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Sometimes when reading the comments under a question/answer I get very confused. Then I realise that there are random @someones without that person making a comment before.

I mean I get the point why people can delete comments and that is a very useful tool. But why is there not at least an indicator on where/how many comments got deleted? (1) I feel like it would greatly improve the clarity of some discussions.

(1) The moderators tend to say when they delete comments, but the useres don't.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments, such as this one, are meant to be ephemeral. They disappear. A simple count of comments that have gone back into the aether does not seem to be all that useful. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Aug 18 '16 at 23:09
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    $\begingroup$ The thing to do in that situation, really, is to mark the confusing comments as obsolete and move on. Whoever deleted their comments presumably feels that they have achieved their purpose in improving the post, so the responses can and should go as well. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Aug 19 '16 at 3:08
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty I had never realized that comments can be marked "obsolete". That is a TIL moment... $\endgroup$ – Floris Aug 22 '16 at 13:32
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    $\begingroup$ I go a step further: when I delete my comments I mark the ones that refer to mine as obsolete, to facilitate cleaning things up. $\endgroup$ – rob Aug 24 '16 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it should be asked on the main Meta. Also, this has been explained and discussed at length already. $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Aug 31 '16 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielSank I agree that this question should have better been asked on the main meta. However, I didn't know that question which would fit on the main meta are considered off topic for the individual meta sites, even so I agree that such a policy might make sense, now that we do have a main meta site. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Klimpel Sep 1 '16 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielSank probably just me being incompetent with the search features, but I can't find anything. would you mind linking the related discussion? If I see my question answered I would delete this one. $\endgroup$ – Wolpertinger Sep 1 '16 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Numrok for example $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Sep 1 '16 at 15:24
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This is almost certainly because comments are not considered a core part of Stack Exchange - they are to request clarification or explanation, and ideally removed once the post has been updated or the issue sorted out.

If comments are removed, I'm not sure having an indicator that said something was deleted would actually help.

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    $\begingroup$ My feeling is that on balance mods rather rarely indicate when they remove comments, particularly when they do so with obsolete threads. This generally only happens if the comment discussion was getting out of hand and mostly as a reminder of what comments are for than as an indicator that there were comments to be read there. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Aug 19 '16 at 3:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Emilio Yeah, that's accurate. By my rough estimate, I leave a comment to indicate when I remove comments about 1/3 of the time. Like you said, I do it when it seems like people could use a reminder of what is appropriate in comments. But I do completely agree with Rory about the reason for removing comments (the first paragraph of the answer). $\endgroup$ – David Z Aug 19 '16 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ Updated - removed the bit that was just my experience. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Aug 19 '16 at 8:49
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    $\begingroup$ Many of the comments we remove don't really call for saying that we did it. We I take away suggestions for improvement that have been implemented I don't say anything about it. I mean, does it make sense to leave a comment to say that I removed a comment? $\endgroup$ – dmckee Aug 22 '16 at 1:12
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    $\begingroup$ @dmckee - does it change whether the improvement acknowledged the suggestion or not? "As at-xyz suggested, the proper treatment of this problem..." tells me the comment is obsolete. If the question was improved with help, but without acknowledgement, I think the comment deserves to stay. But no - it doesn't make sense to leave a comment to say you removed a comment. $\endgroup$ – Floris Aug 22 '16 at 13:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Floris Well, if the question/answer was improved, there is no acknowledgment, and there should be one, the proper way to do it is to edit the acknowledgment into the question. But in general, we leave that at the discretion of the poster. There is no site-wide expectation that all who have made helpful comments must be acknowledged. $\endgroup$ – David Z Aug 23 '16 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielSank Thanks for the link to the meta question (see question comments)! I think I get now why most people here find what I suggested rather useless (see e.g. Rory Alsop's answer). It is probably most succinctly summarised by "Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer." as was mentioned in the top answer in the linked meta question you provided. The thing is in reality comments don't always refer to questions or answers, but can also refer to other comments. Wouldn't the feature be useful for that situation? $\endgroup$ – Wolpertinger Sep 3 '16 at 19:24
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The moderators tend to say when they delete comments, but the useres don't.

If this were true (the comments indicate that it is not), then it would be a strong indication that this is a reasonable feature request. Whether it is possible to implement this sufficiently unobtrusive is a different question.

In chat, deleted messages are indicated as "(removed)" with the user name still associated with the message, which feels much too intrusive. A suitable number of additional grey lines between two successive comments might be a nice indication of how many comments have been deleted. But ten grey lines would already become obtrusive again, so maybe it would be best to just have one additional grey line (in addition to the default grey line separating two comments) for a single deleted comment, and two additional grey lines for two or more deleted comments.

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    $\begingroup$ ... if it were actually true. As noted in the comments, this is only the case if there is some specific reason for mods to note the removal of comments. Comments are by construction second-class citizens because otherwise you get a lot of back-and-forth instead of a question and answer that can be parsed in a single go. Giving more weight to comments takes away from that goal. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Aug 26 '16 at 11:04
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    $\begingroup$ "This is a strong indication that this is a reasonable feature request. " Before making such a statement, I would recommend researching the extensive prior discussion the Stack Exchange team had about why comments work the way they do. $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Aug 31 '16 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielSank I modified my answer. However, I do think that I understand quite well the purpose of comments on stackexchange and the way they work. For example, comments of meta are different from comments on the main side, even if they work identically... I just think the proposed feature request is perfectly compatible with the intended purpose of comments. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Klimpel Sep 1 '16 at 7:27

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