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Around 20 hours ago, I made a comment on this answer. The entire text of my comment was:

Congratulations! You helped create the Silk Road :-). http://krebsonsecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/UlbrichtCriminalComplaint.pdf

Could someone kindly tell me which moderator deleted my comment, and provide a link to the written policy he or she was enforcing?

I made my comment hours before the question was protected, and it was present hours afterward. The last time I checked, it had over 20 upvotes and a good, funny reply from the answer's author. My comment is not racist, sexist, ad hominem, nor offensive to anybody, except in the sense that every statement whatsoever is offensive to "somebody".

Again, my comment was not one of thousands; it was one of two present before the post was protected. And it was there for hours afterward, so the moderator who protected the post did not see a need to delete my comment.

[Update]

This Meta-FAQ says (emphasis mine):

Comments that are flagged by multiple users are deleted automatically. The number of flags needed is based on the comment's score. It currently takes "3 + (Score / 3)" flags to delete a comment.

...

Generally, there is very little reason to delete existing comments from a question or an answer. There are a few possible scenarios where comments ought to be deleted, but it is worth noting that these should be few and far between, due to their permanent effect on the flow of the comment section.

So there is a formula for weighting the community's judgment about the relevance / "noisiness" of a comment. If every moderator substituted his/her own judgment for that of the community, deletions would hardly be "few and far between".

Heck, we have an answer right here that thinks the author responded enthusiastically (rather than just, say, flagging my comment) just to "play along".

My comment had enough eyeballs and upvotes that the community clearly had made a judgment. If my comment was deleted by the automatic formula, fine! If it was deleted by some overactive moderator who thinks he/she knows better than the community what "noise" is... not so fine.

StackOverflow is a Q&A site, but it is also a community. There is a huge difference between the community voting to delete a comment and a moderator substituting his/her own judgment to do so. It is the difference between a "consensus" and an "authoritarian" system.

Can I tell which one this was? Or is that a feature request?

[Update 2]

One more quote from the Meta-FAQ (again, emphasis mine):

Comments exist so that users can talk about questions and answers without posting new answers that do not actually answer their parent questions. Comments are often used to ask for clarification on, suggest corrections to and provide meta-information about posts.

You folks might want to update that Meta-FAQ, since it clearly says the opposite of what most of you are saying.

I guess I have my answer about "consensus" vs. "authoritarian".

[Final Update]

First, this question is obviously not a duplicate of the FAQ, so I request that it not be marked as such. I asked a direct question about the comment moderation policy (clearly on-topic for Meta) and requested references. When I got the reference to the FAQ, I incorporated it into this question and pointed out how deleting my particular comment appears to be inconsistent with what is described by the FAQ.

Second, moderators have censorship power, and such power should always be exercised with restraint, in my opinion. (One might say the applicable cases should be "few and far between", to coin a phrase.) The concept of "on-topic" is subjective; everyone will see it differently. Moderators should err slightly on the side of free expression, and very much on the side of deference to the community's opinion. In short, upvotes should matter. They are not the only thing that should matter, but they should matter.

Contrast this with the accepted answer to this question, where Robert Harvey explains his policy is to delete anything that does not serve "the purpose of comments", in his sole opinion, regardless of votes. I consider this policy ham-fisted, authoritarian, and the exact opposite of the attitude a good moderator would have... But, apparently, this is the actual policy, so I suggest stating it clearly somewhere.

Finally, I do not think the responses here indicate anything about the general SO community. They do indicate quite a lot about the community that hangs out on Meta. On the real SO, no on-topic, clear, civil question would receive 40 downvotes.

share|improve this question
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I'm clearing ALL of the comments here, because on average they were 1000% more off-topic than the one that prompted this question in the first place. Dear chatty people: please post answers / comment on answers. –  Shog9 Oct 3 '13 at 15:57
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FWIW, the "official" guidance for comments can be found here: stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/comment - note the emphasis on their transient nature. I tend to think the current situation for those questions and answers - temporarily locked, with a prominent notice directing folks here for discussion - is a good compromise between unlimited tangential discussion and silence. –  Shog9 Oct 3 '13 at 18:19
    
Yeah, I knew the "C" word would show up eventually. Better than invoking Godwin's Law, I guess. What you're failing to recognize is that we don't allow folks to do anything they want in this sandbox. There are plenty of other sandboxes on the Internet where you can freely voice your opinion (they're called forums), or you can write your own blog, if you're so inclined. –  Robert Harvey Oct 3 '13 at 20:21
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In case anyone is wondering, I've done a quick update of the MSO faq post about comments. I changed the "When should comments be deleted" section to stress the ephemeral nature of comments, which should have been there all along. –  Laura Oct 3 '13 at 20:26
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@RobertHarvey: I was there when Godwin's Law was invented (though using a different name). I would never compare you to Hitler. I merely said I consider you to be a bad (i.e. ham-fisted / authoritarian / humorless) moderator. Deleting comments fits the literal dictionary definition of "censorship", so I do not know why you object to the word here. "The comment censorship on SO has gotten out of control" is a straightforward expression of an opinion without hyperbole. –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 20:56
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You're certainly free to use the term, but it implies the presence of "free speech," which is not, strictly speaking, an active component of Stack Exchange, or even a desirable one. The content on SE is too tightly controlled to support the notion of free speech, so the idea that we're actually stifling someone's freedom of expression is ridiculous, since no such freedom actually exists here, except within the strict confines of the Q&A framework that SE has created. –  Robert Harvey Oct 3 '13 at 22:49
    
@Laura: Thank you. Now that I know the SO policy has changed, I also know I want no part of it anymore. Is there a quick way to remove all 570 of my answers from the site? –  Nemo Oct 4 '13 at 2:03
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@Nemo you don't own your questions anymore, but feel free to delete your account. –  Blorgbeard Oct 4 '13 at 2:57
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@Blorgbeard: Charming. Nothing mindlessly legalistic and authoritarian about that at all. Apparently the only control I have over my own thoughts on SO is never to provide them again. Which, thanks to you, I have resolved to do. Cheers. –  Nemo Oct 4 '13 at 3:44
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@RobertHarvey: You are objectively wrong. "Censorship" does not imply the presence of "free speech". "Censorship" implies "the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts". Your job as a comment censor is to encourage a useful and -- dare I say it? -- enjoyable environment for SO participants. You are very bad at your job, since by your own assertion you delete any comment -- no matter how well-liked -- that does not conform to your limited, joyless vision. –  Nemo Oct 4 '13 at 3:46
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@Laura: The "few and far between" wording was infinitely better. It was clearly written with a vision of something collaborative, lightly-regulated, and fun. The new vision is sterile, authoritarian, and boring. It's the difference between an open-air bazaar and a visit to the DMV. Of course, arguing with the folks at the DMV is like trying to "teach a pig to sing", so I will stop arguing with all of you shortly. –  Nemo Oct 4 '13 at 3:52
    
@RobertHarvey: I realize arguing with you is pointless because the concepts are totally alien to you, so I will stop now. Feel free to have the last word and then go back to doing your little thing unchanged. For my part, these are the last words I will write on any SE venue ever. –  Nemo Oct 4 '13 at 3:56
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@Nemo just providing information. But whatever, feel free to rage-quit because a single off-topic comment of yours was deleted. –  Blorgbeard Oct 4 '13 at 4:08
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@Nemo chill out lol the whole human race has this admin abuse problem not just stack network –  MickLH Oct 4 '13 at 4:44
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@Nemo Our policy hasn't changed. The posts tagged faq here on meta are maintained by the community and are meant to help provide extra information, historical context, or examples of how Stack Exchange works. They are not "official" policy, and unfortunately, in this case, there was an error in one of the statements about comments. I'm sorry to hear you aren't happy with the clarification, and you are of course free to stop participating in the site, but I hope you reconsider and that you understand our goal isn't censorship, but rather maintaining high quality Q&A with few distractions. –  Laura Oct 4 '13 at 13:46
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7 Answers

up vote 25 down vote accepted

Comments have two sanctioned purposes: to clarify a post, and to ask for clarification.

That's it. Any other use of comments makes them subject to removal.

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The issue is who decides. In general, should that not be the community, with the moderator's role to intervene in the "few and far between" cases where the community's judgment is clearly faulty? If not, you might want to update the Meta-FAQ, which says: "Comments exist so that users can talk about questions and answers without posting new answers that do not actually answer their parent questions. Comments are often used to ask for clarification on, suggest corrections to and provide meta-information about posts." Which is kind of the opposite of what you are saying. –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 14:12
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I'd say the community got it wrong here. "LULZ Criminal mastermind uses SO for fun and profit!" is not really the purpose of comments, and I don't care how many upvotes a comment like that gets, I'm still going to delete it. –  Robert Harvey Oct 3 '13 at 14:16
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@Nemo Also keep in mind that, based on the responses throughout this meta post, there are clearly quite a lot of community members that feel that deleting your comment is appropriate. All of the answers advocating that are upvoted and your assertion that it shouldn't have been is downvoted. Clearly it's not just the moderators that felt that the comment didn't belong; the community seems to support the moderator's decision. –  Servy Oct 3 '13 at 14:21
    
Accepting this answer since it most clearly captures the operational attitude. –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 14:53
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It's really sad when comments get deleted just because they are humorous. –  Lance Roberts Oct 3 '13 at 15:20
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@LanceRoberts Technically they aren't deleted because they are humorous, they are deleted because they are nothing but humorous. –  Richard Tingle Oct 3 '13 at 15:29
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The sole purpose of comments is to elicit improvement in the post. This can be in the form of asking for clarification or providing extra information. Comments that don't follow this are usually deleted.

Comments that do not improve the post or are no longer needed can be deleted. They are second class citizens, and are meant to be ephemeral. The comments weren't offensive, just unnecessary.

(Also, that post has been getting many, many comments like this. No point having them there.)

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My comment was there for hours both before and after the post was protected. So whoever protected the post did not see a need to delete my comment at the time; that was somebody else. Can you provide a link to the actual written policy being enforced here? –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 13:13
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@Nemo "Any comment that doesn't contribute to the improvement or understanding of the post itself may be considered noise." under "When should comments be deleted?" on the How do comments work? FAQ. –  apsillers Oct 3 '13 at 13:16
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@Nemo stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/comment. The user who protected the post isn't a diamond moderator and can't delete comments. Also, even if he was, there's no guarantee that he would have even seen your comment. Mods don't check everything else on a page when handling a specific issue. They don't have to. It's likely that your comment was flagged later and then noticed. –  Manishearth Oct 3 '13 at 13:17
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@Nemo and frankly, I don't see the comment as all that "fun". If the user was inadvertently involved in helping a criminal, why do you think he wants to be reminded of it. I find it borderline offensive that you think it would be "fun" to bring it up (and have multiple others do the same) –  psubsee2003 Oct 3 '13 at 13:19
    
@pubsee2003: As I said in my question, the author of the answer himself replied to my comment with enthusiasm and humor. His comment also had 20+ upvotes before it was removed. I thought it was "fun" because it was fun. "Criminal" != "villain". –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 13:23
    
@Manishearth: The paragraph immediately above says "There are a few possible scenarios where comments ought to be deleted, but it is worth noting that these should be few and far between, due to their permanent effect on the flow of the comment section." If every moderator took it upon themselves to decide what "doesn't contribute", deletions would hardly be "few and far between". All else equal, why not let the community decide? (If my comment was deleted automatically by too many flags, OK, fine. Is that what happened? How can I tell?) –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 13:29
    
@Nemo In the meta FAQ? Actually...that one needs rewriting. Refer to the privilege page for now. As a moderator myself (not on SO), we're not really supposed to give comments much importance. If a comment is flagged and there's no immediate purpose to it wrt improving the post, we delete it. Community flagged deletions are rare because most community members don't actively flag comments. But the rules on comments are agreed upon by a large portion of the community, iirc. –  Manishearth Oct 3 '13 at 13:33
    
@Manishearth: Yes, in the meta FAQ. I find it a little odd you folks have a formula for when a comment gets deleted automatically, but you do not let it operate even for comments with plenty of eyeballs (and upvotes). I have no problem if my comment was deleted in accordance with the formula; my problem is with a moderator clearly substituting his/her judgement for that of the community. How can I tell which one this was? –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 13:39
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@Nemo Seriously, what does it matter?, it was a superflous comment that didn't contribute anything to the answer or question (but it was "funny", according to some) –  Lamak Oct 3 '13 at 13:59
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@Lamak: It matters because SO is a Q&A site, but also a community. Huge, huge difference between the community voting to delete a comment and a moderator doing it based on his/her judgement. –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 14:00
    
@Nemo Why do you feel a moderator is able to judge the quality of a comment less than other members of the community? –  Clive Oct 3 '13 at 14:01
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@Nemo They are mods because of this community, and because we put our trust in their judgement. And, again, it was a comment that according to me, and many other users, didn't contribute at all –  Lamak Oct 3 '13 at 14:02
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@Nemo The problem is that most people just don't bother to delete comments. If you asked them if a given comment should be deleted they'd often say it should, but they don't take the time to flag all of the offtopic comments they see. As a result, they rarely get enough flags to be deleted without mod intervention. Mod intervention is necessary with respect to comments, unlike say most instances of closing, where there is enough enthusiasm for community moderation. –  Servy Oct 3 '13 at 14:02
    
@AaronBertrand The fact that that comment wasn't deleted is actually evidence that it's not true. If he were telling the truth a comment such as that would obviously have been deleted right away. –  Servy Oct 3 '13 at 15:33
    
@Servy and that's what big brother wants you to think. :-) –  Aaron Bertrand Oct 3 '13 at 15:34
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Comments that are not constructive to the post they are on are liable to be deleted. Congratulating someone on something is very much not relevant. A comment need not be offensive to be deleted. Even comments which were useful but are now outdated should be deleted (preferably by their author but a moderator can do it if necessary).

Never assume comments are going to hang around, they are to ask for clarification, not to congratulate people. Their purpose is to make the post they are on better and after that they should go; I'm not sure your comment could ever have led to an improvement in that post so should go immediately

Additionally being highly upvoted should not mean a comment should be protected from deletion because it may;

  • Have been highly relevant but now outdated
  • Have been funny/interesting but highly off topic

To see the rules on comments, click add comment under your own question and see the rules written clearly there;

Use Comments to ask for clarification or add more information.


Are highly upvoted comments are approved by the community

Not necessarily, it just shows a certain number of people thought it was good. There are no comment downvotes so if 10 people approve of your comment and a thousand people disapprove then it will still be +10.

Additionally moderators are elected by the community and so are the communities voice. If for whatever reason people feel they are not acting for the community it can be discussed on meta. In this case the community seems to be squarely behind the moderator in this action

Should any non offensive comment be allowed

You are effectively proposing that people should be allowed to say whatever they want in comments as long as its not actually offensive. That would lead to many irrelevant comments: links to funny articles, general chit chat between friends. I expect the site would be dead within 6 months. Given that I can only conclude; no!

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Seriously? So if I go around flagging every single comment that says "thank you" or is "not constructive", a moderator will delete it? –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 13:05
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@Nemo That's more or less my understanding, yes. "Thanks" comments, definitely yes, assuming they have no other information. Also, some (or all?) comments can be deleted by some threshold of non-mod user votes. –  apsillers Oct 3 '13 at 13:06
    
@Nemo all "thank yous" I got on Drupal Answers were deleted after some time, so quite possibly yes. Too chatty seems better reason, but oh well. –  Mołot Oct 3 '13 at 13:07
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@Nemo: Technically, yes, but while there are lots of ways you could make more productive use of your time, using it to hunt for thank-yous to flag is not one of those ways. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Oct 3 '13 at 13:07
    
@Mołot Was that not you who flagged all those thank you comments?! –  Clive Oct 3 '13 at 13:10
    
@Clive No, I rarely flag comments as anything but obsolete. I just check out my old answers once in a while so I notice things. Especially my nickname misspeled to Motot or something so I don't get notifications :P that's what keeps me looking at comments. –  Mołot Oct 3 '13 at 13:11
    
@Mołot Ah, I never checked I just assumed as they were mostly on your answers you were doing some spring cleaning. I guess we have a budding janitor in the making somewhere ;) –  Clive Oct 3 '13 at 13:11
    
@Clive you say? I haven't noticed it's something that happens like now. It was my overall impression they tend to disappear. I do flag as obsolete quite often, though, as I do my best to keep my answers in good shape. But that's not what you're talking about I guess. –  Mołot Oct 3 '13 at 13:13
    
I can't upvote your edit, but +1 again. @Nemo if you feel a moderator overstep his/her authority, you can always contact the SE community team, but I would bet real money that they would be 100% the mod in this case –  psubsee2003 Oct 3 '13 at 14:35
    
@Nemo Yes, you should absolutely flag such comments. They are too chatty, off-topic, and not constructive. Take your pick of these flags. –  meagar Oct 3 '13 at 15:01
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Because it had nothing to do with the answer. While the author allegedly went on to use the information for nefarious purposes, both questions are perfectly valid, and received perfectly acceptable answers.

The fact that the author is allegedly the king pin of Silk Road really has no technical bearing on the question, and just boils down to quite a bit of unfortunate noise left under the post, and delivered to people as notifications. Remember, leaving a comment notifies the author of the post as well.

We know that the comment was left in fun, but the popularity of this case is bringing a lot of attention onto two otherwise perfectly normal questions.

I've gone ahead and made sure both are locked, as well as the answers - which prevents commenting altogether for a week. I don't want folks to think we're being rude, we really aren't, we're just trying to keep the noise down.

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As I said in my question, the author of the answer replied to my comment with enthusiasm and humor. His reply had 20+ upvotes also before it was deleted. Shouldn't the community decide the relevance/interest of comments, in general? (Which reminds me, was my comment deleted by a moderator, or automatically by too many people flagging it? This makes a huge difference...) –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 13:27
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@Nemo The community curates our lasting information, which are questions / answers / tag wiki pages. Comments are an ephemeral venue for clarification and should be removed once any relevant information is moved into the question. They become a confusing distraction for folks that find us through searching otherwise, resulting in much more noise than signal. We didn't have comments originally, and resisted adding them for just that reason. Additionally, a lot of comments have been removed under posts on both questions. –  Tim Post Oct 3 '13 at 13:30
    
"There are a few possible scenarios where comments ought to be deleted, but it is worth noting that these should be few and far between, due to their permanent effect on the flow of the comment section." meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19756 If every moderator used their judgement on what is "unfortunate noise", deletions would not be "few and far between". –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 13:34
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we're just trying to keep the noise down I think that about covers it, nothing else needs to be said about this. –  bluefeet Oct 3 '13 at 14:07
    
@Tim: Please see my updated question. The issue is who decides what is noise. When the community makes a clear judgement, shouldn't that prevail except in extreme cases? Also, my comment was one of exactly two that got deleted on that answer. –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 14:08
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@Nemo What makes you think that the community didn't flag your comment to be deleted? Just because you had some users upvote it, doesn't mean that other people didn't flag it as not-constructive. –  bluefeet Oct 3 '13 at 14:09
    
@bluefeet: I agree, which is why I also asked "how can I tell which"? There is a huge difference between the community deciding to remove a comment and a moderator doing it. Do you really not see that? –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 14:25
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@Nemo IMO, there is no difference. Comments are not considered permanent content and are meant to be temporary, thus they can be deleted by being flagged or by the mods. It really shouldn't be this big of a deal. –  bluefeet Oct 3 '13 at 14:29
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@Nemo FWIW, I had been watching the question that was linked in many news articles, well, since it was linked, and had been deleting comments as quickly as they were coming in - at least until I decided to lock it. Only after that had I realized he actually had a second question which was getting trickle views. There were a lot of unconstructive comments about the Silk Road over these two questions, some of which got up above 10 votes very quickly. You're not being singled out here. –  animuson Oct 3 '13 at 14:54
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Why was my harmless comment deleted?

Frankly, I don't see the comment as all that "fun" or harmless.

If the user was inadvertently involved in helping a criminal, why do you think he wants to be reminded of it. I find it borderline offensive that you think it would be "fun" to bring it up (and have multiple others do the same). The comment should have been nuked. Had I seen it before it was deleted, I would have flagged it as offensive.

The last time I checked, it had over 20 upvotes and a good, funny reply from the answer's author.

How do you know that the author wasn't actually offended and just played light because of the situation.

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I wasn't offended. I thought it was bizarre and responded in kind with an off the cuff quip. Having read these comments I agree that it's noise and I don't care one way or the other if it gets deleted or not. –  Stevo Oct 3 '13 at 15:57
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Why was my harmless comment deleted?

Your comment was not harmless. Stack Overflow lives and dies by it's signal-to-noise ratio. Your comment was noise, which is actively detrimental to the quality of contribution on Stack Overflow.

This is not Reddit, and there are lots of us who don't want it to be Reddit. Stack Overflow is for reference-quality Q&A. If your contributions are not helping that goal, they are harming it. The last thing we need is to encourage irrelevant, off-topic humour in comments, and this is why we specifically provide a means for all users to easily flag such crap comments.

Edit

You are continually beating the twin dead horses of "but the community liked it" and "I'm just thinking of the community". Stop it. This is not a democracy, thankfully; the vast majority of the community doesn't know what the hell it wants, or understand what makes Stack Overflow a good place to ask questions. I would conservatively wager that users contributing utter garbage content outnumber good contributors ten to one. If every website was fully community-run with no curation, every website would be the same flaming pile of crap content, borrowing equally from 4chan and Yahoo Answers. The reason the Stack Overflow is worth-while is that we hold our content to a higher standard. We specifically elect moderators to make this kind of decision.

RE: Your second update

You've also latched onto one specific sentence from the faq:

...Comments are often used to ask for clarification on, suggest corrections to and provide meta-information about posts.

You appear to be willfully misinterpreting this to make it a defence of your comment. Your argument seems to be that all a comment has to do is be tangentially related to the author of a post to be completely on-topic and immune to moderation. By that logic, here's a completely valid comment on any one of a certain top users's thousands of answers:

JON SKEET IS GOD, I CAN'T BELIEVE hOW OFTEN HE ANSWERS!!1!!1

This is exactly the kind of garbage we don't want here, and I think you know it. You're not going to win this argument.

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"You" also provide an upvote button for comments, and have a formula for when a comment gets automatically deleted based on the upvotes vs. flags. If my comment was deleted because of that formula, fine, no problem! My problem is if some moderator substituted his/her judgement for the community's about what is "noise". If there are lots of upvotes and few downvotes, then the community is clearly making a judgement. How can I tell whether my comment was removed due to the formula vs. due to some overactive moderator? –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 13:45
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@Nemo Stack Overflow is not and never has been a democracy. We specifically give moderators the ability to act on their own so that they can act on their own. If moderators weren't allowed to do this, we would have no need for moderators. As for how to tell whether it was removed by flags or by a moderator, you are not privy to this information. –  meagar Oct 3 '13 at 14:18
    
Of course moderators have the power to delete comments. The Meta-FAQ is pretty clear about when they should exercise that power, and it is the opposite of what is being said here. "You are not privy to this information" is also a problem. The difference between the community deleting a comment through consensus and a moderator deleting it by fiat is like night and day... For anyone who cares about the community. –  Nemo Oct 3 '13 at 14:27
    
@Nemo You're right; the FAQ clearly needs to be updated to be more in line with the communities views on comment deletion. Thank you for bringing that to our attention. –  Servy Oct 3 '13 at 14:31
    
@Servy No, it really doesn't. The crux of his argument is that comments only need to (according the current FAQ) "provide meta-information" to be on-topic. That's a willfully stupid interpretation of the rules. By that logic, "This question is 574 characters long" is a perfectly on-topic comment. –  meagar Oct 3 '13 at 14:45
    
@meagar And that the post is being poorly interpreted is an indication that it should be re-worded to be clearer, so that such mis-interpretation isn't likely to cause such confusion in the future. –  Servy Oct 3 '13 at 14:48
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@Servy There is no "poor interpretation" here, only wilful misinterpretation and a person who is angry that their popular comment was deleted. –  meagar Oct 3 '13 at 14:58
    
@meagar Regardless, there is room for improvement; most notably that the post doesn't convey the fact that comments, by design, are second class citizens and that if the content is particularly important it belongs in a proper post. –  Servy Oct 3 '13 at 14:59
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Comments shouldn't be deleted just because they are humorous. Comments are not the main players on these sites and should have more slack than questions or answers, they are the place for anything humorous. Stack Overflow doesn't need to be purified from all humor, and your comment should have been left alone.

I guess there are just a lot of users who hate anything that isn't completely technical.

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While I agree comments should be the place for the small amount of ok humour it should still be relevant and make a useful point as well. This was in no way, not even a little bit, relevant –  Richard Tingle Oct 3 '13 at 15:28
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The post wasn't deleted because it was humorous. It was deleted because it didn't provide value to the post. If it did both, it would be fine. –  Servy Oct 3 '13 at 15:34
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What is your objection to deleting comments that have no technical relevance to the post? –  Oded Oct 3 '13 at 16:51
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@Oded, comments have been used on SO from the beginning for humor, it's an appropriate place, as opposed to Q&A. –  Lance Roberts Oct 3 '13 at 16:55
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Comments were always meant for clarification and adding value to posts. That that have always been abused is not a good argument. –  Oded Oct 3 '13 at 16:58
    
Creating a humorless site isn't helpful for building a community. –  Lance Roberts Oct 3 '13 at 17:12
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Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda? He was lucky it was a soft drink. –  Oded Oct 3 '13 at 17:16
    
Now, should my last comment stay as it brings humor? –  Oded Oct 3 '13 at 17:18
    
While I see no real reason to delete it, it's really a red herring. Most humorous comments on SE are usually tangentially related to the post (like the one in question), which is what gives impetuous to the humor. –  Lance Roberts Oct 3 '13 at 17:20
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Which is fine, in particular if they add value. But dragging in matters that have nothing to do with the post? However humorous? –  Oded Oct 3 '13 at 17:34
    
@Oded Yes, that comments should stay, because it's used as an example to demonstrate a point. The joke adds value in context. Were you to go and post that joke to some random question elsewhere, then it would be off topic should be deleted. –  Servy Oct 3 '13 at 18:15
    
Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/75715/… –  Shog9 Oct 3 '13 at 18:21
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