On the linked post, a comment was made addressing me with words that might be considered mildly rude by some. I had absolutely no issues with the comment (and thus, I didn't flag it). And yet, the comment has been deleted--it might have been deleted by the commentator themselves but I suspect there is a good probability that it was deleted by a moderator. The whole point of refraining from rude comments is to not make the addressed person uncomfortable. But if the addressed person has strong convictions against censoring speech and doesn't object at all towards the existence of the rude comment, should it be deleted? In the past, I myself might have flagged a rude comment addressed to a third person--so I am not complaining against anyone in particular, I am just questioning the practice. Thanks.
I haven’t seen the comment, but...I don’t view this as a free speech issue, while generally being fairly close to a free-speech absolutist myself.
The reason is that comments are ephemeral by design. And one that is rude is going to be addressed to a particular person, which makes it obsolete and useless as soon as it has been read. If I call you a great poopy head, you know I don’t like you, but that doesn’t really help anyone else who is reading the question/answer. Likewise if I say thanks, that was tremendously helpful and you are an awesome person.
Unless the comment addressed a problem with your answer in a useful manner, it should be deleted.
If the comment is useful, it can be upvoted which will make it slightly less likely to be deleted.
My take on the Code of Conduct (AKA the Be Nice policy) is that it is not just a matter of what the two people directly involved in the conversation think about the language used.
It also has the purpose of making our site look welcoming and consistent to readers. If someone isn't familiar with this site, and they read a question and see people calling others names, they will likely get the impression that such behaviour is appropriate on the site. It isn't, so the policy should apply even to posts where the two users don't feel that the posts need to be removed.
Fun fact - I know exactly what comment you're talking about, and I totally flagged it. Although I usually don't care either when users say such ridiculous things to me personally, it is best to keep it off the site. I found the comment a bit amusing; but for all the wrong reasons.
I saw that comment. Even if it didn't bother you, we don't want stuff like that hanging around. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory