I would like to open a discussion about moving comments to chat. I propose there should be an "all or none" approach. That is, if some comments should be moved to chat, then all comments should be moved to chat.

This addresses situations like the following:

  1. A moderator moved some comments to chat but left others, and a question was opened on meta about "mod censorship." (I think almost everyone agrees the complaint of "censorship" is unwarranted)

  2. There is a recently active question where all but one comment was moved to chat. I can only assume the moderator is acting in good faith, but at this time there are two comments pointing out the special privilege enjoyed by this one particular comment.

Some commentary on the above. Organizations employ a code of ethics not to prevent ethical violations, but to act as a guiding force to prevent the appearance of ethical violations. For the second situation above, regardless of the moderator's intent, leaving one particular comment gives the appearance of endorsing a particular view.

This is echoed in a comment left at the bottom of the meta discussion in the first issue:

Having taken a look at the comments still on the answer, I would be inclined to say that everything should just get moved to chat. I think trying to walk the line between "Suggestion to improve the answer" and "commentary on the answer's politics" is too thin to try and walk. I don't agree with SnakeDoc that you're being unfair or biased, but I think the only way to deal with a minefield like that is blanket action.

Further discussion

Comments are not intended to be permanent (see below), so moving all comments to chat should have little negative impact.

These are my thoughts, please discuss. Thanks.

Comments can be deleted at any time, for any reason. source

Comments are intended to be disposable source

comments are considered disposable and impermanent source

Related: Why do we move all comments to chat instead of just chatty comments?

1 Answer 1


First of all, why do we move comments to chat at all?

The reason is that we generally do not want discussions to distract from the actual purpose of comments: Request clarification, suggest improvements or provide relevant meta-information like related questions. That's why the default way to deal with comment discussions which don't do this is to just outright delete them.

However, sometimes we have comment discussion which are actually quite interesting and deserve to be preserved. That's when we usually move comments to chat instead of just purging them. Moving a comment discussion to chat is explicitly because we do not want to suppress and censor that particular discussion. We just move it out of the way so the comments which address the question itself receive more attention.

In the past I sometimes undeleted the first comment which incited the discussion. This was meant to advertise to the reader what the discussion is about and draw attention to it. However, this is not the first time I received negative feedback about this practice. So I will refrain from doing this in the future. I think I will instead edit the auto-generated "This discussion has been moved to chat" comment to inform the reader about the topic of the discussion.

  • Once a thread is 'moved to chat' it practically stifles discussion on the post or the issues and it all often dies there while people continue to post off-rules comments below the post. It seems to be a bug in the system in not allowing to move to chat multiple times. This one feature would accomodate your (now previous?) style and meet the design goals of no endless comment threads below the post indefinitely. Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 13:20
  • I think this comment system is currently as broken by design as is the behaviour of most commentators (according to the often cited and broken rules about them, I like comments of most colours!) But it looks as if this metameta needs more input and votes. "Chat is superior for this!" is unproven dogma, not accessible for understanding for newbies at least. Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 13:32
  • That is: I do not think the you received negative feedback about this practice, but comments need to be made where they belong and then – perhaps? moved to chat? (why not grey them out, collapse, or load on demand?) Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 13:32
  • @LangLangC Stack Exchange usually avoids implementing features just for one specific site, especially if they are still just beta-sites. So if you want to suggest a technical solution, then you should suggest it on the global stack exchange meta. The only solutions we can find here on Politics Meta are site policy solutions within the technical framework Stack Exchange provides us with.
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 13:35
  • 1
    One of my gripes with deleting/moving all comments is that it's sometimes throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Sometimes some comment are a perfectly appropriate use of the commenting tool, for example by pointing out structural problems with an answer (e.g. lack of references, pointing out inappropriate bias, etc.) and removing it just because some users turned it in to a discussion can be something of a waste. (I don't know if that is the case in this specific question, as I don't know which comment was initially not deleted).
    – user11249
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 22:04
  • Should asking for sources get my comment deleted? Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 17:35

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