Here are examples:

It often starts with a simple question for clarification of the claim or definition, but then in one of the responses, somebody says something that somebody else believes is wrong (but not relevant). Then somebody adds a comment telling them that they were wrong. By this point, the comments are no longer addressing the content of the question, and there is an argument about this related but irrelevant side-point.

For reference: When I shouldn't comment

  • Secondary discussion or debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;
  • Isn't it the same question as meta.skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/2190/…?
    – SIMEL
    Apr 8, 2013 at 23:45
  • No, this was a request for all of us to please keep comments constructive.
    – user5582
    Apr 9, 2013 at 1:13
  • -1, Sancho. Comments are always constructive, and the more you have comments the more the skepticism about questions grows, which is well enough when we are looking for the real truth. Apr 10, 2013 at 20:26

4 Answers 4


If you feel the comments have gotten out of hand and are simply not helping the question, feel free to ask a moderator to nuke them. We can get rid of all the comments in one fell swoop. Although I would prefer to be invited to do this, if it gets really bad, I can always give the gentle reminder to go to chat and then lock the comment section for a while (my general choice is 24 hours).


The topics are fairly controversial. Discussion is discouraged, but it's hard for it to NOT be a discussion sparking up since the topics are controversial.

Considering there is no good options except for comments, (no chat is not a good place, since it's not recorded to the question asked), I would say it's best that is for now.

I don't think removing the comments is a good way to handle discussions sparking up on controversial topics. If you have any better ways to treat controversy, in a way that gets attached to the question asked, feel free to suggest it.

  • Off-topic chat doesn't need to be recorded to the question asked.
    – user5582
    Apr 8, 2013 at 17:10
  • Chat can be "pinned" to a question simply by adding a link to the room, or even selected transcripts, as a comment.
    – Beofett
    Apr 8, 2013 at 19:38

As the perpetrator of one of the comment discussions I agree. I’m going to remove that although I’m a bit sad to see the comments go because I’d like to think that I made two moderately important points there (one even on topic, but one completely off topic as a consequence of the discussion).


I'm sometimes guilty of this myself although I do try and cleanup after myself when I do it. From my standpoint, the biggest problem is that, as far as I know, chat rooms really don't have a way of notifying you if someone has responded to you and quite frankly I usually don't want to check a bunch of chat rooms to see the discussion. That's a technical issue though and usually the just nuking the entire thread if it is that off topic works to also "cool off" anyone that might be a bit hot under the collar.

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