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Moderators should be able to comment on things after normal users are unable to, such as when a post is deleted or locked. As a moderator on Programmers, I try to leave a comment (if necessary) before taking the appropriate action on the post. However, in the time it takes to write a comment (which often includes digging up links to the most relevant resources and citing specific problems), things may happen - users can leave new answers or comments, Community or the author can delete the post, and so on.

A responding moderator should be able to take the appropriate moderator action on the post to remove the problematic behavior/content from the site and then leave a comment so that the user can learn why this behavior is unacceptable or what needs to be done to fix the content (if it's fixable).

This would effectively change the workflow from {hope no one will do anything -> write a comment -> hope nothing happened to the post that invalidates or blocks the comment -> moderate} to {moderate -> comment}.

Diamond moderators should be able to comment on posts that are otherwise locked from comments.

When a moderator comments on a deleted post, the comment should generate an inbox notification for the post's author just as it would if it were posted right before the post was deleted.

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Related question: Can normal, non-10k users still see and be notified of comments on their deleted content (questions and answers)? I ask because I tend to leave comments that I hope are helpful on content I flag. –  Andrew's a Unitato Dec 12 '12 at 14:07
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Absolutely yes to this proposal! It's quite annoying that when I need to comment on an answer, I first need to undelete it, comment and re-delete it. –  Alenanno Dec 12 '12 at 14:07
    
@AndrewBarber I would hope so - it's crucial to this request. The only difference would be that moderators can comment under more conditions. at-replies and notifications would function normally. –  Thomas Owens Dec 12 '12 at 14:10
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+1 Sometimes I leave a gibberish comment, delete the post, and then edit the comment to something meaningful (which can be done post deletion). –  Double AA Dec 12 '12 at 14:12
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@DoubleAA That may work, but I believe the pre-edit comment is what shows up in the notification window, so you need to be somewhat quick. If the user is active at the time of posting the comment, you also need to be quick about getting the right content int there so they see the meaningful comment, since they don't get notified of the update. –  Thomas Owens Dec 12 '12 at 14:14
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@ThomasOwens I agree it's not ideal, but sometimes it's just more important to delete promptly. –  Double AA Dec 12 '12 at 14:16
    
@DoubleAA I totally agree about the prompt deletion. That's what sparked this feature request. I ended up not leaving a comment, even though I'd like to have a note for the user indicating what they need to do to fix the post or prevent future deletions. –  Thomas Owens Dec 12 '12 at 14:18
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+1 this would be very helpful –  Clive Dec 12 '12 at 14:32
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Deleted questions are not visible to <10k users, even their OPs. Deleted answers are visible to their OPs even if they're <10k. Putting the rules together, if you're <10k and write an answer to some question and that question gets deleted, you won't be able to see even your own answer anymore because the entire question page will be hidden. (@AndrewBarber since Thomas will get notified anyways) –  Pops Dec 12 '12 at 15:48
    
@AndrewBarber: IIRC, only moderator comments on deleted posts get to your inbox. But this says otherwise –  Manishearth Dec 12 '12 at 15:51
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@Popular Demand: That scenario brings us around to: Show all of my question/answers to me even if they are deleted, which likely should be implemented in conjunction with the request. (I'm curious what this looks like from the perspective of a new user, but I'm not willing to waste people's time in order to test it. Seems like the whole thing would be... confusing.) –  Jon Ericson Dec 12 '12 at 19:00
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@casper I see you made some tests on this very question, lol... anyway is there any official declaration of this new feature, or did you just find out it's done by chance? –  Shadow Wizard May 28 '13 at 12:14
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@ShaWizDowArd Another mod (on another site) indicated it was done (the one that made this post as a matter of fact). It seemed only fitting to use this post as a guinea pig. We tested it, it worked as described in the post, so I changed it to status-complete. –  casperOne May 28 '13 at 12:19
    
@ShaWizDowArd Those weren't the only tests I ran. –  casperOne May 28 '13 at 12:20

2 Answers 2

This would be extremely helpful.

I've had the following real world cases happen:

  • A user defaces their own post. I lock the post, then remember I should comment letting everyone know why it's locked. I unlock the post, and write a comment, only to discover that the user has once again defaced the post in the meantime.

  • I delete a post, then remember, "Hey, I should comment to let them know why it's being deleted.", and then I have to undelete the post, comment, and re-delete.

Both of these are sub-optimal for me and for the users who frequent these posts. I believe this feature is necessary to allow moderators the ability to moderate in the least surprising way possible.

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On the flip side, it would actually surprise users that these people with strange looking diamonds can somehow post comments on locked and deleted posts. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Dec 13 '12 at 3:04
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Sounds like a mod message might be a better means of communication if the person is a vandal. ;) –  jmort253 Dec 13 '12 at 4:17

Educational aspect of deleted content has been specifically stressed in the rationale for a recently introduced change:

From above perspective, allowing moderators add explanatory comments in the deleted posts makes perfect sense.

  • Related, although probably less important, as a 10Ker at Programmers I also would appreciate seeing and learning from "post-mortem" mod comments in some of deleted posts I see.

For the sake of completeness, it is worth noting that technically, there is a workaround for moderator to temporarily undelete, add comment, then re-delete the post.

It is also worth noting that frequent usage of mentioned workaround could be considered harmful as it would pollute "Recent Occurrences" section at 10K tools page by bumping posts that are not intended to be there, thus causing reviewers waste efforts trying to decrypt WTH caused particular post get there and figure what actions to take about it.

http://i.stack.imgur.com/G4lgS.png

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