My comment on this answer appears to have been removed. Is there some record of the reason it was removed that I can access? If not, I would appreciate if someone could provide me with an explanation for future reference.


1 Answer 1


I wasn't involved with any of the moderation on that particular question, so I'm going to try to answer the question from inference based on the data available. I reserve the right to be wrong. ;-)

The question suggests that suicide might be a logical answer to the apparent absurdity of life discussed in Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus. It's not a spectacular question as it doesn't seem to grapple with the text itself. Certainly, I'd expect a quotation or detailed discussion rather than a series of broad queries. It's also the sort of question that often leads to chatter rather than interesting philosophy. As it happens, question itself has been flagged 5 times in relation to comments. One of those flags was an automated flag for too many comments. In other words, the question became a locus for idle comments.

The other answer, which brings in several other philosophers in a general way, compounded the problem. It's a helpful answer in terms of providing grist for thinking, but it isn't going to help anyone learn much about Camus nor existentialism in general. Looking at the comments you can see how they stray even further afield.

Stack Exchange sites work best when they are focused on answerable questions. What Camus had to say about the absurdity of live is certainly answerable. Whether life has a meaning is not. Or rather, it's a much bigger question than I expect to see adequately covered on a humble Q&A site.

So I think it's entirely reasonable for a moderator to move the discussion to chat. They have a tool that allows them to move all comments to chat and (optionally) purge the comments. This is often the best course of action when the comments are strongly tending to be chatty. If you happen to have a relevant comment, it might get swept up in the noise. That's one of the reasons moderators might suggest working the content of your comment into an answer, if possible. Answers are far less liable to fruitless back and forth conversations.

  • More generally, it seems fair to include that comments are by definition ephemeral. In other words, don't expect comments to stick around. If you want a lasting impact on an answer, vote it up or down.
    – virmaior
    Jan 19, 2017 at 7:39
  • Jon, thank you so much for attempting an answer I appreciate you weren't involved and so your suggestions must be taken very generally. My concern here is one of specific reasoning. We might say that Usain Bolt won the 100m because he turned up, certainly had he not turned up he would not have won as turning up is definitely a requirement, but 9 other runners also turned up and did not win. The reason I feel targeted here (though not in a personal way, just my particular philosophy) is that just my comment was deleted when all the others have the flaws you mention above, in fact more so.
    – user22791
    Jan 19, 2017 at 8:37
  • The first set of comments was a 12 comment long discussion about whether God was playing games with us and yet was left in its entirely. My comment was based on completely uncontested biographical information, was only the second comment and yet was summarily deleted, not even moved to chat. A cursory glance over the past few questions will show that comment streams regularly have to reach 10-15 in length before being moderated on, they can stretch to include some wild speculation and even then are generally moved to chat. My comment was singled out for deletion, over and above all the others.
    – user22791
    Jan 19, 2017 at 8:42
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    @Virmaior Just to be clear here I really don't expect my comments to stick around, I hope I've made that clearer no with my comments above. My concern her is not that a comment was deleted, it's that it appears to have been singled out for reasons other than the standard too chatty, too long, reason and I think it is a bad direction for the site to go in to try and stifle views it does not like.
    – user22791
    Jan 19, 2017 at 8:48
  • @Isaacson okay, I'd agree with you there. Moderating is hard, and I may have done it differently than the mod who did. I wasn't involved in this and haven't even looked at the question. My general thought is because comments are ephemeral, delete all of the comments that go anyway near something that went south if anyone complains with any modicum of reason (i.e. in general, delete all if there's even a hint of a problem -- don't pick and choose).
    – virmaior
    Jan 19, 2017 at 12:34
  • @virmaior Thanks, I understand and can definitely see the logic behind what you're saying, I hoped that simply by asking on Meta I could access the 'hint of a problem' in my comment, just for my own reassurance that something more mundane than prejudice was at play, but it's looking like that's going to be impossible. I'm concerned about the fact that unreasonable bias might have been behind the deletion, but this needs now to remain a personal concern because there is not, nor it seems ever will be, enough evidence to substantiate this sufficiently to require any action.
    – user22791
    Jan 19, 2017 at 12:58

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