In response to this question, Was Saddam ever a US ally? , a poster made misleading claims.

When I pointed this out in a comment, they posted a bunch of obstructionist responses, full of non sequiturs, misrepresentations of my posts, making up new definitions of terms, claims that their position was obviously true and that it needed no defense beyond just telling me to educate myself, and finally calling me a troll for continuing to ask for citations. When I flagged their comments, the entire comment thread was deleted, but their answer remains.

This seems like an odd response to incivility. Be rude, and your answer will be purged of dissenting comments? What is the thinking behind this action? Are there any consequences for engaging in this sort of behavior?

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    I wasn't the one who deleted the comments, but it looks to me like the two of you were having an argument with each-other. The mod was right to delete the whole comment thread. – Sam I am Oct 10 '17 at 3:28

I deleted that 13 post comment thread because it started with a minor nitpick which wasn't really adding much to the question and then quickly escalating it into an unconstructive flamewar which went even more off-topic rather quickly (the last posts were discussing the Queen of England). Both participants made posts which were worth flagging as "rude or offensive" and neither was showing any goodwill to deescalate the situation. It would likely have gone on forever if I hadn't intervened.

Comments are for improving the question/answer they were posted under. They are not for arguing. The whole comment thread was providing no value to the answer and was unlikely to lead to an improvement of it. So it was deleted.

For more information about what comments are for and what they are not for, please read the explanation of the Comment privilege.

I did, however, restore the first critique comment (because it is sort of constructive criticism) and the rebuttal of the question author (but removed the invitation to start a flamewar about it).

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    "minor nitpick.." False, and kinda rude. "Both participants made posts which were worth flagging as "rude or offensive" and neither was showing any goodwill to deescalate the situation." Really false and really rude, and no support given for claim. I never "flamed" the poster. I repeatedly tried to direct the conversation to a productive avenue. "Comments are for improving the question/answer" And pointing out that the answer is wrong improves it. "rebuttal of the question author" Simply declaring oneself to be right is not a "rebuttal". – Acccumulation Oct 10 '17 at 13:34
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    @Acccumulation you got a comment restored, take the win and move on to something productive. Personally I think restoring it sends a questionable message, since I don't see it as useful criticism without a suggestion of how it could be improved, why it would be an improvement or recognition of the possibility of a fault from the answerer. But I guess doing something nice for someone who asks is something I like in a mod. – user9389 Oct 10 '17 at 16:19
  • The trouble here is that by deleting the evidence, others can't review what was done, and must take the deleter's opinion as fact. Suppose the deleter is oblivious to nuance, and winds up inadvertently enabling the harassment while believing himself a savior. – agc Nov 8 '17 at 8:49

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