As a moderator, when I happen upon a long comment discussion, I try to read it from the perspective of a new user, who just found our site.
If the conversation adds information to the post, it stays. If, on the other hand, the conversation:
- is obsolete, or
- it has devolved to a side discussion,
- it's about something a new user couldn't care less about (e.g. Meta commentary),
- it's full of bickering and/or partisan rhetoric,
it will go the way of the dodo. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the occasional long & mostly pointless side discussion, but there's a place for it, and that place is not under questions and answers. We have a chat room, use it.
Just a reminder that if the comments get deleted, we lose the option to move the conversation to chat.
You can move the conversation to chat at any time. Here's how:
- Post a single comment, inviting the participants to our chat room,
- Click the chat link in the header.
Simple, isn't it? There's absolutely no reason to wait for the system to automatically nag you to move the conversation to chat (or to nag the moderators, via an auto flag, that the conversation is getting a bit long). That feature is more meant as a warning, the system is subtly letting you know that you might be abusing comments.
Ideally, only new users who aren't aware of our comment policy or the existence of chat should ever see it. Users who've been around for a few months or more should have the discipline to either take the conversation to chat themselves or move away from it after a certain point.