Saw it happen in this question:


I was coming back to see if anyone made progress and I see 19 comments pop up.

How do you handle arguments such as this one? Clearly the question was very unclear and there was some dispute about defacing the website but I feel like demanding an apology doesn't get anyone anywhere. Should it just be flagged? I felt the question was understandable (at least to me even though I didn't really know what he was doing wrong which is why I asked him to print_r some results). Just curious and would like some thoughts.

  • I'm not going to post this as an answer.. but I was the one taking part in that. Tell me which comments you think should be deleted, and I'll delete them. – Daedalus Mar 15 '13 at 8:39
  • @Daedalus Your comments as such are not problematic, but they are related to a side-issue and there are so many now (going back and forth with the OP) that they are in essence noise. This surely has happened to me before. If you were to delete all your comments, there still would be those of the OP. Whenever I get myself into such a mess (which you should really try to avoid in the first place) I still flag the post with a similar message as in the answer below. – Bart Mar 15 '13 at 8:48
  • @Bart .. Alright.. I'll just let the mods sort it out then. It's nearly 2 am here and I need sleep. – Daedalus Mar 15 '13 at 8:53
  • @Daedalus sorry for calling you out like this. I don't think you were necessarily wrong but I definitely was hesitant in your decision to call him out like that. Once again, sorry for asking this question that may involve you; if you'd like me to remove it, I will. – aug Mar 15 '13 at 9:24
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    @aug I've voted this question up.. it's a good question. The mods did what was needed, and even stopped the vandalizing from occurring further. I don't see any reason to delete it, but I do thank you for the offer. – Daedalus Mar 15 '13 at 20:17

If I see comment streams get out of hand like that, I just flag for moderator attention with a custom flag message. Usually something along the lines of:

"The comments below the question are getting out of hand and by now only serve to distract. Perhaps a (partial) cleanup might be useful because flagging alone won't achieve anything"

Then a moderator can decide if any action needs to be taken. In several cases this has resulted in a clean-up and a moderator asking the users to keep things decent and on-topic.

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