There were only five comments to my answer below.

Request for undeletion and reopening of a question on the main site

I would like to know why only my comment to @J.R. was deleted. It was neither rude nor offensive and it was even upvoted.

Was it automatically deleted because it was flagged by multiple users? If so, I think this feature should be changed or cancelled because (1) it might have been flagged maliciously or (2) it's not something new on ELU that there are multiple users who use multiple accounts to vote each other. Even if they get caught, the punishment seems to be too weak.

I'd like to know whether it was deleted by (1) a moderator or (2) multiple flags automatically. If the answer is No. (1), I'd appreciate explanation from one of the moderators. If it is No. (2), I will raise another issue.


Your comment was deleted because its content was flagged by one or more community members in good standing acting in good faith.

Because users are unable to downvote or edit comments, when they do chance upon objectionable content there, their best recourse is to raise flags against it.

Under the guiding principle that Stack Exchange comments are passing ephemera not lasting artifacts worthy of preservation, in most cases comments so flagged are simply deleted forthwith, be this by moderators or by the system itself.

Users who find that our community consistently disapproves of their comments might dwell upon how best to avoid similar disapproval in the future.

  • 1
    That's not a reason, it's an authority. It's like saying "I shot that guy because I'm a cop, and I'm allowed to do such things with impunity, and you're not allowed to question it." – Hot Licks Dec 25 '16 at 19:37
  • 1
    @HotLicks It's not your job. It's our job. We cannot and will not talk about confidential member information. If you do not like this strict Stack Exchange policy, please contact the management using the Contact Us link, for only they can make an exception to their own policy. Complaining to moderators about things outside of their control is not merely pointless but arguably harmful to the community. – tchrist Dec 25 '16 at 19:39

In answer by tchrist:

Users who find that our community consistently disapproves of their comments might dwell upon how best to avoid similar disapproval in the future.

But how can one avoid "similar disapproval" if they have no clue as to the cause of said "disapproval"???

(Submitted as an "answer" so as to not be "ephemeral".)

  • 2
    If comments are restricted to their stated purpose, for requesting clarification or stating an obvious (and objective) deficiency in a post, without recourse to express or implied insult, then there will be no issue. That purpose is more elastic on Meta posts, but there's no reason not to be civil and measured -- deficiencies of which are the reason that most comments are flagged. – Andrew Leach Dec 23 '16 at 21:34
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach - You clearly have not had many of your comments deleted. RHIP, I suppose. – Hot Licks Dec 23 '16 at 21:49
  • 3
    I believe tchrist is saying that sometimes introspection is the best response. – J.R. Dec 23 '16 at 21:59
  • 5
    @HotLicks I haven't grown attached to my comments, nor kept count of those deleted. I have no idea whether "rank" has anything to do with it. I do try to follow the guidelines I outlined in that earlier comment, though. – Andrew Leach Dec 24 '16 at 9:14
  • It's also fair to point out, that Hot Licks does post an awful lot of comments, he seems to have an opinion on everything. Sometimes the opinion, and the suggestions are very good, and I doubt anybody flags those, unless for personal vendetta. Maybe the mods could investigate into who is flagging, if it happens to be the same person then obviously that user has a bone to pick with you. But if your comments are flagged by different users...there's nothing you can do. Well, you could start by deleting any obsolete comments yourself. There's even a hat to encourage that good behaviour. – Mari-Lou A Dec 25 '16 at 9:43
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA - In the incident I mentioned/griped about recently a comment that was new and dead on-topic was deleted, leaving several others (including one referencing mine). I do make flippant comments at times (which are rarely deleted), but this comment was not flippant. The whole issue here is that we have no idea why these comments are being deleted. – Hot Licks Dec 25 '16 at 13:21
  • @HotLicks Your last statement is false: I told you directly that the “comment was deleted because its content was flagged by one or more community members in good standing acting in good faith.” That’s all that need be said, and also all that can be said; you will never get moderators to divulge personal details involved in site moderation because we are expressly forbidden from discussing these. Comments ᴅᴏ ɴᴏᴛ ᴍᴀᴛᴛᴇʀ, and flagged comments matter even less. Please move on. – tchrist Dec 25 '16 at 15:43
  • @tchrist - Like I said, we have no idea why these comments are being deleted. And if comments "do not matter", why have them? – Hot Licks Dec 25 '16 at 19:29
  • Going round, round in circles. Nobody is really listening, each person has their own agenda, their own grievance and they get stuck on a record groove, repeating the same things said months and even years earlier. @hotlicks you don't know why an offensive/derogatory or chatty comment would be flagged and deleted by the mods? A comment which is obsolete can be flagged likewise. Hell, I've had my fair share of comments deleted too, and they seemed perfectly pertinent to the discussion at the time. – Mari-Lou A Dec 26 '16 at 11:30
  • But, I would like to know why an answer got deleted? Why was deadrat's answer deleted? See, it's not just comments which are ephemeral in life. Nothing is "sacred" If enough people say and agree on something that shouldn't exist, it probably ceases to exist for them. – Mari-Lou A Dec 26 '16 at 11:48
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA - I have several times (that I noticed) had comments deleted that were straight "contributions" to the solution of the problem. Not offensive (to any normal human), not derogatory, not "chatty". And not part of a bulk deletion either. – Hot Licks Dec 26 '16 at 12:34
  • @Mari-LouA People who answer in comments not answers should not be surprised to see those comments deleted; similarly, people who post rants in answers should not be surprised to see those rants deleted. Constant discussion about why particular moderator actions are taken in particular cases affecting particular users is guaranteed to fail because the only people who can answer are forbidden from doing so. And the people who cannot answer because they cannot know are all just stirring the pot and making trouble for the community. This is not constructive. Please stop now. – tchrist Dec 26 '16 at 14:37
  • @tchrist I think though in meta there should be a little more flexibility and freedom. People should be able to air their grievances, and disagreements without fear of censorship—strong word, I know. Deadrat's answer had already accumulated 4 DV but only 1UV , the community was disagreeing with the user, and the answer (rant) posted. Isn't better to let the community decide for itself? I will stop now. – Mari-Lou A Dec 26 '16 at 14:49
  • 1
    The thing is, there has not been a clear explanation of why (other than the obvious missing technology) the person commenting cannot be told, at least in generalities, why a particular comment was deleted. Especially when very useful and non-offensive comments are deleted, this gives the impression that deletion is at best arbitrary and possibly malicious. – Hot Licks Dec 26 '16 at 21:39

You must log in to answer this question.