Suppose an answer says foo is bar because of fact #1.

User Hardy comments in good faith:

fact #1 is not true on days beginning with T, according to the famous Professor Wiser's work in the 1960s.

Presumably this is a constructive comment. If it's correct, it might improve the answer.

User Laurel then comments in good faith:

@Hardy, In 1977 Professer Wiser revised his opinion, and concluded that fact #1 is only not true on days beginning with Th.

Many users would suppose that too is a constructive comment, but based on various recent deletions, many SE moderators do not agree. These moderators argue that Laurel is commenting on a comment, which is in of itself a misuse of comments and therefore should be deleted. Hardy's incorrect comment will stand however.

(Both commentators provide accurate URL references for their cited facts.)

In what respect is a comment correcting an erroneous attempted improvement no less constructive, (if not more), than the initial comment?

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    "based on various recent deletions, many SE moderators do not agree" Specifics, please. – yannis Jul 30 '18 at 12:45
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    @yannis - if only we could have a page showing our own deleted comments... :P – user4012 Jul 30 '18 at 14:02
  • @yannis, what user4012 said. Hence the made up example, which IMHO is unfortunately accurate. – agc Jul 30 '18 at 17:17
  • So, yet another complaint against moderators without any actual evidence to back it up. Sigh... – yannis Jul 30 '18 at 18:17
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    @user4012 If you feel that would be useful, post a feature request please. Until that happens though, keep in mind that moderators do have access to deleted comments. If the OP has a specific complaint it would be trivially easy for me to dig up deleted comments and help them make their case. If there's actually a case to be made, that is. – yannis Jul 30 '18 at 18:25
  • @yannis - i bet you 50 rep that feature request exists on main meta and was rejected. Comments are second class sitizens as per SE :( – user4012 Jul 30 '18 at 20:03
  • @yannis, Re "If the OP has a specific...": indiscriminate comment deletions appear to be a general phenomenon, or at least general to some questions that I've been reading. For myself, there's several recent comments that might apply. Would it be difficult to email me list of my last week's worth of deleted Politics.SE comments in context with other comments? – agc Jul 30 '18 at 21:09
  • @user4012 I'm confused. If you are that certain your feature request isn't going to happen, why bring it up at all? Complaining just to complain? – yannis Jul 31 '18 at 9:54
  • @agc No. You went through the trouble of posting a very specific complaint about SE moderators. If there's anything of substance to this, point me to the right direction and I'll gladly dig up deleted comments and post them in an answer here. But I'm not going to waste my time looking for comments that "might apply" to your hypothetical. Especially since I very strongly doubt that your hypotethical is anything close to accurate. – yannis Jul 31 '18 at 9:54
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    @yannis - explaining what would be needed to provide specifics in such a case. I definitely know some of my comments that would fit the OP's pattern were deleted, but without access to my deleted comment history, there's zero chance I will remember which ones they were. – user4012 Jul 31 '18 at 9:59
  • @yannis - BTW I recently asked about autosaving my posted comments on WebApps.SE. I got slapped around for my trouble, because apparently asking about SE as a webapp is not cool. – user4012 Jul 31 '18 at 10:00
  • @yannis, I'd hoped it would be a easy as running a simple grep or find-like search query along the lines of "in Politics.SE find all deleted comments from user foobar, plus context, in the last 7 days, and email to foobar", (all without needing to actually read any text whatsoever) -- but if no such feature exists, then that seems as though it would be useful. – agc Aug 1 '18 at 3:59
  • @yannis, Re "point me to the right direction"": what user4012 said again. Unfortunately I've written many comments lately, and don't perfectly remember which ones were deleted or what they said -- sort of the way one might remember dialing a store's phone number and remembering the gist of the conversation, but not the number. – agc Aug 1 '18 at 4:10

There's nothing inherently wrong with the second comment. That, however, doesn't mean it has to stay around forever. Comments are ephemeral and may be removed at any time, for a variety of reasons. If they've outlived their purpose, for example, or even if they're cluttering the interface, pushing more helpful comments out of the way.

The golden rule here is that anything of actual value should be in an answer, not in comments.

These moderators argue that Laurel is commenting on a comment, which is in of itself a misuse of comments and therefore should be deleted. Hardy's incorrect comment will stand however.

This sounds outright bizarre. Are you sure that is an accurate representation of what happened? Do you have a reference to the discussion?

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    There's more than one such instance, and as you well know I do not a have any reference, because as user4012 and I have mentioned repeatedly, most users don't have photographic memory and are unable to review deleted comment histories. – agc Aug 22 '18 at 3:31
  • Re "golden rule": it seems overstated. The comments help avoid edit wars where consensus as to some particular is in question. Comments help a post become more accurate, and that takes time. During that window of time the imprecise_answer+useful_comments is more valuable than the imprecise answer alone. – agc Aug 22 '18 at 3:42
  • @agc You don't need to remember the exact comment. Just the answer where the supposed comment discussion took place would be enough. – yannis Aug 22 '18 at 12:25
  • Can't recall. I've been looking through my browser history just prior to 7/30/18 when this question was posted. There's just too many possibilities. How many reputation points are needed to see deleted comments? I've saved a copy of my history so that when I someday have the points I'll can review this at leisure. – agc Aug 23 '18 at 5:31

My experience here (on poli SE) is that comments usually get moved to chat wholesale, which may or may not be the best choice, but is surely easy to do, and preserves the whole back-and-forth discussion... or they get deleted wholesale. The latter happens rarely in my experience. I can only remember one example, on a question of my own, and (arguably) I had fixed the problem [in my question] that had started the discussion.

What is a bit more annoying to me is that extensive comments sometimes get moved to chat (generally on pretty biased or too broad questions) but then new comments get posted directly under the question/answer. These new comments sometimes repeat the old/archived points.

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    The latter problem is because people don't read. And are lazy, but you might have inferred that from not reading. Not that I consider myself to be a non-member of the set of people who have commented post-migration... Additionally, I believe that currently the SE only supports one migration of comments to chat, and after that the only option available is deletion. – zibadawa timmy Aug 23 '18 at 14:43

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