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Recently moderators have twice deleted some highly upvoted comments that point out some false claims an answer makes. The main comment was extremely well-received, as comments that get 30+ upvotes are rare (the answer also has 21 downvotes, indicating regular users see major problems).

This is also exactly the kind of things comments should be used for.

Use comments to ask for more information or suggest improvements.

Obviously an answer with false claims has room for improvement. Even if the author choose not to (perhaps because they are deliberately spreading lies), that comment can help future readers who might be deceived by the post.

It's also not an extended or side discussion, so the move-to-chat comment doesn't make sense.

Deleting such comments when they are being used as directed makes no sense. If you are going to delete something, you should delete the answer, unless those are held to lower standards than comments here.

(To make the situation even more strange, the moderator decided to send some cryptic pre-writen moderator message over this.)

Update:

Looks like moderators actually gave the user, who is likely trolling, exactly what they wanted all along.

enter image description here

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    If moderators are looking for something useful to do, maybe look into the users who are serial downvoting users like me when they find a post they want to punish the poster for making... – CrackpotCrocodile Sep 25 at 8:46
  • I'm assuming you've raised a custom flag to bring the serial downvotes to the moderators' attention? – F1Krazy Sep 25 at 8:49
  • @F1Krazy Doesn't the system make those flags automatically when it reverses them? – CrackpotCrocodile Sep 25 at 8:50
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    I don't know, but if you want them to take action, raising a custom flag will bring their attention to it faster than waiting for the algorithm to do its thing. – F1Krazy Sep 25 at 8:52
  • @F1Krazy Considering how little I've posted here, it seems unlikely I would be a the first target, so I suspect this is really a recurring problem which nobody cares to address. – CrackpotCrocodile Sep 25 at 8:54
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    @CrackpotCrocodile We can't actually see who is serial downvoting until the automated script catches them. And we don't get any kind of notification when that happens. If the script fails to reverse a serial downvoting incident or if you wish us to further investigate it, a custom flag is the way to go. – yannis Sep 25 at 9:49
  • @yannis But would you actually do anything about it? Because I've actually had someone come here on meta to post a personal attack about me asking for moderators to ban my account... and basically nothing happened. – CrackpotCrocodile Sep 25 at 19:12
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    @CrackpotCrocodile What happens usually stays behind the scenes. As for the specific case, you were correct in calling us out for not immediately deleting that Meta post. It was deleted shortly after. – yannis Sep 25 at 19:18
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    @yannis That's not very reassuring. Even if stuff happens behind the scenes, it doesn't seem to change anything in front of the scenes. It seems like I have to call you guys out just to get obvious flags handled correctly (and even then, the comments suggest nothing happened at all). – CrackpotCrocodile Sep 25 at 19:39
  • @yannis I could swear I just read somewhere that the script only catches serial upvotes and that suspected serial downvotes should be brought to the attention of moderators or the site's support. – grovkin Sep 26 at 22:41
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    @grovkin No, it reverses every voting pattern it deems fraudulent, including serial downvoting. However, it doesn't always work as advertised. If it misses a serial downvoting incident, then indeed moderation attention is required. – yannis Sep 27 at 8:10
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    @yannis, ah... I was looking at this. I got it mixed up. It's the moderators who can't detect serial downvoting. – grovkin Sep 27 at 8:32
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    @yannis My experience on other stacks shows that even when you message the mods and send an email to SE, no one reverses it. Example: i.imgur.com/U7ZpwQE.png?1 i.imgur.com/H7ILPqw.png -- This is why I avoid posting anything controversial on Politics SE in the first place. – SurpriseDog Sep 29 at 23:47
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    Hm, it certainly seems like someone targeted you @Benjamin. How long ago did you contact the mods? If it has been more than a couple of weeks, you could try posting on the site's Meta. – yannis Sep 30 at 0:07
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    @Benjamin Pinged someone from SE in the mod chat room to take another look. Cannot guarantee anything will come of it, I'm afraid. – yannis Sep 30 at 0:31
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The problem with moving to chat comments that point what may be wrong in the answer is that then they get repeated, often enough. For example, I had commented on an answer claiming that the opposition will lose the next UK general election that some polls point to a hung parliament. That comment got moved to chat.

News from Sep 3 "Polls point to a hung parliament". Likewise the Telegraph headlined today "the timing of an election could be the difference between a huge Tory majority and a hung parliament".

Soon thereafter there is a new comment posted roughly on the same lines, by someone else...

[+5] According to the whip of the LibDems, he's pretty sure an election would be great for his party, and claims to have set the line opposing it for the good of the country. Poll analysis seems to be backing him up (the first half of that statement, that is). – T.E.D. Sep 6 at 20:53

I think the mods are doing the community a disservice when they move such comments to chat.

  • Duplicate effort in posting the same complaints. Apparently nobody reads chat transcripts before commenting again.
  • Moving to chat loses the prior upvotes, so in a long discussion it's harder to tell what the important points are. Unless people go back and star them in chat. Which doesn't seem to happen because nobody reads the chat transcript.
  • It may even give the impression that there's nothing wrong with the answer except trivial quibbles.
  • It seems to reward aggressive behavior by the answer/poster. In that thread, the answer-poster replied to some prior comment that it was "meaningless drivel" (actually repeated as "meaningless corp speak & weasel word drivel" to get the message across better), which of course got a reaction (not from me), which in turn made the comment thread long. Moving everything to chat enables this kind of "nullification by verbal aggression" behavior, even for otherwise cogent and polite objections to the answer. You can't delete other people's comments (no matter the rep, unlike for answers) unless you are mod. And mods are too busy apparently to sort out the wheat from the chaff in long comment threads, so you can delete other people's ok comments/objections if you bait them into a drawn out discussion with enough distracting elements thrown in, in the hope that mod does the "TLDR; move to chat" thing.
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I think you are referring to this comment:

enter image description here

The comment wasn't deleted. The discussion was moved to chat, where the comment can still be found. Please continue the discussion there. We usually do this when a comment leads to a long back-and-forth discussion. When I moved the discussion to chat, there were already 21 comments from you, the question author and a couple other people arguing with each other and no sign that this argument might lead to an actual improvement of the question.

I was actually on the fence about whether I should leave that comment or not. One factor which caused me to go for deletion was the attention-seeking format and the aggressive tone of the comment.

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    I think in this particular case the decision is especially appropriate (in addition to the reasons given here) because other contrary answers exist and are voted above the answer in question. I think it would be more important to preserve critical comments (and not only move to chat) when the post in question stands alone, is highly upvoted, or has been accepted by OP over other, better-referenced answers. – Bryan Krause Sep 25 at 16:44
  • So I did use the comments correctly, there wasn't anything actually wrong with it, 31 people found it useful, and still you deleted it and sent some cryptic prewritten moderator message? Also the picture you quoted clearly states the comment was deleted, and can be undeleted. – CrackpotCrocodile Sep 25 at 18:57
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    @CrackpotCrocodile Comments that are moved to chat are technically deleted (from the post). That said, it might be a good idea to change "deleted by" to "moved to chat by".... – yannis Sep 25 at 19:20
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    @yannis It might also make sense to not try to make the pedantic argument that it hasn't been deleted, when as far as most people see, it has been. – CrackpotCrocodile Sep 25 at 19:28

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