I'm curious about this - it comes from this discussion here about a new comment-killer feature.

I'm curious about why we would place effort in removing comments? In other parts of the stack exchange network - notably stackoverflow - it makes sense to have a stringent comment-purging system. Technical answers generally don't brook a lot of discussion.

But I view the people who normally partake in this particular community as leaders. People who want to deal with workplace issues and advise on management strategy should seriously consider going for leadership positions if they're not already in one.

Given this predilection toward leadership - and being naturally more chatty and communicative - it seems counter-productive to have a stringent anti-comment policy.

But there's more to it - here is a really interesting youtube video on product theory.

The gist is, for all products you would ask "what is the job they're doing".

To me, much of the joy of workplace is in interacting with other people here. Don't get me wrong - I love well thought out answers and learning from others here, but I also like to interact. Sometimes I might (rarely though) use a comment to fight with someone, sure. I might also use it to slap out a short answer I feel strongly about but don't have the time to write a full-blown piece, and I might - but rarely - use them to clarify.

If we got rid of comments, I probably wouldn't come here. The site would feel quite sterile. This site serves me by giving me interesting interactions with other people.

So to me I'd rather have long comments - but I'm no moderator, so I don't see the problems they cause. Can someone enlighten?

To be clear - I don't have any problems with them getting deleted after a few days, I don't treasure the comments. But I'm curious why we want less of them.

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    Haven't you ever posted a good, well-thought answer, that covers the question(s) being asked, then some random user comes and drops a comment with some one-in-a-million scenario that does not fit to your answer and says it is wrong? Many times I have witnessed that after such comments, posts start to receive more noise/comments and even Downvotes.... it is not until someone flag-deletes the comment or a Mod comes to clean the mess that the DVs and noise stop... in short, I've seen comments derail good answers (even questions) and not have them get the attention/votes they deserve. – DarkCygnus Jul 10 '18 at 23:38
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    Well, from the tour of all SE Sites: "This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat." I'm not sure what do you mean by "interacting with other people", but if you really want, then comment is not the correct place, there's The Workplace Chat build specifically for that. And also, comment is not for answering the question. However, the purpose of this experiment is not for getting rid of all comments. It's just to straighten the original purpose of comment in SE: to improve the post. – Andrew T. Jul 11 '18 at 4:48
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    @AndrewT. I appreciate the irony of you using a comment to answer this Meta question... – user44108 Jul 11 '18 at 5:32
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    I'd encourage you to take a look at two very relevant older Meta questions: "Our Comments Problem" and "What is wrong with comments?" – David K Jul 11 '18 at 12:08

As Andrew T points out (ironically) in the comment above, this isn't a discussion forum.

Like all of the other stacks on this platform, the Workplace is a question-answer site. Comments are there to suggest improvements to both questions and answers. They're transitory in nature and liable to be removed when they've met their purpose or judged not to have a purpose at all.

As DarkCygnus also points out, starting a discussion in comments can turn out to detract from an otherwise good answer when someone insists on edge-casing or jumping onto the Pedant Wagon. Things often spiral downwards from there.

There are probably thousands of Meta questions and discussions relating to comments if you care to search for them. The end result is that they should serve a single, simple purpose - guiding the question/answer toward being better in some way.

We are pretty lenient here in that we don't rigidly delete everything we see and we do allow moderate amounts of positive discussion (and some much-needed humour). But this isn't Reddit.

You may have noticed the new Stack Blog post - Welcome Wagon: Classifying Comments which is leading the platform into being more welcoming and less snark-based.

We’re looking here to characterize comments that are unwelcoming in a way that isn’t flagrant hate or abuse but would still make you think twice about participating in our community. Things we thought might fall into this category would include condescension, snark, sarcasm, and the like.

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    but that is for SO only? – bharal Jul 11 '18 at 6:02
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    It applies across the board. – user44108 Jul 11 '18 at 6:03
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    also, to my point - SO does have a problem. i hate using it, and interestingly i think all the questions i've posted there in the last few years haven't even yielded an answer in any sort of useful timeframe. mostly they just get dv and some snark, which is a problem. we don't really have that though. – bharal Jul 11 '18 at 6:07
  • also! are you a moderator? it's not that i mind your answer, i was just curious from a mod pov – bharal Jul 11 '18 at 6:08
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    Yes, I agree that the personality types of the high-functioning geeks on SO does lead to more levels of snark and elitism than other sites, but we do see those same traits here also. The diamond after my name indicates that I am indeed a moderator. – user44108 Jul 11 '18 at 6:33
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    @bharal the problem is not (only) about snarky comments, but comments usage in general. Comments are never meant for chit-chat or extended discussion. Even previously we had a specific comment flag "too chatty" before it's simplified into 1 flag: "no longer needed". – Andrew T. Jul 11 '18 at 6:38
  • And it's why we have the "move comments to chat" button for when people really start having a discussion. We don't really want to junk all that productive work, but there's a better platform (chat) for hashing things out. – user44108 Jul 11 '18 at 6:41
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    @bharal One thing I want to remark on is that if you don't realise Snow here is a moderator from the site-wide sign (the diamond next to his name), that's an indicator to us that you lack experience with the SE network. That's by no means a bad thing and I don't mean to dismiss the point you're raising here: sites like ours thrive on fresh input whether it's from people who are new or those who've been around but haven't engaged with the meta part much. It's valuable for people to question why we do things we take for granted, just keep in mind that there's usually a good reason. – Lilienthal Jul 11 '18 at 7:37
  • @bharal I realise after checking now that you're not exactly a novice here. :) If you were asking whether this was an answer "from the mod team": mods typically contribute on meta as individuals. We rarely make a "joint statement" unless it's called for and then we'll usually make that clear. That said I fully agree with Snow's answer here. – Lilienthal Jul 11 '18 at 9:15
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    @Lilienthal oh no, I honestly had never put the diamond with the name together before. Embarrassing! My question is if the only opposition from the mods is on philosophical grounds, why is it that when comments are brought up they're often labelled as "time consuming"? – bharal Jul 11 '18 at 11:05
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    @bharal Not sure what you're referring to specifically and whether I would describe our stance on comments like you did, but comments are time sinks because they all add noise to a post that people coming across them have to read. And of course mods then also have to spend additional time on the cleanup which takes up a supermajority of our time. – Lilienthal Jul 11 '18 at 12:18

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