Why have the comments been deleted at https://stackoverflow.com/q/10007362/140719?

Really, what is it with the mods and deletions?? Those comments explained to the asker (and to other newbies) why this question was closed. Don't you feel it's stupid to delete them? How is anyone (but us old farts) looking at the question now to know why it was closed?

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    Probably the comments have been flagged. What is the point of explaining why the question was closed, when it is reported in the "closed as…" block? – kiamlaluno Apr 4 '12 at 9:52
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    @Kiamlaluno what is the harm of explain exactly why a question was closed? – thecoshman Apr 4 '12 at 9:55
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    @kiamlaluno: Because close reasons are generic (especially "too localized"), and comment might be specific? – Cat Plus Plus Apr 4 '12 at 9:55
  • @thecoshman It depends from the number of comments; if there is an exchange of 5-6 comments between somebody that is saying the question is too localized, and the OP who is saying that is not true, or that the OP needs to know the answer, then I guess it could be deleted. There is a reason for flagging that says "obsolete." – kiamlaluno Apr 4 '12 at 10:01
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    Do you have the deleted comments? I guess it turned into "comments war" between some users so moderator decided to clean it all. (After enough flags were received, probably) – Shadow Keeps Social Distance Apr 4 '12 at 10:03
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    @CatPlusPlus They are generic, but they explain why the question was closed; in the case of a too localized question, the key point is, "This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors." – kiamlaluno Apr 4 '12 at 10:03
  • @ShaDowWizArd: No comment wars. Oli gave several reasons why he voted to close, the OP asked, Oli explained more. Oli's comments had several upvotes because they explained it well. My comment was deleted, too, but since I had it linked in a chatroom, I just added it back. – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 11:40
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    @kiamlaluno: The comments explained why the SO community thinks those questions are unlikely to be helpful to future visitors. There were several of them, because the OP kept asking, because he didn't understand this. – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 11:41
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    @sbi There is not need to explain it. If the OP wants to know for which exactly reason the question was considered too localized, he can ask on this very site. – kiamlaluno Apr 4 '12 at 12:02
  • @kiamlaluno: The OP asked even after Oli had explained it at the very question. So there is need of explanation, and he asked at the perfect place. – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 12:06
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    @sbi Where do you read that such explanation must be given in the comments for the question? Comments are second-class citizens, and they are removed when they are not (anymore) relevant. A comment saying, e.g., that the approach described in the question is not much appropriate makes more sense than a comment saying why a user thinks the question is too localized, IMO. – kiamlaluno Apr 4 '12 at 12:19
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    Think of Stack Overflow as a forest full with trees. Each question is a tree, each answer is a branch and each comment is a leaf. Tree got plenty of leaves and they're rather insignificant in general. When the forest ranger spot a tree with rotten leaf - even one - he will casually clean the whole branch. – Shadow Keeps Social Distance Apr 4 '12 at 13:00
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    @sbi The fact the OP is asking doesn't mean you need to answer in comments. The answer could have been "ask on MSO." Even questions and answers are deleted; why would you think that comments, which are considered second-class citizen, should always be kept? As a matter of fact, you can flag a comment for being obsolete, while you cannot do the same for a post. Stack Exchange always taught that you should not write something important in a comment, because a comment could be removed any time. – kiamlaluno Apr 4 '12 at 13:08
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    @sbi indeed, one possible conclusion is to not try and explain why question got closed as it might be waste of time. – Shadow Keeps Social Distance Apr 4 '12 at 13:18
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    @sbi The fact comments can be deleted at any time is well known; it's not something that suddenly started to happen. Jeff Atwood also wrote, "@shog9 not every user-generated byte committed to memory is sacred. Particularly in comments, which are meant to be lightweight and ephemeral. If you want to post content more likely to survive, do it in an answer." – kiamlaluno Apr 4 '12 at 13:45

If only there was one question... one question out of three million, that had a long comment thread which covered the reason why that particular question was closed...

It might be the one--the one comment thread that helps new users just get it. All we have to do is point people to that one question and they'll understand everything.

Why not? We already cover this

  • In the post notice underneath the question
  • In the faq
  • In meta
  • In thousands of other questions where users have left comments detailing why a particular question sucked

But, who knows? Maybe this is the one that would have worked.

Or, it might have been redundant noise that was drawing offensive flags.

If you want, I can post the text of your comment so that you can copypaste it in all the closed C++ questions. Just give me the heads up.

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    Your answer explains why you don't think the comments are worth reviving. I was, however, asking why they were deleted. This your answer doesn't explain. – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 11:51
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    @sbi: comments flagged as offensive. Question closed. A mod could read the comments, try to determine which are relevant and which are not, then prune out the worthless ones and then edit anything that is offensive out of the ones that are left... or just purge comments because the question is closed and move on to other flags. – user1228 Apr 4 '12 at 11:54
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    What was offensive about Oli's comments explaining why the question was deemed too localized? That's nonsense. – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 11:55
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    @sbi: Hey! Welcome to moderation! Here's your cup of coffee. If people in general were rational, we wouldn't have to deal with most flags. Unfortunately, half of people think stuff that's not offensive actually is, the other half think that stuff that's deleted shouldn't be. And we're stuck in the middle, catching crap from both sides! Yay! – user1228 Apr 4 '12 at 11:59
  • I don't drink coffee and I know of the basics of moderation and its quirks (I'm not exactly a newbie), but thanks all the same. So if I interpret right what I read, you are saying the moderator might have messed up in deleting Oli's comments? If so — why don't you simply write that as an answer? That would be a sufficient information for me to accept an answer. – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 12:10
  • @sbi: Eh. I'd rather go about it in a roundabout way. – user1228 Apr 4 '12 at 12:11
  • @sbi I guess Won't is saying that, whatever moderators do, there will always be somebody who is not unhappy with what done from moderators. I don't read what Won't said as, "the moderator might have messed up." – kiamlaluno Apr 4 '12 at 12:24
  • +1, agreed with what you say and @sbi the way I understand it he says "Moderators are flooded with flags and on certain cases prefer to wipe it all out when it doesn't really matter anyway to save some precious time" – Shadow Keeps Social Distance Apr 4 '12 at 12:40
  • @Won't: No it isn't roundabout. It's condescending, snide, and annoyed. And I guess it's the usual meta crowd which comes by and upvotes such an "answer", despite the fact that it doesn't even bother to answer the question, not even after it had been pointed out that it fails to. – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 12:46
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    @kiamlaluno: Won't gave no rational reason for deleting those comments, and, as I read it, even said there might not be one. I am sorry, but I can't help but consider irrational deletions as "messing things up". – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 12:48
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    @sbi: Why, the answer was provided in the comments. Are you telling me that isn't acceptable? Ironic. – user1228 Apr 4 '12 at 12:54
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    You guys sit on quite high horses, looking down your noses at the rest of the crowd that dares to come by and ask one of those questions already answered or — gasp! — even dares to disagree with you, elbowing each other about the funny comments you give to those dummies — and then you wonder people call you the meta police. How pathetic. – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 13:02
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    @sbi: I actually think this is incredibly trivial, which shows itself in the tone of my answer and comments. In addition, its been official policy that comments are not considered content, and therefore important information shouldn't be placed in them. I know that won't satisfy you in the least, but that's where it stands currently. One could say that it is pathetic that this fact causes you such incredible angst, but that would be rude of anyone to say. Please flag such comments as offensive. – user1228 Apr 4 '12 at 14:44
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    @Won't: "I actually think this is incredibly trivial, which shows itself in the tone of my answer and comments." Yeah, right. Never let any facts stand in the way of your prejudices. And never let any opportunity pass by unused to make fun of, or just plainly insult, a dissenter. I am so sorry for you. – sbi Apr 4 '12 at 15:00
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    @Won't: By countering my criticism that you have nothing to offer but snide remarks with a snide remark, you feel like you have won a rhetoric victory, don't you? And your peer hail you for it. My tone isn't condescending, BTW, it's sad. – sbi Apr 5 '12 at 18:54

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