Personally I don't care much one way or the other since I don't normally put a ton into comments besides trying to clarify a question or answer.

However, this has come up in a big way over the past week or two. Comment threads being deleted, people getting upset, etc.

I can't find the reference materials (someone else hopefully will shortly), but I know Jeff has mentioned before that he's not a big fan of comments because they add noise and one of his prime goals is keeping Signal > Noise.

So I thought we should discuss it here on meta, and hopefully someone officialish will weigh in on it as well:

Should comments be treated the same as other posts, or are they tertiary and unprotected?

It's unlikely a good answer or question (which is still on topic) will be deleted by a mod out of hand, and even if it is 10k+ users can still see them.

Would it make people happy if 10k users could see deleted comments?

  • 4
    Less comments good... More comments bad...
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 13:04
  • maybe allow 10k users to see their own deleted comments, perhaps. Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


Comments are definitely "second class" posts. They're intended to be used to ask for or to provide clarifications to the main post that they're on. If they don't improve the post that they're on they might be deleted immediately, but you should always consider your comments expendable. Obsolete comment threads will be deleted (eventually). Critical information should not be left in comments, but edited into a question or answer.

Remember that it's not just moderators that can delete comments. Enough flags from regular community members will automatically delete comments without moderator intervention.

All that being said...

Would it make people happy if 10k users could see deleted comments?

I don't see any harm in it. Worst case, it adds to the checks and balances for those situations when a moderator pulls the trigger on a comment thread too early. Best case, it allows 10k users to see the information and edit it into a proper post after deletion.


Would it make people happy if 10k users could see deleted comments?

I would like to be able to see them, yes.

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