I do not see some of my comments. Specifically I can name at least one which I remember very well, and which is not there anymore - in comments on the answer in this topic How to compile LM-fonts from sources? I left a comment "I did not see the recipe... Did you?" (verbatim). Can anybody delete them besides me? This is just unacceptable.

Furthermore, I do not see some topics which I opened. I can name at least two which I remember and they are not there anymore. Why did they disappear?

Please check what's going on. I'm ready to provide required info.

  • All your comment activities are traced here... Nov 4, 2015 at 1:34
  • @PaulGaborit I don't object that things are removed, I just want to be able to find them somewhere... One more thing: how can I see the deleted post? (IIRC it was called "Question about example of alignment in TeXbook"). And yes, StackExchange is a great site! Thanks a lot! Nov 5, 2015 at 9:40

1 Answer 1


Comments are intended to allow passing clarification, etc. on questions or answers. Quoting from the Help

Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. They can be up-voted (but not down-voted) and flagged, but do not generate reputation. There's no revision history, and when they are deleted they're gone for good.

Note the deleted part: comments (and indeed other content) can be removed not only by the original author but also by the moderators or SE staff. In particular, long threads of comments are not encouraged by the StackOverflow model and may be removed/reduced once they have done their job. (The back-end of the site automatically flags up any question with 20 or more comments.)

Questions and answers can be deleted manually or automatically. The latter happens to avoid a build-up of closed, unanswered questions with low views, so that searching the site will (hopefully) give useful data. This process is automated: I note one question from you that has been deleted by the back-end.

Most importantly, the aim of the site is to provide useful questions and answers not only for the original asker but for a wider audience. (The basic idea of 'not a forum, not a wiki, ...' is covered in https://tex.stackexchange.com/tour). All posts are therefore subject to the site license and may be edited/removed by others under defined conditions.

On comments, anyone posting them should work on the basis that they might be removed at some stage. Comments are quite deliberately not given the same status as Q/A content. They cannot be searched, they cannot be edited by others (wiki-like), they do not gain rep, etc. This is part of the site design and is intended to make the questions and answers the place where the 'value' is. Extended discussion works poorly in comments in any case, and is best handled in chat.

Note that the back-end retains all data posted to the site. Removal is carried out to keep the visible content focussed.

  • 3
    Generally, the mods take quite a 'light touch' approach on TeX.sx compared to other parts of the network, but there are still some elements of 'tidying up'.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Nov 1, 2015 at 13:58
  • Let's suppose that I do not like this answer or comment for some reason. How do I remove it? What exactly is the procedure? Please say where did you see which posts were deleted? Nov 1, 2015 at 21:49
  • Sometimes there is valuable info (only for the original asker but for a wider audience) in the comments, but I don't feel good when editing someone's posts. Where should I put this info to save it? Nov 1, 2015 at 21:51
  • May the author at least be notified about changes which are going to be made to his contributions? When I cannot be confident in what I write, I cannot trust this forum anymore... Nov 1, 2015 at 22:01
  • 2
    @IgorLiferenko (Reply to your first comment): As a non-mod you can only remove your own posts, but you can flag other stuff for moderator attention or indeed contact the staff (via the help). I can see all posts in the system, but you may not be able to be (this is a bit complex): in your profile I can currently see one deleted question.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Nov 1, 2015 at 22:51
  • 2
    @IgorLiferenko (Reply to your second comment): The entire model of the site is that the 'archive' info should be in questions/answers. We (mods) won't delete comments that seem valuable but of course there can be an element of judgement to this.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Nov 1, 2015 at 22:53
  • 1
    @IgorLiferenko (Reply to your third comment): Deletion of questions by the 'back end' just happens: you don't get notified. On comments, if there is a need to give people a 'heads up' we tend to by leaving a comment of our own (e.g. 'I've cleared up the comment thread here ...'). However, if comments seem to be 'stale' then then may just be deleted.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Nov 1, 2015 at 22:54
  • 1
    Can I contact someone responsible for not to delete comments at all? (of course besides those which have some insults, cussing, etc...) As a rule people write comments not of leisure, but because comments have a certain purpose. Certain people may think that certain comments are not necessary, but comments are folded, so they are not distracting for those who do not wish to read them. Besides, they are formatted in a special way, so they do not distract from the main post. Is it just saving disk space? Nov 2, 2015 at 0:57
  • As for "not useful" topics - how can I contact someone who is responsible for not to delete the questions by the 'back end'? There are plenty of options, like "closed" labels / number of votes by which search results can be filtered / sorted; maybe some other options. In my profile by clicking "deleted recent questions" I see "No deleted recent questions". How do you see it? Nov 2, 2015 at 0:57
  • 2
    @IgorLiferenko the automatic deletion is explained in detail on Meta SE about Roomba. Also, Stack Exchange is not a forum, but Q&A. Ask a question, and get the answer, but please refrain from long discussion (including in the comment). If the discussion can't be avoid, use the chat room instead.
    – Andrew T.
    Nov 2, 2015 at 6:53
  • 3
    @IgorLiferenko Or actually visit a forum where each post has the same value. Fine for discussion, pretty bad for help seekers in the future, since the information is dispersed over a quite long thread. latex-community.org/forum
    – Johannes_B
    Nov 2, 2015 at 8:05
  • 3
    @AndrewT. -- on the ground that these comments might be deleted (!), please add the information about where information can be found in an answer. Nov 2, 2015 at 13:08
  • @barbarabeeton :-) Note that (1) I did say we read the comments before deleting and (2) meta is a bit different from the main site (it is discursive so more leeway is required).
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Nov 2, 2015 at 14:55
  • 1
    @JosephWright -- agreed that meta is more "forgiving", but the comments are still not used in a search, which can skew results. (though probably not in this case). Nov 2, 2015 at 14:58

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