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Rather than silently deleting answers or comments that are flagged, it would be less mysterious if the answer or comment was replaced with the following text and then locked by a mod:

[Username's] comments were deleted for violating the terms of service

It would probably lessen topics like this on Meta.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

We prefer the silent treatment in cases like this.

Besides, comments are meant to be lightweight. If you want a full revision and deletion history, post answers and questions!

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I don't think I've ever heard of anyone else who's read those books. Tom was my hero when I was 10. – Ether Jan 1 '10 at 3:37

I posted this as a comment on another question but feel it is valid here:

Agreed. I don't always comment on my actions. I handle around 20 - 30 flags a day on SU, I can only imagine how many Marc and Bill handle on SO, and if we had to stop and comment for every single one, we will never have time for anything else. If something is queried we will take the time to respond however.

Diamond moderators have way more to do then the others, and we cannot comment on everything. Reality is every time I have taken the time to respond to something, I have been personally attacked or abused, and honestly, I don't need it. If users can't be mature about using the site, they shouldn't be here in the first place. I don't see why any of us have to open ourselves to abuse.

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Agreed. The problem with silently removing comments is that later comments that refer to the offensive one suddenly become confusing or meaningless.

Consider the following example comment sequence:

  • There might not be a solution, it's probably NP-hard. - NiceUser 2 hours ago
  • Right!! There is no solution!!! You suck!!!! - RogueGuy 1 hour ago
  • That guy is a troll, just ignore. - Toby 10 min ago

which, of course, becomes confusing and wrong after the offensive comment has been deleted:

  • There might not be a solution, it's probably NP-hard. - NiceUser 2 hours ago
  • That guy is a troll, just ignore. - Toby 10 min ago
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well, I would delete both Toby and RogueGuy comments in that case -- or edit the comment, if part of it is salvageable without context. – Jeff Atwood Jan 16 '10 at 7:52

I suspect it would actually result in more topics like this... especially in borderline cases.

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