In the post What does the court dialect of Infernal sound like? I initially seemingly wasn't pretty clear about what I'm looking for.

I tried to clarify through edits, comments and help of other users editing it.

In the morning I noticed that the post is much better received now.

I also noted on my mobile, through the notifications that some one was explaining what exactly made this post much more fitting to the network now. If I remember right it began with something along the lines of "Your recent edits made it much clearer so..." And there my mobile screen cut it off, and after I clicked on it I noticed it didn't exist anymore.

When I tried to read the reasoning, I saw all the comment had been deleted (probably as being obsolete). But it would helped me for the future to understand what was exactly the problem previously. What I didn't got 100% yet. So the comment could helped me for further posts here, but now it is gone.

So, is this a good thing? Is there maybe a way for such situation where one can look them up in some kind of archive, and so this isn't as absolute as it seems to me?


3 Answers 3


I've looked over the comments and there isn't really one that talks about how the question has been made so much more fitting for the network. The thing is that it never had a problem fitting the network, and among the removed comments there aren't any that are obviously giving advice to make it fit better. (That's not surprising, since it wasn't a problem the question had.)

There was one comment giving kudos for moving clarifications left in comments into the post:

You've already clarified that it is FR (yay, J.Foster's comment worked as intended) and you have a comment to DaleM that has some points you could fold into the question in terms of what is giving you the most difficulty. Comments eventually go away, so capturing those thoughts can improve the question. Explaining how that wiki's info wasn't as helpful (with a link, since comments go away) also shows improved research and clarifies what hasn't helped you so far.

Though you did these things and it marginally improved the post, those clarifications didn't make a difference in the voting that I can see. (It had +4/−0 the day before the edits and +3/−1 after the edits. Numbers this small can't be statistically significant though, so although before and after voting seems to shows a worsening in voting, statistically it's more like “no difference”.)

These are still useful things to do (show existing research; explain how your attempts to solve the problem have so far been unsatisfactory) and can, as the comment said, improve a post, the voting shows that the question was already good enough. Editing to improve one's questions is always welcome though, even when they aren't strictly necessary, and sometimes can make a difference, so thank you for doing so.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If I remember right it was beginning with something along the lines "Your recent edits made it much clearer so....." And there my mobile screen was over and after I clicked on it I noticed it wasn existing anymore. Maybe it was quiet something not helpfull jsut beginning with words that made it appear to be so, \$\endgroup\$
    – Zaibis
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 17:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zaibis Ah, I think I can see which one that was. I'll edit this answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 17:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the comment emphasis yours or did he really make this side notes? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zaibis
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zaibis I'm not sure what you mean. I don't see any emphasis in the blockquoted comment? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 18:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Zaibis That looks like the comment I left in full, as written. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 19:32

While it's very nice that someone tried to help you better understand the site's workings, and I'm sorry their contribution was lost, they chose a poor place to do it.

You should submit a comment if you want to:

  • Request clarification from the author;
  • Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
  • Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:

  • Secondary discussion or debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;
  • Discussion of community behavior or site policies; please use meta instead.

(from Privileges: Comment Everywhere.)

Comments get pruned because they easily get in the way of quick access to the answers which are the Stack's primary purpose, especially when they become conversations (the Stack is not a discussion forum).

The comments you describe sound like a secondary discussion about site design (it's not gonna help you improve that particular post, nor help anyone answer you). In that position, I'd likely have instead left a quick comment inviting you to the RPG chat room or linking you to any relevant pages for background reading; that'd put less "noise" on the page and the comment would probably have been allowed to sit longer. (Generally comments are deleted because a citizen notices them and flags them for moderator attention. Short, pithy comments attract get flagged less because they get in the way less.)

The only people who can see deleted comments are elected moderators and their superiors; one of our mods may be willing to reproduce the comments for you here or in chat. It's also very likely that someone in the chat would be happy to talk with you about your question and its editing progression.


I agree that (the case of particularly problematic comments notwithstanding), it's generally a good idea to avoid cleaning up comments too quickly after they're posted, in order to allow the users who receive a notification from the comment a chance to return to the site, see the notification, and click on it without the associated comment already being gone. I've had this happen a number of times as well (I don't recall whether on this SE site or others), and it's certainly frustrating to see a red icon in my inbox, click to see I've been @-mentioned in a comment to something I posted last night, and click through to find that the comment was deleted before I ever had the chance to read it.

Again, certain situations definitely warrant the rapid deletion of one or more comments, such as personal attacks, spam, or off-topic/tangential comments that are also very likely to attract a high volume of subsequent comments, but in lieu of any such situation, the majority of comments should at least be allowed a minimum lifespan of around 24-36 hours before being deleted for ordinary cleanup reasons. At ~12 hours, a post may not have had enough time to attract a sufficient number of views for comment votes to have organically found the best ones yet. Let that system work for a little while first, and by the time a day has passed, the comment votes might reach a level where most will be collapsed on page load, reducing the need to delete any of them at all.


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