4

I suspect that comments are being deleted more frequently here than at other sites.

Can anyone confirm whether there used to be a comment in this answer alleging that @Borror0 was guilty of referencing their own answers/posts on meta skeptics as an authoritative source of information? (At this stage, I'm not alleging that @Borror0 deleted it - it could have been the community or even the poster - I'm just trying to confirm that it happened)

Also, can anyone confirm that I posted a comment on this question by @Borror0 that has since been deleted? (At this stage, I'm not alleging that the deletion was by @Borror0 or that even if it was, it was improper, I'm just trying to confirm it happened)

Can anyone else confirm that comments are being deleted more frequently here than at other Stack Exchanges?

Edit: I also suspect that a comment I made that objected to the word "enemy" was deleted from this question by @Borror0.

  • 1
    That answer doesn't seem to be referring to meta posts but main site posts. Is there some problem with referring to your own meta posts? IMHO that's kind of the purpose of meta posts, even if they are your own. – Nicole Mar 30 '11 at 23:05
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    And to answer your last question: this is nothing new or specific to Skeptics. (answered in a comment for maximum irony) – Shog9 Mar 31 '11 at 0:02
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Sure. This is... For better or worse... Somewhat natural.

The state of the Site

Skeptics is in a crucially-important stage of its lifecycle: influx of new users, establishment of community-norms (what is on-topic here, what should a good answer look like, how should we deal with poor-quality content), and plenty of arguments over how to deal with users and content that don't meet those norms, and personality clashes, and LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS!

...aaand there's the chicken-and-egg problem of the site needing moderators to keep matters from spiraling out of control, while at the same time not having enough of an established community yet to actually elect moderators.

So we picked a few volunteers, to moderate until the elections happen. And they're doing a bang-up job of it. This is mostly "janitorial" work: dirty, thankless, and never-ending. Oh, and they're pretty much guaranteed to step on toes left and right, simply because they can't sit idly by and watch when conflict arises.

Name-calling, baseless accusations, flame-wars... That's what they're here to put a stop to. Whether the target is another user or another moderator, their instructions are to nip it in the bud.

That said... It sucks when you see a comment just disappear, with no indication as to why. Makes you kinda paranoid about it. Especially on a site where the idea of just taking an explanation at face-value is... A bit contrary to the fundamental objective. And yet, you're gonna have to see a lot of that, for the reasons I've noted above.

So what can you do?

Be constructive

Moderators need feedback. Actually, everyone needs feedback, whether they're new and asking their first question on the site, or experienced and trying to deal with a troublesome situation. The last thing we need is apathy. The comments you leave, the votes you cast, and the discussions you raise are critical to making this site a success.

But be tactful. There's no value in calling out another user for something you can't prove. If you see something that makes you uneasy then ask about it, here, on Meta. Be thorough: describe what you saw, link to what's there, and detail why you feel it's harmful. Avoid all appearance of accusation: it's a good way to put folks who otherwise might help you on the defensive, and - if you're wrong - and even better way to kill your credibility.

Don't use comments for anything important

Comments are, by design, disposable. There's no history, no cost or reward, and they can and will be deleted if there's any hint that they're harmful... or even simply not useful.

On the other hand, questions and answers do have a history, and if deleted can even be restored. If you have something important to say, think twice about putting it in a comment.

Remember the big picture

You're shaping this site. At this stage of the game, every question asked on the main site and every discussion raised here on Meta are important: they're helping to set the tone and the policy for what the site will look like a year down the road.

Make the most of that opportunity...

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    Are my eyes going wobbly on me or is half of this post italicized? – mmyers Mar 31 '11 at 3:44
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    I would have italicized more, @mmyers, but I ran out of asterisks. Need to dig around in the couch cushions, see if I can find more. – Shog9 Mar 31 '11 at 3:54
4

Two years later - Yes, it feels like it.

(Answering in an answer, because apparently I can't tell the difference. Amidoinitrite.)

It would be nice (SE-wide) to have a user-notification of this. I can believe that at least some of my 'output' that's been deleted deserved it, but it could be useful (really - comforting yes, but also useful) to know what happened.

  • +1 only because I think that the feature suggestion has some merit, so people get feedback on their inappropriateness, not because I think too many comments are being deleted. – Oddthinking Jul 8 '13 at 22:38
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    @Oddthinking To emphasize: feels like a lot, not necessarily 'are' or 'too many'. And to qualify 'a lot': 'compared to other SEs' - but again, just my subjective impresssion. – hunter2 Jul 9 '13 at 3:15
2

I'm pretty sure I can see deleted items at this point, and I do not see a deleted comment.

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    I suspect the ability to see deleted comments are different to the ability to see deleted questions or answers. – Andrew Grimm Mar 30 '11 at 23:41
  • Even moderators cannot see deleted comments, those are different from deleted answers you can see. – Mad Scientist Mar 31 '11 at 6:27
  • Nobody sees deleted comments, not even mods. – Sklivvz Mar 31 '11 at 6:28
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    we can't see deleted comments either, but probably should have that ability now that I think about it.. – Jeff Atwood Mar 31 '11 at 7:20
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    For the record, mods now can see deleted comments, if they take action to do so. – Oddthinking Nov 4 '11 at 10:43
  • You shouldn't be deleting comments. – Matthew Whited Aug 9 '17 at 10:56
1

Comments are deleted when they are clearly inflammatory, offensive, spam, etcetera.

Usually this happens after someone flags them, but we don't wait if we see them ourselves.

We do keep a log of all deleted comments and keep track of who is posting them.

To be clear: inflammatory or insulting comments will be deleted without exception.

If someone comes here to vent their frustration and insult random strangers because of their opinions, they can expect that their comments will be noted and deleted. Furthermore we will take action if someone is continually insulting other people or constantly being disruptive.

The amount of comments deleted is merely indicative of how many polite or impolite comments are posted by the community.

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    What should I do if I think comments that aren't "clearly inflammatory, offensive, spam, etcetera" are being deleted? Also, I think "Hope this clears up all your doubts!" is a bit patronising and rude. It's basically saying that the OP of this question is an idiot. – Andrew Grimm Mar 30 '11 at 23:11
  • Contact the mods in chat or use the contact us link in the footer. – Sklivvz Mar 30 '11 at 23:18
1

I confirm.

To-day, I realized that non-controversial and relevant comments to 3 different questions were removed (some of my comments, and comments from other persons that were neither harful or useless).

Of course, no explanation for that removal, except that "comments are disposable".

  • Please do not attempt answers in comments, we are going to delete those comments as soon as they are flagged or noticed. – Sklivvz Oct 25 '15 at 19:00
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    @Sklivvz - I think that there are most respectful methods to pass this message. Nobody forced me to participate to this forum. But, I didn't expect such an unfriendly spirit. – Graffito Oct 25 '15 at 20:08
  • I understand your point. You are not a new user of stack exchange and comments are expendable anywhere on the network, including the other sites where you are active. Given that you are already a high reputation user on a site, people will assume you know the rules wherever you go. Normally people do not consider a comment (whose help text says "Use comments to ask for clarification or add more information. Avoid comments like “+1” or “thanks”.") the right place where to answer, since there is a huge textbox titled "Your Answer" in bold right below. – Sklivvz Oct 25 '15 at 20:34
  • Stackexchange has become useless because the mods are so over zealous with deleting comments, questions and answers. – Matthew Whited Aug 9 '17 at 10:58

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