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I made a comment on this question and it's been deleted from existence ... why?
The words from this comment have now appeared in an answer to the question which has received a number of up-votes. Other comments on the question which seem similar in 'flavor' to my deleted one still stand.

  • I was the mod who deleted that one (see Catija's answer for an explanation). I hadn't checked the question since; yours was the first comment, and I deleted it before any of the others had been posted, so I wasn't able to see them. It looks like you were just a victim of circumstance and bad luck. – HDE 226868 Aug 18 '17 at 21:39
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It is important for users to actually answer questions. Posting comment answers anywhere on Stack Exchange is not something we encourage. This site attracts many, many of these offhand comment answers and we as moderators do our best to clear them. I didn't delete your specific comment but I would have if I'd seen it.

In the future, if you have an answer to a question, write an answer that explains your suggestion and why it will work as a solution. You don't get reputation from comments. If you want attribution, we can do that but you won't get any reputation from it. Note, while your comment is similar, it's not verbatim:

If you consider the question to be a harmless joke, reply back with another harmless joke - "Never - we're just going to live in sin!" ...

The answer reads:

"Never - we plan on living in sin forever."

So it's completely possible that you both came to the same solution separately.

As to why other comments weren't deleted, I didn't handle that question. If your comment was flagged as "no longer needed", it's possible that the others were not. When comments are flagged we don't see the entire chain, only the flagged comments. If the mod who handled it didn't review the question, they may not be aware of the similar comments. I've deleted them now and told people to stop.

  • Thanks - wasn't looking for rep or attribution, just trying to figure out what appeared to me at the time to be inconsistent moderation behavior. All crystal clear now. – brhans Aug 17 '17 at 13:42
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What are comments under a question for?

Use comments to ask for more information or suggest improvements. Avoid answering questions in comments.

That's the help text that appears when you expand the comment box.

What if you post an answer or partial answer in the comments?

  • The comments may get deleted any moment, and that information lost.
  • You are implicitly giving up relevant information for others to freely use to make their own answer. (I do hope they give credit where it's due)
  • Comments do not have the feature to properly vet whatever you say here so without features like actual voting and wiki-style editing of content, answering in the comments defeats the purpose of having this Q&A site. (paraphrasing Robert Cartaino)

Why are they deleted?

  • Comments are temporary post-it notes by design.
  • Once they've served a purpose, they're no longer needed.
  • If they lead to an extended discussion, they add more noise than useful information.
  • If they're answers, they should be posted in answer boxes, not in comments.
  • OP is not a newbie at SE sites, @NVZ. See the profile page. Are comments treated any differently at Electrical Engineering where OP has 6.5k rep? Or at travel.SE where OP is going to reach 3000? – English Student Aug 17 '17 at 18:50
  • @EnglishStudent I'm aware. I'm not new either. So I do check network profiles. This is a general signpost. But thanks. :) – NVZ Aug 17 '17 at 18:53
  • I get it, @NVZ but this is not a comment on your answer: as in, why does OP even need to ask this meta question? – English Student Aug 17 '17 at 18:55
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    @EnglishStudent - In fact - yes they are treated differently. Other SE sites where I'm more active are significantly less zealous in applying these comment rules - hence my surprise here. I'm not saying the mods here are wrong though. I perfectly understand the answers given to my question and, as you can see, I've accepted one of them (and up-voted both). – brhans Aug 18 '17 at 22:18
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    I really sympathise with your situation, @brhans, because each Stack Exchange site I join as a new member gives me a real new surprise -- not all of which are pleasant -- you are right indeed: each SE interprets the network recommendations differently in a site-specific community policy that makes each site I join a whole new world! On the other hand, Stack Exchange seems to have started a fresh wave to discourage 'answers in comments' and this looks like it's being implemented under the able leadership of Robert Cartaino on beta sites. I fully agree with the need for such an initiative. – English Student Aug 19 '17 at 0:13
  • A related meta question at English.SE is asking whether the deletion of answers-in-comments at Interpersonal.SE reflects a network-wide initiative: english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10646/… – English Student Aug 19 '17 at 0:19

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