If a comment is directed at a user (either through the @UN or in direct response to a question or answer) but then deleted, either by mods or by the commenter, can a copy of the comment be retained but marked "deleted by ___" for the person the comment was directed at?
I was recently in a situation where I was verbally harassed in a comment which was subsequently deleted. You might ask "then how did you know it ever existed"... and I would reply, fortunately, the iOS app notifications were on my iPhone screen when I woke up and allowed me to see the comments, though only in part.
Upon actually viewing the question, the comments were gone along with the on-site and in-app inbox notifications. I have no way of knowing if they were deleted by the poster or by mods.
If they'd been deleted by the commenter, that means that the mods didn't see the disgusting comments and they need reporting... but had I not had the app, I would have never known the comments existed.
I know that mods can still see deleted comments, which is great for this purpose but they're not necessarily going to review every deleted comment to check if any of them contained inappropriate content.
My point is, even if someone makes a disgusting comment and immediately deletes it, that doesn't make it any more acceptable than leaving it there until deleted by a mod and the person the comment is directed at should have the opportunity to see it and flag it if they feel it was inappropriate.