I left a highly upvoted comment on Henning's answer to this question agreeing with the second part of the answer and emphasizing that there's essentially no practical downside to using the initial requested by the author. (I don't have the exact comment because authors can't see their own deleted comment). This comment appears to have been deleted with no moderator message and as far as I can tell was not moved to chat. At the same time a similarly highly upvoted comment taking the opposite point of view is left there. What happened here?

1 Answer 1


This is what happened:

  1. There was a long thread of comments (before yours) that was flagged and subsequently moved to chat by a moderator. An automatically-generated comment was left behind, saying "Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat."
  2. You posted a comment immediately below the one that said "Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat". Others followed, posting another long thread of comments. These were flagged, too. Moderators cannot move comment threads to chat more than once; a different moderator deleted the comment thread (including the comment that was automatically generated by 1, that said "Comments have been moved to chat" with a link to the chat room. My guess is that this comment was deleted in error.)
  3. Other people came along and left more comments. No new flags were raised after the mod cleaned up the thread in 2.

I just went back and un-deleted the comment with the link to the chat room, and deleted the others. Please go ahead and leave your comment in that linked chat room; for convenience, here's the content:

The update gets this right. Using the new name is a really big deal to one person, and in all likelihood will not matter at all to anyone else ever (papers are rarely read, let alone a particular reference followed, and probably the first initial won't cause a problem anyway if the last name and title are right). The worst case of using the new name is maybe one person loses 5 minutes of time.

  • 1
    Thanks for the explanation. Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 20:35
  • @NoahSnyder I deleted your comment (and many others) for exactly the reasons given above. Dealing with long comment threads is difficult in that we have to delete them all manually and then undelete the one(s) we want to keep. In this case, I forgot to undelete the helpful comment about further discussion should happen in chat.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 20:44
  • 10
    Moderators cannot move comment threads to chat more than once aaand here is the real problem. Broken functionality from the Stack Exchange side. Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 14:35
  • 5
    @FedericoPoloni There's a feature request here.
    – ff524
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 17:10
  • 1
    @FedericoPoloni it's not broken, what is broken is people cannot read and continue to post comments after moderator messages explicitly saying to take that conversation to chat.
    – enderland
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 12:30

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