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The banner for controversial posts that was recently introduced says:

Controversial Post — You may use comments ONLY to suggest improvements. You may use answers ONLY to provide a solution to the specific question asked above. Moderators will remove debates, arguments or opinions without notice.

It says that the comments will be removed. The question is: Should such comments be removed by deleting them, or shouldn't they rather be moved to the chat?


By default, there is a message saying that "Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat", but in a recent post, the comments - although relevant for the topic - did not seem to be "moved to chat", but simply deleted. A moderator recommended to "raise the issue about comments on Academia Meta", which I'm doing now...

  • Could you please link to the post you mention in your final discussion? Or, at least, specify if comments had already been moved to the chat once or deleted altogether? – Federico Poloni Feb 1 '18 at 19:04
  • @FedericoPoloni I wanted to avoid linking to the post here, to avoid the "meta-effect", but it won't make so much of a difference in this case: In academia.stackexchange.com/q/102698/86692 , comments (particularly for the current top answers) have repeatedly been removed instead of being moved to chat. – Marco13 Feb 1 '18 at 23:18
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Unfortunately, moderators cannot move comments to chat more than once per post.

If people continue to engage in discussion after there's already an automatically-generated comment that says "Comments are not for extended discussion" with a link to the chat room that comments have been moved to, the only moderation action that is still available is deletion. So if those comments are flagged, they'll be deleted.

If you think moderators should be able to keep moving comments to chat, please support the feature request here.

  • To be fair, on posts where the comments have already been moved, I delete comments that I see even if they are not flagged. An alternative to multiple moves to chat would be to turn commenting off once the comments have been moved. – StrongBad Jan 31 '18 at 18:07
  • That explains the observations, +1 for the feature request (I wonder what the intention was behind limiting the ability to move comments to only once). Of course, one could even consider letting the "add a comment" link lead directly to the chat, but giving the moderators the ability to (bulk) move comments would also make sense. – Marco13 Jan 31 '18 at 19:51
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    @StrongBad So you're saying you delete those comments even if there is nothing wrong with them? That is problematic, in my view. There are legitimate uses for comments. – Federico Poloni Feb 1 '18 at 19:00
  • @FedericoPoloni Agree here, it's a pity. One has to assume that basically the same comments will be posted over and over again, because nobody knows that similar ones have been posted before.... – Marco13 Feb 1 '18 at 23:20
  • @FedericoPoloni no. I leave good comments. I am willing to act unilaterally on what I view as bad comments that are attempting to start the discussion again. Comments requesting clarification or attempting to improve the post, I leave – StrongBad Feb 2 '18 at 2:37
  • @Marco13 rarely do comments get deleted and then someone else reposts the same thing (except for chatty comments where people are trying to make the same point). – StrongBad Feb 2 '18 at 2:38

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