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Related: http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/78453/error-when-converting-answer-to-comment-on-question-of-deleted-user

Can we lift this requirement, because obviously the backend tracks the original owner. I realize that it still prevents adequate discussion across the sites when looking for clarification on a comment, but c'est la vie.

The two reasons I want this restriction lifted are so we can retain useful links (that's the most often thing I want to convert, a link-only old answer that is the sister to a much more thorough post, especially when it's into MSDN or the like) and so we can retain conversations that were just clarifications.

My options to consider on link only posts:

  • Delete the answer and evaporate the link (perhaps having Community take ownership if needed of the post)
  • Follow the link and backfill important information into the answer
  • Ignore the answer (broken windows)

My options to consider on clarification "threads":

  • Delete the answer and the comments
  • Ignore the answer (broken windows)
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I agree, it seems odd to me that an answer can have an unregistered owner but a comment cannot. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 13 '12 at 16:12
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Plus, existing comments by users that don't exist on the target site of a migration are retained (even if never associated with their owners if they create an account, IIRC), so it seems reasonable to be able to convert disowned answers to comments as well. –  Anna Lear Feb 13 '12 at 16:32
    
Just ran into this on my site. Any chance this could get added to the bug list? –  bmike Aug 26 '12 at 18:05
    
@bmike It is, alas, not a bug but working as intended at the moment. It's a fine feature request, though, that I still hope gets implemented someday. –  Anna Lear Aug 26 '12 at 19:39
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Of course it's a bug. If the intent is to prevent moderators from converting an answer into a comment from a user not registered on the site, then that option should be programatically dimmed or suppressed in the UI. That error message should be replaced with controls that don't let us try to do something you by design don't want us to do. It's also incorrect since on a migrated question the user isn't deleted since it hasn't been made on the site where the question landed. –  bmike Aug 26 '12 at 19:58
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