Recently on this question the long comment thread has been converted to a chat log. That would be fine if all comments were indeed irrelevant, but one particular comment added what I would consider very important advice to fight crappy and insecure shared hosting :

cPanel's a bigger risk than PHP itself is.

At the same time, I don't feel like it's related to the original question and wouldn't make a good answer.

I'd like to ask the community opinion on this and if we reach a consensus maybe the moderators could be a little less strict about moving everything to chat (I understand the site may not allow to move only selective comments to chat, but maybe until that feature is implemented it's better to completely delete comments which add no value while keeping the useful ones?)

  • Just to clarify the question, do you remember if this comment was particularly upvoted before the migration? More generally, do you think that upvotes on comments should have an impact when such migration occurs? When deletion of chatty comment threads occurs, I personally have the impression that votes are taken into account to decide which comments should stay or should be deleted, that's why I mentioning this. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 21:07
  • @WhiteWinterWolf The comment had around 10 upvotes I believe. And yes, I definitely agree that upvotes should be taken into account when migrating comment threads to chat (even though I see that as pointless, since there's never any activity in those chatrooms after the migration, so a better solution would be to merely hide the comment thread like they do on The Workplace.SE). Actually a few days ago a similar thing occurred with a comment that had over 100 upvotes before it was nuked. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 21:17
  • My idea was less to propagate upvotes into the chat than take upvotes into account to determine which comments should be kept below the post. I don't know if mod tools offer such granularity, maybe if this is not the case this would be a good evolution, otherwise you seem to say that people on The Workplace.SE have a different mean to handle such situations with the current tools. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 21:37
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    @WhiteWinterWolf I didn't suggest carrying over the upvotes to chat, I simply said moving comments to chat seems pointless, as nobody goes on those chatrooms and new comments continue to pile up without taking into account the older ones (which have been moved to chat), so in the end it's making the problem even worse. If screen space is an issue, then just hiding the comments by default (like on The Workplace) is a better idea. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


The purpose of comments is to request clarity or provide information that should then cause a post to be updated.

Comments are not for anything permanent.

If mods have time when deleting comments or moving them to chat we will keep highly voted comments longer than others, but generally if there is a long thread that gets flagged to us we move it to chat if there is some value we can find, or we delete.

In this case, the comment does not provide useful additional info, and is rather off topic for the question. It is also opinion based. Some would argue php is a bigger problem - that's a separate conversation, and one which really does not belong in comments but in chat.

  • While PHP may be crap (opinion based indeed), it is widely accepted that cPanel is crap. Again, this is impotant information and I don't feel it's right to remove it just because it's a bit off-topic for the original question (yet it will be useful for future readers who find the question through Google, as their server on the other hand may also have cpanel). Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 11:26
  • That is actually the exact reason or remove it - it is off topic for the original question. We already have posts talking about security of cPanel and php, adding an off topic comment under a post just to highlight a view of the relative merits is explicitly not what we need.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 11:29
  • Except the PHP questions we already have are too specific and less popular, thus less likely to get found by the audience which is most at risk of using cPanel (and they're not going to explicitly search "is cPanel secure?", they assume it is). That question however, which talks about PHP and shared hosting (the ideal place for a cPanel disaster), is way more popular and will get more hits from Google. A comment like that on it is very useful in my opinion. Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 11:36
  • You're looking at it the wrong way round. If you think the questions are not right, improve them. Even asking (and self answering) a question on cPanel security will make it visible via Google. But trying to add in something which doesn't answer the question, and is opinion based anyway, is definitely not good here.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 11:45
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    You could be more flexible with the "comments are not permanent" rule. Often I don't have time to write a proper answer, but can give OP all they need with a link or single sentence in a comment.
    – paj28
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 19:09
  • Unfortunately the guidance is specifically that answers should not be left in comments. There is no way to mark them as accepted etc, so the framework doesn't cope with them. And we don't have a "convert to answer" option :-)
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 19:11

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