I posted a comment on this question. Arguably it could have been posted as an answer but the question was "protected" and I don't have enough fake internet points on this exchange site yet.

The comment received a handful of upvotes, as well as a reply which another user responded to, and then I responded later as well.

I came back to the question today to see if there were any other updates, and noticed that my comment was missing, as well as the first response. This leaves the second user's response to the first reply, and my response, neither of which make any sense with my original comment and the first response gone.

I didn't violate any rules that I'm aware of, and I see no notifications or messages about the comment deletion.

What happened here, and more importantly, how am I meant to learn what I did wrong when there is no notification of any type?


1 Answer 1


Sorry, it was my fault the replies didn't get cleaned up too. I was cleaning up the comment thread but got distracted half-way through and didn't come back to it. I've done that now.

I deleted the comment itself because it wasn't clarifying the question, but rather an answer. In general comments are considered temporary post-it notes, not part of the long-term record of the question/answer. If you want something to stick around, you have to write it as an answer.

I'm sorry that in this case you weren't able to write that answer, but unfortunately popular questions attract a lot of answers which often don't add anything new, so we end up needing to protect them to avoid it getting out of control. As with most restrictions, it ends up catching some "good" usage along with the problem it is trying to solve.

There's been a lot of discussion of how to handle comments around the StackExchange network, see e.g. here, and there's a live meta discussion right now about the general approach to moderating comments.

Unfortunately the site software doesn't notify you when a comment is deleted, so there's no immediate feedback loop to recognise it's happened, but on the other hand the comment entry dialog does explicitly say "Use comments to ask for clarification or add more information. Avoid answering questions in comments" before you start typing anything in it.

  • Thank you for the clarification. I understand now what happened, however it seems unfortunate all the way around. If a comment is deemed as an decent answer, is there a way for mods to turn it into an answer instead of simply deleting it? I truly feel that my comment added a great alternate way to look at the OP's question, and that deleting it removed useful knowledge from the site.
    – sǝɯɐſ
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:45
  • However, I'm guessing there is no channel for mods to do the above, so I guess I will have to work on getting some fake internet points so that I can post an actual answer next time. I just thought I'd bring it up while I have the ear of a mod :)
    – sǝɯɐſ
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:46
  • Also adding notifications for deleted comments would be really nice, although I do understand that having to add reasons for each deleted comment would be very time consuming.
    – sǝɯɐſ
    Sep 10, 2018 at 13:47
  • 1
    Indeed, we can't convert comments to answers. And we can delete comments using the standard flags which isn't too time-consuming, so if there were notifications you could at least see it was "No longer needed" with perhaps a link to what that means - but that's hypothetical of course. Anyway, given that this question is no longer in Hot Network Questions, perhaps we can get away with having it unprotected. I've just done that, so get in while you can :-) Sep 10, 2018 at 15:05
  • Flags and notifications for deleted comments would be fantastic! Is there anywhere I can go to vote for that? :) And will do, thank you!
    – sǝɯɐſ
    Sep 10, 2018 at 15:17
  • 1
    This would realistically be a network-wide change, so try meta.stackexchange.com (search first, it may well have already been asked - I haven't looked) Sep 10, 2018 at 15:40

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