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I'm curious how it is decided how many comments to display before the "Show more comments" link.
Sometimes I see a dozen comments on a question and no "Show more comments" link, in other occasions no comments are visible at all, only the link.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

On Stack Overflow, it seems to be the best 5 (by votes) or the first 5 (if there aren't any votes).

On Workplace, unupvoted comments are hidden on question pages with more than 2 answers.

On Meta, the per-site configuration is set to show at most 15 comments, unless the number of answers exceeds 30, after which even more comments are hidden by default. Other values are used on other sites. According to a January 2011 comment by Shog9:

it's configurable, per-site (meta is 15), and also changes slightly if the number of answers exceeds threshold (30, except on SU/P.SE where it's 15) in that all comments without votes are hidden.

As an aside, upvoting comments does not change the sort order of comments, but when there are lots of answers, or lots of comments, then comments without any upvote (or comments with less upvotes) might be hidden, until one clicks that "show x more comments".

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But what is "lots of answers, or lots of comments"? I'm trying to ascertain why some questions on some sites don't get five comments and, as an example, this question on The Workplace has only three answers and only seven comments total (all on the question) but only two of the four comments are visible. – Catija Mar 30 at 22:51
    
... while (Dark Knight Trilogy Spoiler warning) this question on M&TV has four answers (one is deleted) and 13 comments total on question and top answer but both times the question and answer display 5 comments... this makes no sense. Is there some relation to the user's Rep on the site? – Catija Mar 30 at 22:55
    
@Catija, sounds to me like the setting is the same as on Stack Overflow: at most 5 comments. Or are other questions on M&TV showing a different number? – Arjan Apr 1 at 8:22
2  
No, I figured it out. Workplace is testing a different comment collapse protocol where only upvoted comments are shown, regardless of the 5 minimum comments rule. There's a question on their meta about it. meta.workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/2899/… – Catija Apr 1 at 13:18
    
You might be right, @Catija, but note that the Meta post dates back from September 2014... – Arjan Apr 1 at 15:05
    
It's still active. Just look at any question with 2+ answers. It's obvious. – Catija Apr 1 at 15:07
    
Ah, @Catija, I didn't notice you posted two comments yesterday. I thought the first was old, and I didn't read it... Only now I understand you were seeing differences between Workspace and M&TV :-) Nice find! – Arjan Apr 1 at 15:34

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