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I posted a comment on this answer which I thought was quite constructive and did generate a good number of upvotes. I noticed just now that its gone. I'm curious what the reasoning was.

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  • I'll leave it to a mod to answer why your specific comment was deleted, because there may have been a reason, but in general note that comments are ephemeral and can be deleted for any reason, including none at all. SE is consciously trying to not be Reddit (or Tumblr), where the comments become part of the content. That's not what we're about – Jason Baker Dec 30 '15 at 3:31
  • @JasonBaker Yes, I'm aware. Normally I wouldn't give it a second thought, but I do believe that the deletion of my comment removed an important contribution to the answer. And realistic mods dont go around deleting comments for no reason, so I'm curious what the reason was. – David says Reinstate Monica Dec 30 '15 at 3:34
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    If the comment was an important contribution, it should have been edited into the answer, or generated a new question – Jason Baker Dec 30 '15 at 3:35
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    @JasonBaker It was a comment that would change the author's intent, so it couldn't be edited in, and it wasn't a question, so neither of those apply. – David says Reinstate Monica Dec 30 '15 at 4:17
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    Comments can be deleted by a moderator for any reason and none. They may simply have decided to tidy it away. – Valorum Dec 30 '15 at 23:38
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Yes, all of the comments on that answer were deleted because the comment thread got out of control. If you think your comment still applies, just go post it again.

Comments on answers are not intended to be permanent. They're intended to help clarify or improve the post they are attached to. Ideally, if your comment was genuinely helpful, it would have been edited into the answer and no longer be needed.

Since deleting comments is a moderator-only action, and policing all comments on every question and answer would require an army of them, most of the time comments are left alone. But if they get overly out of control, other community members will typically flag the post for moderator attention, and most of the time the moderators will just clear the whole thread. Unfortunately, when a moderator does intervene, occasionally a relevant one gets caught in the process. This is just part of the disposable nature of comments.

This particular answer came up in chat when the comment thread got over 50 comments long, and it was handled. The comments that were currently on the answer are just the ones that have been posted after the previous set were deleted.

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    Your answer covers it. I was nuking the comments to clean up a huge thread. – user1027 Dec 30 '15 at 4:05
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    It's nice that people in chat who have nothing to do with the question or the answer or (presumably) the comments can get meaningful content deleted for no particular reason than they are annoyed by how many comments something has - despite SE collapsing all but top 5 comments by default. It'd be really really nice if people stopped getting un-constructively involved into OTHER people's content so much and limited it to where it's actually called for or where their participation is constructive and not destructive. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 30 '15 at 4:13
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    For the record, some of those 50 comments had some very good content suggestions that I haven't had time to edit in yet. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 30 '15 at 4:13
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    @Keen - has it occured you to ask me if I would object to losing those comments yet? They (a large proportion of them) were there for the very exact stated purpose of having comments - to improve a post. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 30 '15 at 4:17
  • @DVK Nope. I rarely do. – user1027 Dec 30 '15 at 5:13
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    @Keen - and therein lies the deep problem. You took time to satisfy a complaint from someone who had no meaningful reason to complain (the comment rollup means they were not being harmed by the thread length in a meaningful way - and since they were content with wiping the thread, they didn't care about reading it), but didn't take the time to inquire the parties which ARE meaningfully negatively impacted by satisfying the complaint. The balance should be tilted the other way. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 30 '15 at 5:26
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    @Keen -in an ideal world you would actually read the comments to see if they were meaningful, but I don't think that's scalable given the # of moderators, so asking the post author seems like a good first approximation replacement to that effort. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 30 '15 at 5:28
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    @DVK For what it's worth, I support you in principle about this. I find this blind "form over substance" rules-for-the-sake-of-rules policy slightly disturbing. – Andres F. Dec 31 '15 at 3:13
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    @AndresF. - yes, that (as a principle) is one of my biggest complaints about moderation - as a community activity as well as official moderator activity - on this site. Awsome interesting well-answerable questions are rejected just because someone can layer-in that they violate some rule or regulation on paper (even if they don't violate the reasons why that rule or regulation is out there in the first place) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 31 '15 at 15:06

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