Two interactions with comments over the last couple days have led me to believe that the overall user experience on SE concerning comments and just general user interaction could be improved.

The first was on this post:

Not a great question, but I answered as I had some spare time. I quickly got upvotes and an accept, from all but one user. Who for some reason felt it was his civic duty to make sure that everyone was aware that JavaScript isn't equal to ECMAScript...(I digress but basically refer to this xkcd for his behavior).

This led me to quickly flagging 3 of his comments, one with not constructive, one with chatty, and the last one with an other flag explaining that the user had something stuck in his craw. All 3 flags were validated and the users comments were deleted which led to these comments:

(I didn't respond, but I was annoyed that he didn't take the hint and go away).

Which leads to my first request:

  • If someones comments are deleted from a post by a moderator give the person a cool down timer before they can interact with/post comments on the post again.

I think this would accomplish two things:

  • Let the user cool off, in which case he could then come back and have a positive interaction with the post again. (If the user feels so inclined)

  • Give a user that doesn't feel inclined to act properly a wake up call that his actions won't be tolerated, and he should go away.

My second request actually comes from one of my own comments being deleted today. I posted a comment on the answer to this question. While I was away someone replied to that comment and I got a notification when I came back.

However when I clicked on the notification it took me to the question but both my comment and the reply had been deleted because of this scope question on the particular SE site.

I can say this because of what I read from the notification:

@ryan - I'm not disagreeing with you, but your comment is addressing what is True - something...

Which is why my second request is this:

- Please allow me to see comments and comments directed @me when clicking on the notification in my inbox, even if they have been deleted, for a limited amount of time.

On a site like the one my comment was made on, my comment and the reply could actually have made for a lively and academic debate in the chat. However now there is no record of either. And I don't even know what the rest of the reply said.

I see this as different from other requests to see deleted comments in two ways. First, I don't want to see all deleted comments. I don't even want to see all of my deleted comments. I just want to see my comment that has a reply I haven't seen yet for a little bit of time. (It's super annoying to see that someone took the time to reply to you, good or bad, and not be able to see it!)

Heck once I've viewed it from clicking on the notification the comments could be hidden again on page refresh.

I think that this is feasible only in conjunction with my first request. Because then even if it's a flame on me and it ticks me off, my comment was deleted so I can't just fire back, I would have to sit and think on the comment(cool my head) or forget about it and move on.

EDIT: I removed the original part of this suggestion and am only asking for the alternative which I proposed.

Alternatively I would suggest:

  • Getting rid of notifications (which have not been seen yet) which are generated by reply's to comments that have been deleted.

As no matter what your stance is on deleted comment viewing, I think we can all agree that having some sort of UX interaction that does nothing (except hint at content you won't ever be able to see*), is not good UX design.

EDIT: As has been discussed a little in comments, I would be happy if either of the second requests were implemented. I think that either one would be an improvement to the overall UX.

*Unless of course you become a mod on that site.

  • Isn't this already done? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/133254 – Richard J. Ross III Jun 7 '13 at 18:59
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    Regarding the first suggestion, what about cleanup of obsolete comments ("Please add code to your question")? That commentor did nothing wrong and may still have something useful to add to the conversation, so a cooldown would be unwarranted. – George Cummins Jun 7 '13 at 19:02
  • @GeorgeCummins I think 2 things, really those should be cleaned up by the comment poster, which then wouldn't trigger this. Since that rarely happens (heck they rarely get cleaned up anyways), SE could make this apply only for rude/offensive/spam/not-constructive/other, flags (other of course being at the mod's discretion). – Ryan Jun 7 '13 at 19:08
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    +1, especially for the part of letting us read the comment in the inbox. Either allow us to read the comment, or remove it from the inbox as well. – user213634 Jun 7 '13 at 19:08
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    @AndersUP Yeah, I kind of agree, even if a comment has been deleted, I'd still like to know what it said. In the inbox super-collider thingy the text gets truncated, and there's no other place to see it (because it's been deleted, of course). If it's been deleted, why bother teasing me with half of what it used to say? – Aaron Bertrand Jun 7 '13 at 19:10
  • @RichardJ.RossIII different situation, my situation is that someone replied before my comment was deleted, at which point I was notified, then between the notification getting to my inbox and me clicking on it a mod deleted both comments. – Ryan Jun 7 '13 at 19:10
  • @AaronBertrand exactly why I requested this. I hate now that there is a notification that I can't ever read. I would way rather I had never seen the notification. This is very much a area where either they should let me see the content, or they should implement a "ignorance is bliss" policy. – Ryan Jun 7 '13 at 19:12
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    @AaronBertrand - Just to say that there are certainly comments I don't want to ever see. – Oded Jun 7 '13 at 19:18
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    @Oded sure, then that leans more toward deleting it from my inbox super collider thingy immediately. – Aaron Bertrand Jun 7 '13 at 19:20
  • @Oded Your comment doesn't compute... If there are comment's you never want to see, and they have been cleaned up then why would you like the supercolider thingy to tease you about them? If the comments are that bad, wouldn't you rather of never known about them? – Ryan Jun 7 '13 at 19:33
  • @ryan - Exactly. I parse your request to do show them, even if they have been cleaned up. – Oded Jun 7 '13 at 19:35
  • @Downvoters, I fully understand that downvotes are different on meta, they indicate that you disagree, as this is also tagged discussion I would love to hear what you disagree with. – Ryan Jun 7 '13 at 19:35
  • @Oded ok I think I understand what your saying, but then, that's why I included my alternative request from the get go. I would be happy if either were implemented. – Ryan Jun 7 '13 at 19:37
  • @Oded I updated the alternative suggestion to try and make it more clear. What do you think of that? – Ryan Jun 7 '13 at 19:49

I didn't respond, but...

Good. That was the right choice.

I would like to see deleted comments...

Why? Don't worry about them. Sometimes I say something that was ill advised, and I delete my comment. Fortunately, it doesn't ping anybody once it is deleted, so I don't have to worry about it coming back to bite me. I like it that way.

If a user's behavior is causing a persistent problem, the usual methods apply; flag one of their posts, and explain the problem.

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    But it does ping after it is deleted. I have, in my inbox, the following snippet '@AndersUP: that's not "SQL Server syntax". That's standard ANSI SQL which is su...' But the question itself (not mine) has been removed due to moderation (which was probably fair, I can't remember). The comment was probably not that important, either, but it does bug me to have something in my inbox that I cannot look at. – user213634 Jun 9 '13 at 10:52
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    Since no one seems to see my alternate request and seeing comments is unpopular I have removed that part and am just requesting the alternate now. Also as @AndersUP said, it does ping you with notifications that something is there to see, but which are deleted. Which is very annoying. Finally it wasn't about seeing deleted comments it was about seeing content SE is telling me I should see but that I can't. – Ryan Jun 10 '13 at 14:11

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