A few days ago, I posted an answer on meta. A moderator questioned the accuracy of aspects of the answer. I had an interesting discussion with that moderator in the comments.
It was a very sober, technical conversation. Purely reasonable. No ill-will or even emotional comments. It was quite productive and constructive, and I enjoyed the discussion quite a lot. Moreover, all the comments were perfectly on-topic and technical regarding the answer. No off-topic talk. In other words, quite a serious and productive discussion.
Today I noticed that my comments were gone. Yes, yes, I know comments are only temporary and may be removed at any moment, and I totally support that idea. I like comment cleanups quite a lot. What I find interesting here is that several of the other comments (arguing the other side of the discussion) are left on there, while mine are gone.
This is a bit of a trivial matter maybe, but anyhow, wouldn't it be better to:
- Delete the whole conversation? (Comments for both sides of it.)
- Move the whole conversation to chat?
- Leave both sides up?
Also, I believe comments are slightly more important on meta than on the regular site. After all, meta is a place for discussion. (Although clearly, comments can be deleted on meta too.)
IMO removing all the comments on one side of the discussion while leaving some of the "other side" comments on there seems a bit strange. After all, the comments are presenting counter-arguments to my answer. If they are being left on there then it's natural to also keep my counter arguments (those defending my answer.) Or, of course, to move/delete the whole conversation (which I would certainly not object to either.)
There is a common argument (which I quite agree with) that all information important enough not to be deleted should be incorporated into an answer. It's indeed a good principle. In this case, there was a two-sided discussion, one side of which has been deleted. Perhaps it was because my side was already covered in the answer itself? And the moderator's comments were seen as too important to be deleted? Well, it may indeed be, in which case that important information too could be incorporated into its own answer. In this case, such an answer could point out that there is a possibility that the Hot Network Questions had something to do with it. Thus, all comments could be deleted since both answers would then speak for themselves. This is a consistent, neutral approach to deleting a discussion. This is especially important on meta, which is for discussion. It seems more reasonable to me than to delete comments from only one side of the discussion.
I don't mean to present this as if it's a big deal or anything. I just thought it was worth bringing up.