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I have read A guide to moderating comments, but this is a discussion that can vary wildly from forum to forum in terms of what the moderators are actually willing to delete.

I have noticed that some of the other exchanges are quite draconian in their deletion of comments. I appreciate their efforts to cut down on the noise and only leave intact comments which are actually constructive.

Here is an example question where I tried to flag the following comments as not constructive:

  • anyone help me pls.
  • anyone help me pls ??

It is really hard for me to see how anyone can justify these comments as constructive. The information in them is implicit in the presence of a question itself, namely the OP wants our help. I think they are borderline rude/offensive, but found not constructive to be a more all-encompassing flag reason.

Beyond specific examples, though, I want to know what the community thinks. Do we want to make an active effort to remove comments that add nothing, or worse, add noise? How much value does comment moderation add, and how well will it be received by those that make the ultimate decisions?

  • By the way, the example question was deleted. (and here is an example of a comment that is useful... well until I put the parens in anyway heh). – drakored Jun 14 '16 at 12:25
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Speaking for myself I have deleted about 50% less comments than posts as a mod, where that could or should possibly be the other way around. I typically only delete those that are obviously not contributing (any more) and only do so when I happen to see them myself or when they get flagged.

Personally I do feel we shouldn't hunt down the occasion small comments but should clearly try to avoid entire comment-conversations in an early stage. To me this means not asking for extra info, but telling OPs to update their question or answer with more details. Being more explicit on this.

Can't speak for Matt or Metadaddy but I wouldn't mind more comments flags, these are definitely a minority right now and usually do not take much time to evaluate and handle.

  • Is this an issue that would be ameliorated by additional moderators? Are you looking for any? Is there a process around becoming one? – Adrian Larson Jul 4 '16 at 20:26
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I feel like there is a happy medium between between a full blown answer and "me too" or "hello? anyone?". That medium area is something constructive working towards a solution, or jarring ideas into the other's minds, but not a fully realized solution.

That said, my level of maintaining much of anything aside from occasional flags for bad questions is really limited, so this is more my opinion on what I like to see as a consumer of the content. As a contributor, curator, whatever, I'm not sure how much I'd love cleaning up so many inane comments regularly.

  • I can agree that for the moderators there would be an unwelcome increase in workload, though I'd be interested to hear their opinions on this. Certainly I try and make comments useful though it gets frustrating the amount of times that new posters seem to need the How to Ask information pushed at them. – Dave Humm Jun 16 '16 at 12:47

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