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In this stackapps answer there is a fairly long comment thread. As you read the comments you find that some of them don't make sense.

When you finally get to the bottom, you notice that you missed 16 comments.

I propose that you add the same 'add / show 16 more comments' button to the top of a list of comments. Or, at least, mention at the top that there are hidden comments before a user starts reading the thread.

Alternately, you could add the option to automatically show all comments by default.

Another good example are the comments on this post: Q&A sites wrongfully discourage people from thinking for themselves with respect to Q&A sites

Try reading the comment thread. You will find yourself getting lost, then you will notice that there were 10 hidden comments that could have made reading the thread much easier.

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9  
Or add a setting to automatically show all comments. – Gelatin Jun 25 '10 at 15:12
6  
Yes, I'd rather have a setting to always show the comments. I always click the show more button and I'm tired of having to do that all the time. – siride Jul 29 '10 at 17:05
    
Yes, please do this. – Cititzen Apr 10 '15 at 1:12
up vote -3 down vote accepted

We automatically bump the threshold of comments visible on metas; not sure if you noticed that.

Beyond that this is by design, as we explicitly suppress too much discussion.

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13  
I was about to ask this same question but noticed this. You don't address the option of moving "Show all comments" to the top of the list. I like the current system but would like to be able to expand the comments first so I can see them in chronological order. – JNK Jul 1 '11 at 14:44
7  
This answer basically says "We wish X scenario that sometimes happens didn't happen, so let's not fix the bad user experience when it does happen, even though it's easy". It's illogical. When a comment thread has gone large, no-one benefits from pretending it hasn't until after a user has read disconnected, non-sensical comments. How do we get this reconsidered? – user568458 Dec 5 '15 at 22:08
2  
This is the only truly really bad feature of SE – Cititzen Feb 2 at 6:00

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