On the main, there is a now closed questions, "Why would somebody want to shut down a speaking event? [on hold]." The question is overly broad, and likely to generate answers that are primarily opinion based; that it is closed is appropriate.

One of the answers there mischaracterizes the situation by falsely establishing the context that "people like Richard Spencer are not allowed to speak at all universities." The answer builds on the false premise, explain the actions to shut down speaking events with:

The reason some do not want them to speak is that they may be a (physical) threat to a certain part of the population, specifically to Black people, Jews, etc. While the speakers may or may not be violent themselves, Nazis and other far-right speakers attract similarly minded people who will be a threat.

This line of reasoning either negates the efforts to shut down events held by speakers that aren't Nazis or far-right, or practices intellectually dishonesty by assuming that every event that was shut down was hosting a Nazi or far right speaker.

In response, I posed multiple challenging critiques, asking the answer to qualify the statements in light of Ben Shapiro being shut down for being a Nazi, the efforts to silence Brett Weinstein as a racist, and the work against Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Now there all gone. Why?

  • Amen. My criticism of that "answer" was also deleted.
    – user4012
    Oct 29, 2017 at 17:20
  • Tangentially, that question (or rather its answers) is litmus test for whether this site is worthless partisan hangout or something useful. And the site failed, by highly praising a worthless but politically correct "answer" that should have been at best a (later deleted) comment.
    – user4012
    Oct 29, 2017 at 17:22
  • 5
    The question was "why do people do this" @user4012, not "please post your opinion on this".
    – user11249
    Oct 30, 2017 at 5:45

1 Answer 1


When the comments section becomes bogged down with around 20 comments or so, We'll usually leave the first couple of comments that are on-topic, and then delete everything below the point where the comment thread seems to turn into a side-discussion.

We do it this way because it's easier than going through all 26 comments and individually judging whether or not each one is worth keeping.

  • 6
    That seems somewhat harsh for those who may actually take the time to write a late but constructive comments that doesn't echo points that had been made already. Oct 28, 2017 at 7:43
  • 6
    I think moving to chat is a more humane action that simply removing them.
    – Alexei
    Oct 30, 2017 at 5:32
  • @DenisdeBernardy - Seems like something to keep in mind when posting comments Nov 1, 2017 at 20:58
  • Every other SE site I go to would move these rambling comments to chat, and this has the added benefit of giving a notice to deter others. I'm not sure why deleting is a better option here. Nov 7, 2017 at 21:35
  • @Thunderforge that usually happens here too Nov 8, 2017 at 15:23
  • @SamIam I'm glad to hear that it's the case, but that seems to contradict you saying that mods "delete everything below the point where the comment thread seems to turn into a side-discussion." Are you meaning that you delete them and move them into chat? Nov 8, 2017 at 15:26
  • @Thunderforge Technically, they're copied to chat and deleted from the question. This is more than just a nitpick because the same comment can exist both in chat and under the question. Nov 8, 2017 at 15:27
  • @Thunderforge That's also how my experience of deleting the comements works. One of the mod tools I have allows me to copy all the comments to chat, and there's a checkbox that says to purge comments from the post. I can either click that checkbox, and then go in and undelete the first few comments before the side discussion happened, or I can not click the checkbox, and then delete the offending comments from the post. Nov 8, 2017 at 15:32

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