Asking because I found a similar question on meta.stackexchange.com (Is there somewhere to complain about offensive moderator behaviour?)

I've been a StackExchange user for years, and contributed to a few different Exchanges

As many of you know, the platform has a reputation for some moderators being too "gatekeepy". Which I can appreciate, as somebody who uses stackexchange literally tens of times a day.

Never have I had a problem, but I'm honestly pretty confused with the behavior of an anonymous moderator here

I came to this Exchange to ask a question, and decided that I should also try to give back and answer a question.

The open-ended title from this question intrigued me, so I went in: Is there a word or short phrase used to describe being impressed with someone's accomplishment while also clearly expressing a lack of understanding?

After reading the OP's story, I had an answer in mind, so I tried my best to convey the merits of my answer. I just have a bachelors in a completely unrelated field, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to provide an answer.

It was pretty quickly downvoted twice, though the OP commented, saying that my answer was exactly what he was looking for. He accepted my answer, and I replied to his comment, telling him that I expected downvotes because I'm not an English expert.

Downvotes are cool, I must've not followed the rules exactly,
The problem I have is that somebody then came in and deleted all the comments on my answer...

I ask, why?

or AITA here?

  • 8
    YNTA but the policy across the network is comments are “temporary sticky notes”, subject to deletion at any time, and that policy has been enforced here on EL&U more consistently in recent months. Try not to get attached to your comments or anyone else’s.
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 6, 2019 at 10:46
  • 3
    Degrees don't matter; it's about a cogent argument and references (if called for).
    – Lambie
    Sep 6, 2019 at 17:37
  • I can see why the person who posted the question thought that your answer was useful. Thank you for contributing to English Language & Usage!
    – Sven Yargs
    Sep 8, 2019 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


The comments were making conversation; they were not asking for or providing any sort of clarification about your answer. They were justifiably deleted.

To head off cries of "But you left these comments..." moderators can't do everything. If comments which aren't fulfilling their purpose are brought to moderators' attention, they are likely to be deleted at that point.

Comments can also be removed by ordinary users: just flag as It's no longer needed: conversational
It can take as few as one flag to remove a comment; flags of this sort may take two, or more if the comment has been upvoted.

The system is designed for users to police it themselves, but that doesn't stop moderators from getting there first on occasion. You may simply have been "unlucky" in that a moderator viewed your post and found the comments. But it certainly wasn't weird behaviour.

  • And no, it wasn't me who removed the comments.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Sep 6, 2019 at 17:43
  • And yes, this is the right place to ask if you have questions about how something was moderated. And no, moderators are not the only people that can cause comments to be deleted (even though that’s what happened in this case).
    – ColleenV
    Sep 6, 2019 at 18:13
  • 1
    thanks for the answer ^^ I totally understand that rule in the Question comments, because we are expecting OP to provide more details. It's just in the Answer comments, it seems petty-- especially because the first comment was the OP commenting on the correctness of a downvoted answer, which is a very relevant comment
    – A O
    Sep 6, 2019 at 18:49
  • 3
    @AO why should the author get 3 upvotes-one for the score, one for accepting it and one in comments? +1, thanks, etc. comments are not what comments are supposed to be used for. When the author accepted your answer they made their comment obsolete.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 6, 2019 at 20:22
  • 2
    because you don't get reputation for comment upvotes, there is no incentive for OP to write worthless comments. And as a content creator in this example, I appreciated and enjoyed his comment. Different strokes, I think it's nice to thank the people who spend their time answering questions. I understand moderation is a thankless job, so I can't be mad about it, it's all good
    – A O
    Sep 6, 2019 at 21:57

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