This is a personal opinion, but I would prefer less frequent movement of comments to chat. The recent discussion on MathOverflow meta suggests that some communities would prefer to leave comments intact (unless they become inflamed).

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Noted. But I have to say that certain contributions to the discussion you link to, not the subject itself, are exactly why I left that site for good. I mean "[f]or example, it wouldn't occur to me to tell my colleagues what they should do [...]" makes no sense at all in my opinion. All the time colleagues tell each other what they "should do". When publishing, when giving talks at conferences or seminars, when organizing teaching, when doing admissions, etc., all the time there are guidelines to respect that are frequently conceived and imposed by colleagues that oversee the process. $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ Another reason to avoid "frequent" moving of comments to chat, is that chat rooms accumulate. Hundreds or thousands of rooms get created over the lifetime of a site, only to get frozen later and to make life difficult when trying to find the room where a specific discussion took place. My feature request to have only a few rooms (perhaps with the top 10 tags on the site) would solve this problem: meta.stackexchange.com/q/353643/391772 $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2021 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ I don't like the moving stuff to chat. Makes it hard to follow things. And feels like too much moderation (versus letting people's words, even imperfect, stand). Maybe feel differently if the site was super high traffic, but it ain't. Not a huge problem with it. But it just rubs me as sort of overly fussy. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 2:17

1 Answer 1


Since comments are officially intended to be "temporary post-it notes," I have been deleting a lot of comments as a moderator. Here are the example things that link currently says to not use comments for:

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:

  • Suggesting corrections that don't fundamentally change the meaning of the post; instead, make or suggest an edit;

  • Answering a question or providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one);

  • Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, upvote it and pay it forward;

  • Criticisms which do not add anything constructive ("-1, see previous comments you scallywag!"); instead, downvote (and provide or upvote a better answer if appropriate);

  • Secondary discussion or debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;

  • Discussion of community behavior or site policies; please use meta instead.

I delete comments based on the above guidelines, except for those that are a secondary discussion or debating a controversial point. Moving these to chat seems like a win-win: if the people involved in the discussion actually want to talk to each other, they can. If the discussion is really just a useless Internet argument looking for an audience, then the conversation ends as soon as the audience is gone.

I'm not certain whether the link given there is something the site can change, but this is the guideline I've been using.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks, Chris, I had never seen this list. $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2021 at 0:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You say that the link currently say to "not" use comments for these purposes, but in reality they are simply not "recommended" for those things. Each site is allowed to have their own community culture, which may interpret these guidelines more leniently towards keeping comments, or more harshly towards keeping comments. $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2021 at 3:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yup -- if people want it to be done a different way, we could. I like it this way personally, but other answers would be welcome. $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2021 at 3:56
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @user1271772 in my opinion the more the subject matter invites discussion, the more strict one needs to be. Thus this site is maybe rather more to the strict end. Else one runs the risk that over time it becomes all chit-chat. $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 22:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure the community agrees with that. $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2021 at 22:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .