I flagged some comments on this post as too chatty. (Two years into my PhD program, and Mom is dying of cancer. Should I tell my advisor about it?) and it got declined. Why?

The flagged comments were:

Thank you guys.. I decided to tell my advisor. I hope it goes well.


I am reading this from my cancer-having (and ultimately dying--as best, much sooner than we all thought) mother's hospital room. My heart goes out to you, I mostly understand (I did a Ph.D., too, though not during this! I can't quite imagine), and I'm glad you're getting helpful advice. Best to you.


I am reading this and my heart goes out to you. It is, if anything, not fair that I should have survived

I mean his story is sad, thats true. But please may some on explain me in which way a comment like this:"I am reading this and my heart goes out to you. It is, if anything, not fair that I should have survived." takes any relation or content to his question as it is? Or is there a rule over here that just says "If a person had sad happenings in its life its fine to be getting chatty in comments"?

  • 1
    I added the content of the flagged comments, for context.
    – ff524
    Aug 31 '15 at 15:42

I was the one who declined those flags. The main reason I declined this one was due to the nature of the post; these heartfelt comments can really make a difference when someone's in a tough spot, and my snap judgment call was that it was worth leaving them.

That said, in any other context these are definitely worthy of deletion for the reason you cited, and I'm perfectly willing to have my own call overturned if the community thinks that's the right course of action.

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    I agree with your decision, after all leaving certain comments it's a way to "be nice", though not explicitly recommended, and to make Academia.SE a welcoming place.
    – Massimo Ortolano Mod
    Aug 31 '15 at 19:21

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