Multiple comments on my question have been repeatedly deleted without anyone flagging them. They are from multiple users, are valid and not offensive, and yet are being deleted en masse. How could this be, and who has the power to do so?

  • There are a number of comments from yourself on the question you linked to, could you tell us where the deleted comments were? – Darren Burgess Dec 8 '11 at 22:50
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    how would you know whether anyone flagged them or not? – Kate Gregory Dec 8 '11 at 22:54

My comments on my own question, when responding to a downvoter, were repeatedly deleted without anyone flagging them. How could this be, and who has the power to do so?

Moderators do. Moderators, unlike yourself, can also see when someone has flagged a comment. So for instance, I can determine that you've had 10 offensive comment flags on that question so far. Let's see if we can figure out why...

@Downvoter- speak up, don't be a puss.

@Downvoter/closevoter- Do us a favor and explain yourself

@Anonymous downvoter/closevoter- Care to speak up?

Guess what? @Downvoter doesn't notify anyone of anything. It's pure noise. And calling folks "puss" is a great way to convince them not to waste their time talking to you.

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  • Ha- guess that first one was probably ill-advised- but it's honest. – Yarin Dec 8 '11 at 23:38
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    The second of those comments is quite reasonable. The @ is, as you say, pure noise. And in the context of the others it seems delete-worthy, but not on its own. – Ben Voigt Jan 13 '12 at 20:43

Moderator have the power to delete comments.

I'm just guessing here, but as comments should be used to ask for clarification (said clarification should be edited into the question (or answer) not posted as a comment), it's highly likely that one of the comments on your question were flagged and a moderator decided that they were just noise and not adding anything to the question at all.

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  • Is it valid to ask for clarification/explanation from anonymous downvoters? That's what I was doing. – Yarin Dec 8 '11 at 23:08
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    It's a bit pointless though. Down-voters won't get any notification of your comments so unless they check back on the question they won't see the comment. – ChrisF Dec 8 '11 at 23:11
  • Right- it's just a very frustrating thing to get downvoted and not be able to a) recieve an explanation b) engage the downvoter. – Yarin Dec 8 '11 at 23:13

In Jeff's answer to Who has the power to delete a comment?

Without giving too much away, there are certain heuristics that make some types of comments a bit, shall we say, easier to flag away than others.

While your description of your comments don't seem to fall into the pattern I know about, its possible that your comments fell into the heuristics so it could have been a single non-moderator who was deleting your comments.

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    I've definitely been surprised how powerful some of my flags on comments have seemed to be in the past when a user was in the process of self-destructing. – Flexo Dec 8 '11 at 23:33

Standard users can flag comments. After a certain amount of flags, the comments are deleted.

I have seen comments get posted, add my flag, and see the comment disappear, in ten or twelve seconds total.

Don't forget that hundreds or thousands of people may be browsing the site at once, and it is very common to get a dozen views within seconds.

Enough of your peers thought the comments were worth flagging for the comments to evaporate. Please pause a moment and consider what it means for your peers to be moderating your activities in this fashion. Please take that moment again every time you're about to post a comment. :)

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