A diamond moderator has pissed me off. Again.

This question had very interesting comments which could have drawn new users to the site during this Avengers period: Why doesn't S.H.I.E.L.D. put Hulk on the index and lock him away?
An another user has also showed the concern: Where did all the comments go on this question about the Hulk and SHIELD?
Those comments were enjoyable reads for fans (also, this isn't Stack Overflow that comments can distract users or so). Yet, they were deleted by one of our Diamond Moderators. From bureaucratic point of view, he hasn't done anything wrong because comments aren't meant for those things. Fine (although it's not really fine from the spirit of Sci-Fi).

I just checked some of the top voted questions on top tags and was surprised to see big threads of comments there. Those comments aren't related to question clarification etc too. Where are diamonds now? Why haven't been those comments deleted?

Should we setup a more strict protocols about comments rather than leaving them on the choice of diamonds? Currently, if a diamond is drunk and accidentally deleted all comments, it'd still be considered okay. This is not Okay.
Also, deleting comments on one question and leaving them on another is kind of offense!

SE employees pay more attention here. We should either prevent highly voted comments from deletion (or, at least force Diamonds for that) or clean comments automatically (e.g. auto clean all comments from solved questions after a week).

  • 6
    I am particularly intrigued by the "this isn't Stack Overflow" comment... this is a Stack Exchange site, and AFAIK they all have the same policies on comments...
    – KutuluMike
    Apr 15, 2015 at 20:52
  • I’m pretty sure posts (questions and answers) do far more to improve the site, both in terms of quality and in traffic, then a few comments.
    – alexwlchan
    Apr 16, 2015 at 0:43
  • 1
    Very related, arguably a dupe: What should we do about “funny” comments?. The answers there discuss the nature of comments, their lifespan, and why some are deleted.
    – phantom42
    Apr 16, 2015 at 5:18
  • 1
    Do you want all off-topic comments deleted? Because that's how you get all off-topic comments deleted.
    – phantom42
    Apr 16, 2015 at 5:22

2 Answers 2


The problem with keeping top comments around simply because they're top comments is because a lot of them are simply humorous or joking comments, or replies to previous comments. Taken without the other comments, they won't make sense. Or, if they are simply standalone funny comments, they are cute and all but add no permanent value, so there's no reason to keep them around.

Sure, if there's a ton of comments on a question/answer, they should be deleted too. But the mods can't be everywhere 24/7, so they rely a lot on flags and links from regular users. Especially if the question has had no recent activity, the mods are not going to go seek out every old question with lots of comments. If you want them to be consistent, then lend a hand and flag old groups of chart or extraneous comments.

As has been said many times before, comments are not meant to be permanent. If there is good info, then it should be:

  1. Added by the answerer/asker in an edit
  2. Edited into the question/answer by another user (so long as it is relevant and useful, and doesn't substantially change or contradict the existing Q/A)
  3. Form the basis of a new question/answer, if substantial and relevant and the original poster rejects an edit or it is substantially different.

I don't think we need a new policy. But more consistent implementation of the current policy is not a bad idea, it will just require input from the community to help.

  • 1
    I think the issue here is just one of time management. Yes, it would be nice to go back and clean up comment threads, and I frequently do that for my own comments. But sitewide, comments just aren't important enough to be a priority. If I happen to visit and old question with a comment mess, I'd probably flag it, but I'm not going to go looking. In this case, that question happened to get picked up while it was still relatively active.
    – KutuluMike
    Apr 16, 2015 at 10:22
  • 2
    You have my +1. I'm happy to delete old comment tails but I can't be bothered to hunt them out.
    – Valorum
    Apr 16, 2015 at 12:09
  • @MichaelEdenfield - that was kind of my point
    – The Fallen
    Apr 16, 2015 at 23:09
  • @richard - but what about comment bodies or heads?
    – The Fallen
    Apr 16, 2015 at 23:09
  • 1
    @SSumner - That should read trails, but tails works fine for me.
    – Valorum
    Apr 16, 2015 at 23:15

If moderators haven't yet deleted comments it's because they haven't yet become aware that those comments may need to be deleted.

Moderators are not robots. They don't spend all day reading every question and answer that gets posted; they have lives to live, their own questions and answers to post, and other things to do.

Moderators are very dependent on the rest of us to help them do their job. You're not seeing any inconsistent policy here; the policy on comments is outlined in the Help Center and seems sufficiently clear. All that you're seeing is moderators not reacting to a potential problem because they're not yet aware of it.

You're a 25k user. You have editing privileges. If you see a comment on a question or answer that you think improves it, then edit the question or answer to include the comment in it. Do something positive yourself instead of complaining about it.

  • 3
    Woah back up, we're not robots? Then explain why I keep failing CAPTCHAs!
    – user1027
    Apr 16, 2015 at 22:37
  • 1
    @Keen - you're not robots but you may well be murderous soulless cyborgs hell-bent on the utter destruction of all that is good about humanity. :)
    – user8719
    Apr 16, 2015 at 22:55

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