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EDIT2

All these answers and comments below have been a truly learning experience for me. I was told a lot of useful and important things, for instance that I can write an answer myself, that I can upvote or downvote, that any comment can always be deleted. Now I know, thank you. Pity that the only thing I still don't know is why certain comments get deleted and some not.

Should anyone try to tell me that content counts, I recommend comparing my deleted comment - which I described below (and which was removed after just a few hours) - and those two comments that are still there after almost 2 days:

I skimmed the blog. Wow, just wow. and

+1 for including a short and long answer. (we all know that +1-type comments are highly recommended on stackexchange)

(I guess further downvoting my question will give me the lesson I deserve.)


Why have moderators removed my comments (and a few others) here in this question?

Is gravity just electromagnetic attraction?

John Rennie said there (this comment is now gone) that the blog the question was based on is nonsense and to justify his opinion he linked another question about the speed of gravity. I pointed out that the 2 top scoring answers to the question he referred to give no evidence to support their claim about the speed of gravity being c, and that one answer showed some links and commented that the dispute is at best unresolved.

Why was it removed?!

And to prove that moderation follows weird policy regarding answers and comments - the top scoring (18 votes now) answer to the question I am talking about is this:

Short answer: No. Long answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Moral of the story: Gravity and EM are two very different things that look similar to some people because they both fall off like 1r2. Be careful what you trust. When someone makes a claim like that, check their references. If there are no references, ignore it.

How come this is considered a valid answer while my comment is considered invalid?

P.S. You know, I'm from Poland - a country where people have learned all too well what censorship leads to. I have never suspected I might be the subject of such practices in the so-called "free world" - be it US or the Internet. It's just so sad ...

EDIT: Should someone think I am a lunatic or otherwise obsessive, I will show a better example of what I mean:

Sometime at the beginning of my presence here at physics.stackexchange, I wrote this answer: Do photons occupy space?. It's actually only a quotation that experiments show that photon seems to have real spin. After that I not only received immediate downvotes, but also a number of derogatory comments calling me naive and such. When I responded accordingly (but not overtly), my comment was removed, while the original offensive comments were left intact. Only after I asked why moderation was unfair, the other comments were removed too. Apparently, moderation didn't mind offensive comments as long as they supported the "right concepts". (Notice, I didn't develop any lengthy concepts or theories considered non-mainstream. I only pointed out to a fact provided by scientists from regular university). Since then there were a number of cases where I could see that certain comments are not welcome. So this time it was just too much and I decided to react.

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    $\begingroup$ I didn't say the question was nonsense, I said the blog post that the question referred to was nonsense. I would not criticise Yashbhatt, or anyone else, for asking about a blog article that they are not equipped to judge themselves. I have not and will not downvote or vote to close Yashbhatt's question. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Jun 21 '14 at 9:27
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    $\begingroup$ The question was based on the blog. By dismissing the blog you actually dismissed the question. (You didn't say the question is otherwise valid.) And you justified your opinion by referring to the question which does not seem to support this opinion based on real arguments. That's why I decided to comment. Apparently it's a no-no. Therefore I am asking why? (I know, a disliked type of question in contemporary physics.) So I am not saying you cannot present your opinion, but asking why certain comments are removed and some are not. $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 9:38
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    $\begingroup$ By the way, I can see the comment history on the latter post you mentioned. Just to set the record straight, that's not what happened; nobody called you naive. Some comments which were inappropriate (i.e. rude) were removed first, and all the other comments were removed shortly afterwards, once the discussion was inactive - not in response to anything you posted. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jun 21 '14 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ Well, you have removed so many of my comments that I lost track. I will find later on where it was. $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ: Was it this one? (Unfortunately I can't check it myself) physics.stackexchange.com/a/110776/43402. Here I elaborated more on the concept, but still I wrote at the very beginning that this is only speculation, because the question concerned subject not well explored by QM (and I have read so many times on this forum that physics doesn't actually care about why and how questions). $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ There are no removed comments on 110776 or any other post under 43402. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jun 21 '14 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry guys, I am not able to see deleted comments and have to guess. Still the situation I described did happen: apparently moderation differentiated between users. (As I am able to see removed answers I was able to find the one dmckee removed and which I linked under your answer below) $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 14:59
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Write it in a post.

The reliable way to insure that what you have to say is not removed as a noise comment is to write an answer to the question.

The only official use-case for comments is to work toward improving the post they are attached to.

Toward that end, comments are transient and subject to removal. If what you write is not a throw-away comment, don't leave it in a "comment", find a way to make a post of it.

A particularly pernicious mis-use of comments seems to be as a way to write unpopular opinions and out-of-the-mainstream assertions without being subject to the publicly visible evaluation implicit in the up-and-down voting mechanism that applies to posts.

Finally, the removal of comments does involve a judgement call on the part of the moderators. We're doing our best, but we're not going to agonize over ever decision.

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    $\begingroup$ Is this meant to be a joke? You would be the first to remove an answer that is a comment. You have already done that with one of my earliest posts on this forum (I guess you, a moderator, can see that): physics.stackexchange.com/questions/109776/…. Again why my comments are removed and John Rennie's aren't? Can you answer a simple question? I don't care that "A particularly pernicious mis-use of comments seems to be as a way to write unpopular opinions". Read my question above to see what my comment was about. $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ @brightmagus I don't see your point. There is now one comment of you, and one of John Rennie? Can you maybe write a proper answer to that question, instead of leaving comments? I find it really annoying to sometimes find the best hints and tips as comments rather than answers :) $\endgroup$ – Bernhard Jun 21 '14 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Bernhard: Look at my question above and not comment here. There is the link I am talking about. The link you followed here leads to an answer which was removed (so you cannot see it, but moderators can), where I did what dmckee suggests: "If what you write is not a throw-away comment, don't leave it in a "comment", find a way to make a post of it." Which I did and then dmckee removed it, although he claims that such a post would not be removed. (and still look at an answer I posted in my question - nobody even thought of removing it.) $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ If you write a comment in an answer it will be removed. I suggest here that you "write an answer to the question" explaining your point of view. We don't delete answers willy-nilly and future readers will have the benefit (such as it is) of seeing how other users judge your position. Stack Exchange is not a discussion engine, so complaints about how it is falling down in that department aren't going to go very far. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jun 21 '14 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ Comments that are in answer form will be removed. Answers that are in comment form can be removed as well. Comments on Stack Exchange are meant to be ephemeral, and are not for long term preservation. If there is a long discussion or a brewing fight, they get removed. Use Physics Chat instead. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jun 21 '14 at 19:06
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    $\begingroup$ Guys, I've heard it a hundred times here. (I'm not as retarded as I might seem.) One thing I can't get the answer to is why comments are removed selectively? $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ @brightmagus You will first have to proof that your comments are removed selectively. That fact that you repeat it a lot does not make it true, and in the questions you link, there are plenty of your comments left. By the way, I think your statements with respect to communism and censorship are really, really borderline. That is not the way to start a fruitful discussion. If your comments contained similar statements, that might also be a reason for them to be deleted (maybe the comments where flagged for being offensive?) $\endgroup$ – Bernhard Jun 22 '14 at 7:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Bernhard: How many witnesses do you need to testify what you can still see with your own eyes? Check my EDIT2 above at the beginning of my question. $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 22 '14 at 8:08
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In all Stack Exchange sites, including Physics, comments are regarded as transient and may be deleted at any point. The site encourages anyone who wants to address a question to put the time and effort into writing a comprehensive and high quality answer. While answers can be deleted this is normally only done in extreme circumstances e.g. when someone posts obscene or spam material.

Generally speaking comments shouldn't be used to answer questions. I have to confess I sometimes use comments to provide an answer, but only when I don't want to put in the time and effort to write a proper answer. In those circumstances I'm quite happy that my comment might be deleted as I don't regard it as an important contribution to the site that I want preserved for posterity.

Comments also shouldn't be used to discuss answers. You can comment to suggest changes. For example I always read comments to my answers, and if I think the comment makes a good point I will edit my answer accordingly or event delete it. If I think the comment is wrong or irrelevant I will not. Either way, the comment only plays a transient role in advising me of possible issues and having done this it can be deleted.

If you believe an answer is wrong or confusing, and the OP ignores your comments, then the correct course is to write your own answer. That answer can then be read by future site members along with the one you object to. Comments are not intended to provide a permanent commentry on answers and shouldn't be used for that purpose.

All the above is general, but you refer to a particular question. I didn't see the comments before they were deleted so I can't comment on why some were deleted and others weren't. I wouldn't be upset if my comments were deleted (for the reasons discussed above) though I note they have been heavily upvoted so presumably site members agree with them and/or find them helpful. I stand by them; I even have just gone back and reread the blog article to make sure I had not misjudged it, and I stand by my original opinion. If you wish to object you should write an answer analysing the blog article and pointing out its strengths.

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    $\begingroup$ Your post is totally off topic. The question was why your comment (and not answer) was not removed and mine was*? And why do you suggest I should write an answer if I object to your comment? Why do I have to guard myself from getting my (on topic and to the point) comments removed? Why don't you have to write an answer while I do? Why are there double standards here? $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 10:05
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    $\begingroup$ Notice that although the situation is possibly awkward for you (because I mention you and called you a "guru" - I meant no offense, just wanted to stress you are apparently treated differently) all I wanted to show is that moderators follow a strange and harmful policy. I'm not accusing you of removing my comment. $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 10:16
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    $\begingroup$ @brightmagus: I am suggesting you should write an answer if you want to be sure your analysis of the question will be seen by future site members. There is no double standard - this applies to me too and I do write an answer when I care enough about the issue (in this case I don't). I have had comments deleted before, and that's fine because I understand when commenting that they may be deleted. There is no censorship here. If you thnk I'm wrong write an answer explaining why - that's what I would do and indeed have done in the past. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Jun 21 '14 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ @brightmagus: then this all seems a bit of a storm in a teacup $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Jun 21 '14 at 10:24
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    $\begingroup$ I didn't provide any analysis. Just showed your comment was not based on justified arguments. I am not supporting the suggestion that gravity=E/M. All I said your dismissal was not very informative (I had a number of to the point and on topic comments removed, while other comments were kept. Call it what you may ...) $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 10:28
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry I removed my comment - reinserted it now. As to the "storm in a teacup" - it's just you opinion. Again, not justified enough (in my opinion this time). Remember our discussion about electron being point particle? You admitted nobody really thinks it is, but then it was all removed and only your answer stating it actually is point particle is left now. Again looks like somebody does not like when certain opinions are questioned (on scientific grounds). $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 10:34
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    $\begingroup$ @brightmagus: it hardly amounts to censorship though. You are free to ask a question about the propagation speed of gravity and no-one will censor you. Likewise you are free to ask a question about the pointlike nature of particles and no-one will censor you. Comments aren't deleted to censor people's views, only to point out those views are being expressed in the wrong place. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Jun 21 '14 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ Again (how many times?), why your view was considered to be expressed in the right place and mine not? Perhaps the problem is that a comment cannot be downvoted to (virtually) disappear (which happened to one of my answers, where I only presented the result of a mainstream scientific experiment: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/110703/…, after which I was treated with scorn by commenters, which comments were then removed, but first were mine comments when I dared to talk back)? $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ @brightmagus: then your issue is unfairness not censorship and you should edit the subject of your question accordingly. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Jun 21 '14 at 11:40
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    $\begingroup$ Unfairness looks like euphemism to me. My experience here shows that comments that are removed mostly point out holes or inconsistencies within established theories. Someone apparently does not like these theories being claimed not absolutely perfect. I will edit my question to show what I mean. $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 11:49
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Why have moderators removed my comments? The basic rule of StackExchange is that comments can be removed once you give the message to the poster. If you don't want your ideas to be removed post an answer or say it in chat. I'm not a moderator, but I guess that was the reason.

How come this is considered a valid answer while my comment is considered invalid?

Unless the answer is awful nonsense, every answer is allowed (in this case I think is a good answer).

I pointed out that the 2 top scoring answers to the question he referred give no evidence to support their claim about the speed of gravity being c

This is explained in any General Relativity book, so no need to give references. If you think otherwise, you should back it up with solid references: Is non-mainstream physics appropriate for this site? (and I think the question should have been closed under this policy).

To your comment, come on, don't compare goverment censorship to comment removal. And note that the comments weren't removed by the Goverment (they have better things to do). StackExchange is a private company, so this would be more like when someone is saying something you don't like in your house, you have the right to tell him to stop.

As a final remark, mods don't apply the removing policy too strictly when they should be supposed to remove +1 comments and that stuff. But since it doesn't cause mayor troubles, I think it's ok.

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    $\begingroup$ Why are you distorting my words and say I compared comment removal to mass murders? Are you trying to discredit me? And why John Rennie's comment was not removed then? Again, is he special? $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 9:06
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    $\begingroup$ "This is explained in any General Relativity book.". Then what's the purpose of this site? Why don't we answer all the questions with "See your textbook and don't bother us anymore"? $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 9:10
  • $\begingroup$ @brightmagus Well, I don't know much about history of Poland, what did you mean that censorship in Poland led to? To your other question: 1) because the poster isn't supposed to explain everything 2) it was no the main question 3) the first Google result gives the answer: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_gravity $\endgroup$ – jinawee Jun 21 '14 at 9:13
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    $\begingroup$ In short - censorship is a method of confining the freedom of speech and leads to the control of thought. It also leads to science (physics) become religion. (I just thought it should be obvious for people who should have at least a brief knowledge of the history of science - Galileo, Giordano Bruno and numerous others,) $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 9:19
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    $\begingroup$ "because the poster isn't supposed to explain everything". How about explaining at least something? $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 9:20
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    $\begingroup$ "the first Google result gives the answer" Did you even bother to read it or you just finished after skimming the first paragraph? Go to the last part where you can read the debate is still on - and that's exactly what I pointed out in my comment. The one that got removed. Telling isn't it? $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 9:26
  • $\begingroup$ @brightmagus Of course there can be debate, but the fact that it has been published in many books seems to me enough to answer it using that information. If you think is wrong you can downvote. The same way you can downvote answers which take for granted gravitons or that fields are more fundamental than particles. $\endgroup$ – jinawee Jun 21 '14 at 9:41
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    $\begingroup$ What am I supposed to downvote? John Rennie's comment? Still, instead of just downvoting (a very unscientific method of dispute) I prefer to point out what is wrong/missing. See John Rennie's comment above - he seems to be of the same opinion here. And still, why are you telling me how I should respond to claims I find doubtful? $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ @brightmagus No, the answers given in the other question. $\endgroup$ – jinawee Jun 21 '14 at 9:45
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    $\begingroup$ "The other question" is already dead. The question where I posted my comment is being currently discussed. $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ @brightmagus We don't let any question die, see: meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/4306/… $\endgroup$ – jinawee Jun 21 '14 at 10:30
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    $\begingroup$ Jinawee, please. Show some effort. The question is dead, because hardly anybody is reading it now, not to mention new answers and comments. Plus, if an answer already has a couple of dozens of upvotes, many users just take it must be true and well formulated (my opinion), so downvoting it changes nothing. $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ @brightmagus I've answers some old questions and downvoted old answers, if you don't like doing that, I guess there not much else you can do... If users take something here as true, it's their problem, since even what Nobel prize winners write in standard books can be wrong. $\endgroup$ – jinawee Jun 21 '14 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ In my opinion science is not about democracy (power of votes) but about the power of arguments. Obviously, you don't have to agree. $\endgroup$ – bright magus Jun 21 '14 at 14:57

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