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This isn't the first time I see this happening. An answer has a line of comments that is getting long, gets moved to chat to avoid clutter. Sometimes later the chat gets locked and new comments appear related to the old ones, requiring the chat to understand the context. Sometimes they don't.

Either way, at times I run into comments that say that comments were moved to chat, but when I follow the hyperlink, it leads to a dead page.

  1. Does it only happen if rules are broken by participants to such a degree that none of the comments are salvageable? Or does it also happen for other reasons? If yes, what reasons and are any of them unique to RPGSE?

  2. If it does happen for reasons not having to do with un-salvageable breaches of rules, what can be done to prevent or reduce such occurrences, so as to mitigate the problems of lost context and of information related to an answer?

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Rooms will exist indefinitely, so long as there is at least one person actively talking in the room. A room is considered worth retaining if it has more than 15 messages by at least 2 users. (/faq#retention)

The chat you linked accumulated thirteen messages from five users on 5 February and then got deleted 8 days later on 13 Feb. Users with sufficient reputation have a privilege which lets them see deleted rooms anyway; that's how I know the message count and deletion date.

This is arguably a hole in our documentation retention... but no bigger than deleted answers which are also rep-locked, so I think it's working as intended. It's also yet another reason not to trust information of long-term importance exclusively to comments.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd also add that if any <10K user were following some thread and were really interested in the "lost chat," they could certainly ping one of the mods in chat (or flag the message) and ask for the room to be undeleted--we'd be happy to. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Sep 7 at 13:22

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