discussion forum, but this question has repeatedly drawn opinionated side comments. There are currently more than 150 deleted comments on that question and its answers. Moderators are instructed to intervene to keep the site within the Q&A framework rather than letting it turn into a discussion forum.

We have only so many tools at our disposal in this regard. One of them is moving discussions to chat where they belong. Another is deleting them without notice. A third is to lock the post.

The first measure did not suffice to dissuade discussion. The second measure was becoming tedious, so I updated the message to make clear that discussion would be deleted out of hand.

The third measure has not been applied yet.

  • 7
    In a loud room, even a person with authority must shout to be heard. Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 14:19
  • 1
    A high rep OP should be allowed to delete those very comments that they feel do not contribute to improving answers. This "privilege" should kick in after 48 hours. If someone gets annoyed that their "comment=answer" is deleted, they know exactly who to blame. Answers should be posted as such. Clarifications, and corrections in comments should be allowed to stay, but still at the OP's discretion.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 18:35
  • 8
    @Mari-LouA That is a horrid idea. Giving users the ability to delete comments on their own posts opens up the potential for abuse with comments that simply disagree with the post possibly being deleted.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 1:57
  • @Catija I'm speaking about high rep users who are responsible contributors.... and deletion would only be allowed after 48 hours, or let's make it 72 hours. This would not affect VTCs. I'm talking about deletion of comments. Comments that have 3 or more upvotes would be exempt from deletion.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 9:18
  • 5
    @Mari-LouA Even with the time frame, it's not a good idea. It wouldn't do anything about this issue because the problem is when lots of users post in a short period of time, so forcing people to wait 48 hours or 72 hours doesn't take it out of the moderator's hands... those comments usually need to be deleted sooner than that. I'm pretty sure the moderators don't want to leave 150 comments sitting around until the OP can delete them... it's much faster to just flag the comments and request the mods do the deleting... and high rep users != responsible contributors.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 15:23
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA What Catija said. And also multiple flags on a comment will remove it without a moderator's involvement. Upvoted comments will need more flags.
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 18:27
  • @NVZ users don't and shouldn't flag comments which initially are helpful, it's when the vast majority of questions have slipped to the second and third page that responsible users should be trusted to know what and which comments need to be deleted. I'm not saying give the privilege to everyone, just those with, say, +20K. Or let's make it +30K. I'm not talking about deleting answers, I'm talking about comments, which clutter unnecessarily the page. It happens, quite often, and they needn't be posts that hit the Hot Questions Network either. What? Don't you trust me? ;)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 18:38
  • @Mari-LouA Interesting. Maybe it will need a new meta question.
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 18:44

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