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There’s a word for deleting only one’s own half of a conversation on an online discussion platform so that it just seems as though the other party is talking to themselves. If anyone knows what it is, please let us who cant recall it know.

In this context however there is a difficulty in that when one selectively deletes one’s own comments while the others remain, other users looking at the post might begin to read the discussion thread underneath in case there are other insights about the post contained in them but then find that they have only wasted their time doing so because the comments that remain don’t, by themselves, make any sense.

One also wonders what the supposed virtue/benefit of such a practice is.

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    Simplest solution: Flag the other comments for deletion.
    – feetwet Mod
    Jan 31 at 21:59
  • That is very simple and plainly not an answer to the question. Feb 1 at 0:46
  • It’s also not a solution to the problem observed at all. Feb 1 at 2:38
  • 1
    That's how the stack works. That's it.
    – Trish
    Feb 1 at 19:08
  • What do you mean "that's it"? It's a meaningless remark that adds no insight AFAICT Feb 1 at 19:09

2 Answers 2

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Comment discussions shouldn’t exist

Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer.

When should I comment?

You should submit a comment if you want to:

  • Request clarification from the author;

  • Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;

  • Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).

They are not for discussion between users; that’s what chat rooms are for.

When shouldn't I comment?

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:

  • Secondary discussion or debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;

So, in the first place, the type of comment chains you describe shouldn’t be there.

In the second place, if they are there they should be moved to chat. Ideally users would start a chat room on the 3rd or 4th comment in the chain. Failing that, comment conversations can be flagged so a moderator can move them to chat.

Alternatively, once the comments have served their purpose (and comment conversations have instantly done so) users are encouraged to clean up their mess.

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Comments are not for discussion or conversation in the first place!

There’s a word for deleting only one’s own half of a conversation on an online discussion platform so that it just seems as though the other party is talking to themselves. If anyone knows what it is, please let us who cant recall it know.

That's irrelevant. First of all: This is not a discussion platform. Stack Exchange is a Questions and Answer portal. Secondarily: Comments are not to have a conversation. That's what chat is for.

In this context however there is a difficulty in that when one selectively deletes one’s own comments [...]

That's exactly how comments are to be handled. Once stuff is handled, delete your comments, and flag the others. DONE!

[...] while the others remain, other users looking at the post might begin to read the discussion thread underneath [...]

After flagging the other comments, they should be gone sone enough. And again, that's not what the comments are for. Comments are not for discussion.

[...] in case there are other insights about the post contained in them but then find that they have only wasted their time doing so because the comments that remain don’t, by themselves, make any sense.

Then flag the standalone comments as "No longer needed". Comments that make no sense shall be removed anyway.

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  • This still isn’t a solution. Can you define soon enough? If it’s not immediately, then the difficulty still arises. Feb 1 at 19:05
  • As soon as a moderator gets to it is "soon enough"
    – Trish
    Feb 1 at 19:07
  • At best, in keeping with your needlessly rigid comment policy, the solution would be to flag all of your own comments along with those of your interlocutor simultaneously without prematurely deleting yours before the rest can simultaneously be deleted. Feb 1 at 19:08
  • No it is not. . Feb 1 at 19:08
  • @TylerDurden you can not flag your own comments. That's a technical impossibility. You delete them, and flag the others.
    – Trish
    Feb 1 at 19:09
  • Ok fine then you win Feb 1 at 19:10

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