On my recent question Does the CDC over-report annual flu deaths in the U.S.?, I have had two comments silently deleted.

The first one, was something explaining the supposed rationale behind the CDC-is-controlled-by-industry conspiracy theories.

The second one was asking "Why was my comment deleted?"

It's not that I really mind having my comments deleted, but I would kind of like to know why they were deleted.

I know there's no hard and fast rule that moderators need to explain all of their actions, but it is certainly encouraged that comment cleanups be explained (at least it was when I became a mod). And it is certainly common courtesy to do so if someone is ASKING why they're being cleaned up.

  • Not sure why this is downvoted. I've encountered similar. I guess @Fabian's answer makes sense (so accept it, maybe?), and could well apply to me. I'll say, though, that there's a few places, already, where my comments were removed, others weren't, and now I can't see what comment I made that other people are asking about/responding to. It would be nice to at least have a note on my user page/notifications when something I wrote gets deleted (ideally with the content).
    – hunter2
    Jul 8, 2013 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


The tools are not really clear on which comments were flagged, but I'm seeing quite a lot of flags on the comments on that post. I've also removed some more comments that were still left.

I didn't remove your comments myself, but I'd argue that they were pretty much editorial content, and did not fit into our efforts to frame questions from a neutral point of view. The comment does not indicate whether you actually adhere to the point of view presented in the comment, but that also does not matter for the decision to remove that comment.

We should have removed all the related comments at that point, they were a distraction from the main point of the question and pretty much invited partisan comments on the role of the CDC. I caught up on that now and removed all the other related comments.

In general I don't announce the removal of comments unless I also need to remind all the participants to stop arguing or something like that. Such moderator comments tend to draw attention when the purpose of removing the comments is to avoid additional discussion and potential conflict. So while I see no problem in explaining such deletions upon request, I don't think it is a good idea to comment on every comment deletion automatically.

  • 1
    Sure, I think it's fair to remove rambling comments (mine may well have been such). Although when I do that, I tend to leave behind a "Obsolete comments removed" (or similar) comment myself. But you are right, that does add to the clutter you're trying to remove. The only thing that really annoyed me was that my question asking why my comment was removed was simply removed.
    – Flimzy
    Jun 25, 2013 at 0:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .