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In this question, 5 comments on knzhou’s answer were moved to chat, but 5 questions on Ben Crowell’s answer were not moved. Neither were 9 comments on the question. (On my answer, 11 were moved, which I am not questioning.)

So how do moderators decide what counts as an “extended discussion”?

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  • $\begingroup$ The sheer number of comments is one reason that this question should be taken off the HNQ list... quite a few things about it reflect badly on this site, and the HNQ effect is not helping. $\endgroup$ – knzhou May 22 at 22:38
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately it seems like the movement to decide what goes on HNQ here stalled out a while ago, but this is really the perfect example. $\endgroup$ – knzhou May 22 at 22:39
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    $\begingroup$ @knzhou By all means, if you can summarize what makes this question a bad fit for HNQ, add it as an answer to the question here. $\endgroup$ – Chris May 23 at 0:21
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Generally, if I have to scroll through a full screen of comments to see the next answer, I move them to chat, especially if the comments are getting chatty. In this case, the 9 comments on knzhou's answer were quite a bit longer than the 5 on Ben's answer.

Of course, I have to see them first. If you feel a comment thread is too long or irrelevant to the post, you are free to flag it with a "no longer needed" flag to summon a moderator.

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    $\begingroup$ Personally I'm more likely to delete comments on a question than an answer; not sure if you feel similarly. $\endgroup$ – David Z May 23 at 5:24

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