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Answers disappeared when migrating to Code Review

Last week a question was migrated from SO to dba.SE, and one of the answers mysteriously disappeared. A few of us in the heap commented about it, but we shrugged our shoulders and moved on.

Today a question was migrated and it lost a comment I had made. (It was the first comment on the question, in case that has any bearing.) I know this happened on the SO side because:

  • A reply to my comment sent me an SO comment reply notification (see below)
  • A dba.SE mod confirmed that the comment was not deleted after the question came to dba.SE

So barring some hypnotic lapse where I may have deleted it myself, what happened to my comment? Is there any internal tracking about how comments get deleted? I know my comment was not offensive or off-topic - I merely suggested that the copy database wizard was broken and that backup/restore is a much better and safer approach.

Here is the question

Here is proof that my comment did exist prior to migration, and prior to the first comment currently listed.

enter image description here

Here is an example of where a valuable answer (IMHO) was deleted prior to migration.

You'll see that casperOne deleted the first answer 9 seconds before migration, and that the answer does not appear here:

Are SQL Server's Date values stored as a single int?

There is no tracking like this for comments (so I won't even know when it happens), and I can appreciate that mods will have to make some subjective calls about comments from time to time, but I don't understand what criteria are being used so have no idea what parts of a question and its answers will appear on the other side...

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by casperOne Jun 22 '12 at 16:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Comments with links to the target site are cleared upon migration. Did your comment had a link pointing to DBA.SE? – Yannis Jun 22 '12 at 13:32
@YannisRizos No, it didn't. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 22 '12 at 13:33
The answer that I gave in the dupe is exactly what happened here; you'll notice the answer was converted to a comment beforehand and exists on the DBA side. – casperOne Jun 22 '12 at 16:14
@CasperOne thanks, can you comment on my deleted comment above, and this question which you closed with no reason? – Aaron Bertrand Jun 22 '12 at 16:18
@AaronBertrand I was a bit aggressive on that one, looking at it in hindsight. Understand that comments are way below third-rate citizens on SO. At the time I processed it, it looked like a rant, but reading more carefully, it wasn't sorry about that. – casperOne Jun 22 '12 at 16:21
@AaronBertrand In regards to the question which was deleted see the custom rejection message on the flag. Long story short, we get flags asking for deletion of certain things, and when it's just crap and we want them off the site and we delete them outright. I did say that I'll work on putting a close reason in sometimes, but in this case, obvious crap is obvious crap (you said so yourself in the first comment with "Wow this is a real mess.") and with the user asking to have it deleted, there was no reason to keep it around. – casperOne Jun 22 '12 at 16:24
@AaronBertrand As an aside, you should probably refrain from answering such questions, as they're subject to closure and possible deletion. – casperOne Jun 22 '12 at 16:24
@CasperOne Thanks for the explanations. I'm not a mod so I can't see any custom rejection on flags nor can I even see that the user requested the delete, it just says you deleted it and no reason was selected, so it's not as visible to us peons as it may be to you. Also my comment about the mess was about the code sample, not about the underlying question, which was a real question and did have a valid answer. And of course that was before I knew that anyone had requested to delete the question. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 22 '12 at 16:27
@CasperOne I didn't think the question was bad (which is why I answered it). I'm pretty judicious about flagging or VtC bad questions. There was a real question there that had valid answers. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 22 '12 at 16:28
@AaronBertrand Agreed on the disconnect between what we both see. Regarding whether the question is good or bad, it's not overly good or bad. In this case, unless there's an exceptional set of answers, or the question is really good, if the user asks to have it deleted, we will do that, but note, we aren't obligated to. In cases like this, it's a judgement call. I've undeleted it in this case, but try and fix it up more (the comment you have about it being a real mess doesn't help) to get it to be something people will upvote (and therefore the decision to undelete can be justified). – casperOne Jun 22 '12 at 16:32
@CasperOne thanks, I have compressed the question down to the salient part. The bad source code was mostly added after I asked for more details to get deeper into the actual problem, but the answer to the initial question is still useful IMHO. Perhaps he can fix up his bad process through a series of different, better questions. :-) – Aaron Bertrand Jun 22 '12 at 16:37
@AaronBertrand Let's hope so, because all this meta back-and-forth is keeping me from doing real mod work =P Thanks! – casperOne Jun 22 '12 at 16:38
@CasperOne to be fair, I spent a lot of time not answering questions trying to figure out what happened to an answer, a comment and an entire question. :-) – Aaron Bertrand Jun 22 '12 at 16:39
@AaronBertrand Care to look at the last time I answered a question? =) – casperOne Jun 22 '12 at 16:41
@CasperOne but that's not your job anymore. If I ever have the foolish inclination to become a mod I'll be right there with you. :-) – Aaron Bertrand Jun 22 '12 at 16:48
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The comment was manually deleted by a moderator prior to the migration; you'll notice that it isn't on the original question anymore either. This has nothing to do with the migration per se (except that it's common practice to clean up a question before migrating it).

share|improve this answer
Ok, so is there a way to determine why my comment might have been subject to "clean up"? The reason I thought it had something to do with migration is that I've also seen answers not come along, as I mentioned. I'm sure an active answer (especially a correct one, which was the case in point) should be much less prone to clean up... – Aaron Bertrand Jun 22 '12 at 13:42
And to be clear, I don't care about my comment in this example. I'm just wondering if there is too much liberty in clean up and whether we should expect this as normal course - I'm concerned that valuable comments or answers might get "left behind" - intentional or otherwise - in future migrations. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 22 '12 at 13:44

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