The entire comment thread to my answer to this gender pronoun question was deleted. Can anyone with admin rights see the old thread? [Edit And explain why it was deleted?]
Edit 2 Moving up comments from below: For context, the discussion had stopped, and all of it was clarifying questions about my answer. Plus, isn't there a way for mods to close comments without deleting them? (Someone below suggested moving the comment thread to chat?)
Edit 3 I should be clear about why I care. Given the environment around here recently, and how the culture of the meta community has been portrayed by SE staff, when I see an inexplicable deletion like this, I wonder if an SE employee is intentionally trolling. I've seen this happen in other online communities when management changes happen, and the community is devalued.
Edit 4 A few people have been pointing out reasons why comments, and entire comment threads, sometimes get deleted. It's useful information. That said, the question remains, why weren't the other comment threads on that page touched? Shouldn't there be some consistency about when deletion happens? Inconsistent application of discretionary actions could provide cover to bad-actors, no?
Edit 5 This question got flagged as a possible duplicate of How do comments work? This is not a question about how comments in general are handled. This is a question about why this particular comment thread was handled in an irregular way. In particular:
- The How do comments work? FAQ suggests that "obsolete or chatty comments" are generally the comments that are deleted. The comments in this comment thread were not chatty, and were still pertinent to the answer being commented on.
- A couple people have pointed out that the nature of meta.stackexchange.com lends itself to longer comment threads. Anyone that browses active questions on this site will see considerable value in the comments of those questions and corresponding answers. So, on this site in particular, does the community feel comments are really just "post-it notes" that should be considered temporary?
- One of the participants in the comment thread chimed in below, and mentioned that one of the later comments in that thread was flagged. It seems the entire comment thread was nuked out of expediency, because the moderator didn't have the time or patience to review that thread, and didn't seem to just want to delete the flagged comment by itself. Is this something the community thinks makes sense? Worthwhile discussions could easily be destroyed by a handful of trolls in this way.