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I just triggered the new feature for comments that look like a discussion:

Please avoid extended discussions in comments. Would you like to automatically move this discussion to chat?

I'd like to take the suggestion but some of the existing comments are germane to the answer and are best left in place. The wording implies that the comments will be deleted and moved to a chat room - is this the case or am I reading it wrong?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

No, they are not moved. They are actually copied, and final comment is added with link to chat room.

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I agree: the wording implies something that doesn't happen.

It sure would be nice if there were an option to actually move the comments... Most of the time when I answer yes to the prompt, it's because the comments have gotten off-track or irrelevant and I want to restore tidiness of the post, i.e. improve the signal:noise ratio. Yet despite that encouraging wording, there's no way to do that without all participants agreeing to delete their posts... or, I dunno, being friends with a moderator or something.

Is there an acceptable/idiomatic way to flag such clusters of comments as requested for deletion?

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1  
Yes, you can flag the post itself, asking for comment cleanup. – Shadow Wizard Jun 16 at 14:38
    
@ShadowWizard Thanks! I wasn't sure. I hope that's useful to other readers too. – underscore_d Jun 16 at 14:39

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