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I left a comment on a question yesterday; this morning my inbox said there was a reply to it so I went to check it out. The reply is there but my original comment is gone! There was nothing in it that would cause it to be deleted, so I wonder where it went?

This question: How can I implement a pre-processing app for bank statement CSV files?

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Can you remember what your comment was? The obvious answer is that it was deleted, most likely by a moderator, but if it got enough flags it would be auto deleted. –  ChrisF Nov 1 '11 at 14:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Your comment was flagged as not constructive and was removed, the comment was:

Any chance you'd consider Python for this? It has built-in CSV support; I don't know much about Perl.

This doesn't really resolve the problem or offer a meaningful path to go down in most situations. As a moderator, I agreed it was not constructive and removed it to clear the flag. We see several dozen of these in the queue every morning, it was one of many removed as a normal processing of the moderator flag queue.

We aren't perfect on cleaning up any replies to comments removed (we don't have a great deal of visibility when dealing with things en masse here), the error here was leaving that reply behind when it made no sense...it's been removed to clean up as well now.

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I left the comment in response to this part of the question: I have just installed ActivePerl and would like to get to know Perl much better, but I have no idea where to even start. It sounded like this might be their first Perl program so the suggestion wasn't completely out of line. If I had left it as an answer rather than a comment then I wouldn't have been surprised to see it deleted. –  Mark Ransom Nov 1 '11 at 14:48
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Situations like this are why I usually stay away from deleting "not constructive" comments. Its so hard to judge that, and while most people don't notice if you remove them, when they do it can be upsetting. Might be worth some thought about how the system can handle this situation better... –  Won't Nov 1 '11 at 15:48
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The comment might have said, "Since you are only starting with Perl, do you have any willingness to consider alternatives?" and that might have avoided flagging. –  Rosinante Nov 1 '11 at 17:07
    
@Rosinante, in hindsight that might have been a better way to phrase it. Of course I had no idea it would be taken badly with the original phrasing, it seemed an innocent enough question. –  Mark Ransom Nov 17 '11 at 3:54
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I find it very strange we are not notified if a comment has been deleted. My memory is not good enough to remember the specific comment and I do not feel like taking a copy of all comments I make in case they are removed for some reason. ) –  mplungjan Oct 14 '13 at 9:22

Based on the reply, I assume you said something like "you should use Python instead". That tends to not go over well -- if the asker specifically says they want to use language X, they probably don't feel like arguing about it; they just want help using language X. In this case it looks like he didn't mind too much, but I'm sure for many people it gets old seeing comments like that all the time. Someone probably flagged it as unconstructive, and a mod saw it from the mod queue and thought you were being difficult (comment flags are somewhat lacking in context) and deleted it

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Correct on both counts. –  mmyers Nov 1 '11 at 14:21
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See the other answer for the exact comment I left, I definitely wasn't trying to be difficult. I can see how someone might take it that way though. –  Mark Ransom Nov 1 '11 at 14:51

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