In most StackExchange sites, if an item seems to have attracted too many comments, those comments are moved to chat. (I have my own opinions about this practice, but in any event, that's the practice.)

Is this policy still in effect? I ask because in this case...

How can I order eggs “over hard” in the UK?

...it appears that the moderator "MetaEd" decided to summarily delete the comments instead.

  • 3
    @DanBron, when the standard on other StackExchange sites (much longer-lived than this one) is to move them to chat rather than delete them outright, why has EL&U decided to go its own way on this instead of following the standard that was already established?
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 19:52
  • 4
    @Kyralessa: I think you're mistaken that that is a "standard". It may be the typical scenario, but it's not something that you can count on. I do find it irritating that there is no way to post relatively permanent comments (I prefer something like the Wikipedia model of main page and talk page), but that's the way it is on Stack Exchange
    – herisson
    Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 4:52
  • 1
    This post clears up some: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/237978/… We do not know what content existed in those comments but, if they were off topic enough and the conversation had already ended, then moving to chat simply takes up server space and is unnecessary. Moving to chat is just to facilitate further discussion, not to archive a useless, off-topic conversation.
    – Hank
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 14:19
  • Chatty comment threads do get moved to chat from time to time and boy, people have haaated it, even relatively experienced members.
    – choster
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 23:55
  • 2
    @choster, of course they do. But surely you're not suggesting that outright deleting the comments is a better alternative?
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 6:57
  • @Kyralessa Since comments are ephemeral, a moderator is already going above and beyond in trying to save them with a chat; if that effort is not appreciated, it is entirely rational for them not to expend the energy.
    – choster
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 7:01
  • 2
    @choster, true, if they're going to be jerks anyway, then they might as well be jerks in an efficient way.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Oct 3, 2017 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


Since comments are ephemeral, I'm moving Dan Bron's to this answer. ;)

I don’t think there’s a policy that overly-long comments must be moved to chat. That’s one option for what to do with them, but it’s not the only option. The policy is “overly long or chatty comments are distracting from Q&A and so must be removed”. One way to remove them is to move them to chat; another way is to delete them outright. On EL&U at least we have a log history of simply deleting chatty or obsolete comments. Overall, the guidance is comments are ephemeral and users must bear this in mind when using the comment feature. Just remember they’re temporary.

  • 3
    Now that it’s been captured in an answer, a mod certainly can come along and delete my comment. It’s served its purpose.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 20:36
  • @DanBron I'm sorry, why should a mod delete your comment for you?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 9:15
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA Come now, we’re on a site dedicated to studying the minute details of English, populated with pedants and martinets ;). I didn’t say a should, I said can. I’m not going to delete my comment, but I won’t be bothered if a mod does.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 13:38
  • 2
    @DanBron Challenge accepted. Well, it wasn't really a challenge. But still.
    – waiwai933
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 23:04

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