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When responding to a "More than 20 comments posted" flag on this post I saw that the discussion had been moved over to a chat room and I thought great I can purge this little lot and leave a pointer to the chat room.

Upon further inspection of the room I noticed that not all of the comments had been moved.

Many of the comments from David Schwartz are replies to other users who's comments didn't get copied to the chat room.

The nett effect of this behaviour means:

  • It's not possible to purge the original comment thread in one fell swoop and leave a pointer to the chat room
  • The comments from David to the left behind users are orphaned and no longer have any context

There was clearly a lot of time spent coming up with the logic to work out which comments to move to chat. Surely a better workflow would be:

  • Move the whole thread to chat
  • Allow mods to purge the original comment thread and leave a pointer to the chat room
  • Mods then clear out any chaff/rants in the chat room version
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First off - the goal shouldn't really be to purge comments unless they're off-topic or at best tangential to the post. Just migrating everything into chat doesn't change that.

But yeah, when there are more than two people involved in a protracted discussion, the chat migration should pick this up and migrate all of the comments involved in the discussion - or failing that, all of the comments on the post.

Whether the comments themselves get deleted after this should depend on whether or not they are sufficiently off-topic or acrimonious to detract from the post itself. When in doubt, leave them be.

A more comprehensive solution might involve direct moderator control over which messages get migrated, and when: Provide a tool for moderators to migrate comments to chat

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