I appreciate everyone who is trying to find me a suitable work around or explain to me the dangers of deleting too many of my comments, but you’re missing my point. The simplest way to “fix” my concern is to officially revoke this “comments are temporary” stuff and make the documentation match reality.
I don’t really need to delete more than 20 comments a day. It’s not good for the network for comments to be either super important content I can’t be trusted to curate myself or content that can be deleted according to what a mod thinks is best depending on completely arbitrary factors.
For reference, the documentation I read when I earned the ‘comment anywhere’ privilege says:
What are comments?
Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer.
When should I comment?
You should submit a comment if you want to:
- Request clarification from the author;
- Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
- Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).
And yet, I am prevented from deleting more than 20 a day, even if they are multiple years old and fall squarely into the “transient” category.
I understand why I can’t delete all my answers and questions on a whim, but it is absolutely ridiculous to have moderators saying “comments are ephemeral and we will delete whichever ones we deem appropriate. The help center clearly states this.” and then simultaneously insist that me deleting my own “temporary post-it notes” is potentially vandalism or depriving the network of valuable content so there needs to be a mechanism to prevent me from removing too many of them.
The comment system is broken. I understand that the company is within their right to preserve that content, because I licensed it to them. That’s not what this is about. It’s about comments only being temporary content when someone else wants them removed, and not being temporary when I want them removed. I only have so many flags a day, and I’m sure the moderators don’t want me to use all of them trying to clean up my old outlasted-their-usefulness comments.
And no, I don’t want to request all of my comments be purged. A lot of them are “relevant but minor…additions to a post” like this one or links to related questions. If someone wants to purge them, I don’t really care, but I’m not going to delete comments that are OK to keep around according to the documentation to make a point of how little I care. My goal is to clean things up, not to be destructive.
I should be allowed to clean up my ancient comments at will, or they aren’t really what they’re documented to be and the help center guidance should be corrected.