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Are a lot of comments being deleted on this SE?

I have a problem with what I see as the manipulation of comments. I feel that it has been going on a while.

Essentially I assert selective comments are being removed to make things look a certain way, rather than comments being removed because they are off-topic or extended discussion.


My question on faces and nationality.

The comments critical of the post remain, despite the comments clearly being excessive and being considered as extended discussion. The comments in support of the question have been removed with no reason given. Notably one comment in support of the post stating they would like to give an answer has been removed.

Jacob's question asking for improvement in forming a question

Sklivvz's answer to that question was originally essentially the top paragraph -- what was above the horizontal linebreak.

Jacob posted a comment stating that this was not an answer to his question and that he felt the answer was needlessly critical.

Sklivvz posted a response, to which Jacob again responded stating he didn't wish to argue and would leave it at that.

I then posted a comment agreeing with Jacob explaining my downvote and why I didn't consider the answer appropriate.

The answer was then edited extensively so the criticism was less applicable, and all comments removed. Sklivvz then posted the following comment which remains in place:

Removed unconstructive comments. Please keep the comments on topic and don't abuse the comment system.

I then posted a comment asking how my explanation for the downvote was off topic or abuse and why it was removed. I didn't get an answer, although that comment was also removed.

Given that Sklivvz changed his answer according to the criticism in the comments, it looks like the comments were constructive.

I consider this unacceptable.

Note: Now that the question is closed, let me clarify my point. Sklivvz accused Jacobof whining and had not answered the question. Jacob commented on this. I commented on this. Those two comments were deleted, despite being on topic and containg constructive criticism.

Moderators should not remove comments that are on topic, contain constructive criticism and explain a downvote, just because they personally dislike them.

I understand that comments are removed when they are an extended discussion or offensive or unproductive. I'm not asking why comments are removed, I'm asking why comments which should not have been removed were.

In this case comments that were not an extended discussion, were on topic and were constructive were removed.

Removing those comments removes the explanation for the downvotes and the history that the initial answer was criticized.

Similarly my replies to Oddthinking's criticisms and the posts in support of the question backing up the claim and one comment stating that they would like the opportunity to answer the question were removed. This makes thins look rather one sided IMO.

If the policy is to remove comments that are not constructive or are offensive, off-topic or inappropriate, then why are comments that are on topic and are constructive being removed?

  • We have completely cleaned up both threads.
    – Sklivvz
    Jan 28 '12 at 18:07

Comments are removed when they are off-topic, redundant, offensive, spam or obsolete.

When a comment thread gets excessively long, we will sometimes try to delete superfluous comments to keep the discussion to a minimum while not impacting the point made by either side of a disagreement. It's what we did on your first example. The comment thread there already has 22 comments and there are 22 deleted comments. Without a bit of trimming, that thread would be far too long for no good reason. I'm not sure if it's standard on the stack Exchange Network, but it's necessary on Skeptics as the comment threads tend to get abnormally long.

As for your second example, a comment was made accusing another user of "whining" and being condescending. As Sklivvz posted, it's not a constructive approach. It was deleted. The other comments on the same answer were also deleted because were now obsolete, as they were referring a now-deleted comment.

  • And tbh, I also edited my answer and so addressed the "it's not an answer" comments (which I then deleted).
    – Sklivvz
    Jan 28 '12 at 17:49
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    @Borror0, I understand the reasons comments are closed. That answer was in the my other question. This question is different. Sklivvz accused Jacob of whining. Jacob correctly responded that that was unnecessary and this his answer was not answering the question. After changing his answer, the critical comments were removed. Jan 28 '12 at 20:22
  • 3
    @Sklivvz still is accusing Jacob of whining in his answer. So what you're saying is there is no way for Jacob to respond to that? Despite a single comment being on topic and explaining the downvote? It's petty and nothing more. Jan 28 '12 at 20:28
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    I have to say I was surprised to see my comment removed and it be considered an abuse of the comment system.
    – user5794
    Jan 29 '12 at 9:33

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