Two of my comments were deleted today.

Before you jump to the obvious conclusions, let me go through the checklist:

  • They were not in any way conflicting with the CoC
  • They were not answers or partial answers
  • They were a comment targeted at the OP
  • They were answered by the OP (which makes me think it was a good kind of comment, even if the answer basically was "no thanks")
  • They weren't chatty
  • They were on-topic, regarding the question
  • There were no other comments going on, this was not part of a bigger cleanup

When the first one was deleted, I asked if it had somehow been inappropriate. Because quite simply, if it had been, I would like to improve. And I cannot improve (even if that means not commenting on certain things in the first place) if it just gets sucked into a black hole without any explanation.

I think I may even have gotten an answer to my second comment, at least I had a notification, but there was nothing there when I opened my browser a few minutes later.

Now I know, comments are second class citizens and temporary and subject to silent removal. But certainly not mere minutes after posting it?

So what is happening here? Did I do something wrong?

  • Hi! May I ask you what the content of your comments was? We (as many other sites on SE) strictly accept comments who either ask for clarifications or suggest improvements. Were your comments about either one of those points? If not, it may explain why they got deleted.
    – avazula
    Mar 6, 2019 at 17:15
  • @avazula I'm guessing this one and this one (and here's the moderator response)
    – scohe001
    Mar 6, 2019 at 17:17
  • Indeed, thanks.
    – nvoigt
    Mar 6, 2019 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


I deleted the comments there. I'm sorry for leaving one myself and then deleting that before you read it, it seems to have confused you and that wasn't my intent.

While the scope of IPS and Workplace overlaps, questions about Interpersonal Skills used for interactions in the workplace are just as on-topic here as questions about the same skills used during family dinner.

We get quite a few comments that boil down to 'go to Workplace' on questions that are perfectly on-topic for IPS, and I'm getting kinda tired of them. We even have people close-voting on-topic stuff as off-topic because 'it's better moved to Workplace'. This is becoming a problem. I repeat: Interpersonal Skills used at your workplace are just as on-topic here as Interpersonal Skills used in any other kind of setting.

I deleted the comment on sight, not expecting dhein to reply. I then cleaned up the other comments when I noticed dhein's and your reply.

On a whim, I also left a comment of my own, then thought better of leaving it: A comment saying 'I cleaned this up' is metacommentary and not a good comment to leave under a question either. I had hoped I deleted it quickly enough for you not to notice, apparently I didn't. I'm sorry for that and the ensuing confusion.

  • 3
    Okay, now I'm a bit confused. I can find no interpersonal problems in the question. All relations between all participants are good, nothing is mentioned that would need help on an interpersonal level (for example if his boss had known behaviors that made such a meeting difficult). My answer is a plain workplace answer. I just pasted it into a different input field on the web. There is no other answer helping with interpersonal topics I missed. So what should I have done instead of pointing to the SE site specialized on their problem? Vote to close as unclear?
    – nvoigt
    Mar 7, 2019 at 6:50
  • 1
    @nvoigt If it is unclear to you how the question fits on this site, you certainly can vote to close as unclear. If you do, then you should also leave a comment asking the OP to clarify what they are asking. As dhein pointed out in response to your comment, they specifically asked on IPS because they didn't want the workplace answer. This is a fairly common pattern, which is why I would suggest asking for clarification before suggesting that the OP look at TWP
    – Rainbacon
    Mar 8, 2019 at 15:36
  • It's true that a lot of workplace problems require interpersonal skills, but that doesn't mean that a question will be just as well answered on IPS as it is on Workplace. It makes sense to migrate a question to Workplace if that's the stack that's the most appropriate, even if the question could be answered here. I'd compare it to having a physics question on the Mathematics stack. It might get an answer, but it will probably get better answers on the Physics stack.
    – DaveG
    Mar 8, 2019 at 16:19
  • @DaveG For questions about interpersonal skills used at work that are asked on this site, IPS is the most appropriate site. It has been like that since almost the beginning of the site. To go with your example, a question about the mathematical part of a physics problem, when asked about on mathematics, is most appropriate for mathematics. There's no need to tell someone to go to physics if all they need help with is a mathematical problem, it's unofficially called question poaching and it's frowned upon by a lot of users.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Mar 8, 2019 at 17:38
  • @nvoigt I see you got a reaction from Rainbacon already, I don't have much to add to that. Sorry for the late replies here, yesterday was a chaotic day and I didn't have the time to properly formulate an answer before. In general, if you can't see the Interpersonal Skills part of a question, leave a comment, vote to close, please refrain from answering then next time. Questions can be migrated, but only if they are blatantly off-topic on this site and there is no chance they can be salvaged into an on-topic form. Once closed, you can always flag requesting a migration.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Mar 8, 2019 at 17:42
  • @DaveG Even if a question can be answered better on another stack, the OP choose to post it here for a reason. Usually that reason is because they are looking specifically for an interpersonal solution to their problem. We shouldn't turn people away and discourage them from learning interpersonal skills just because a non-interpersonal solution exists for their problem.
    – Rainbacon
    Mar 8, 2019 at 18:26

I think you might be better served a the workplace, this seems to be more about how to navigate the workplace than any potential interpersonal problems between you and your boss in that meeting.

Nothing wrong with that comment IMO, it's the nature of the ever-expanding SE network that questions will come up that a legitimately on-topic for more than one stack. Suggesting an alternative where you think it might better serve the OP's question seems to legitimately serve the goal of getting the asker (and future visitors) help.

Summarily (and effectively silently) deleting the comment was extremely poor moderation in my view. While I don't personally agree with the policy that suggesting an OP might consider asking something relevant to both stacks on TWP should be forbidden how are users expected to learn that this is the policy if it's handled in this way? As the question currently appears another user could easily come along, make the same suggestion and get smacked down again.

  • 1
    "deleting the comment was extremely poor moderation" => well, mod said it was bad timing that mostly led to confusing comments and click-delete, then apologize for it ("I'm sorry for that and the ensuing confusion."). I don't see that as poor moderation, especially when it happens once and is the result of misunderstanding :( it more like a mature way of handling things that can screw up sometimes... don't you think?
    – OldPadawan
    Mar 8, 2019 at 14:16
  • 1
    @OldPadawan I interpreted that as an apology for the fact that the mod hadn't deleted their explanatory comment fast enough rather than for hammering the initial comment but I may be getting the wrong end of the stick. Mar 8, 2019 at 14:21
  • well, we really have a greasy stick there then :) I have to read your comment to see it that way, but it could be, dunno... never thought of it that way.
    – OldPadawan
    Mar 8, 2019 at 14:23

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