On the question Why does dirt kill saw blades?, there was a comment by @getterdun that challenged the appropriateness of the question. The comment was responded to by @warren, defending the question.

When I looked a bit later, getterdun's comment had disappeared. While I strongly disagree with its content, I think comments like this are wholly appropriate and add to the depth of discussion on the site.

If this comment was removed by its author, then I have no complaint. Anyone is free to back down from a hasty or ill-advised position (I try to do so regularly). But if this was removed by mods or some other site administrator, I am a bit concerned. Do we want this type of scrubbing of unpopular opinions?

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    For what it's worth, the other comment just got an "obsolete' flag, so I removed it too. – Niall C. Jul 9 '14 at 15:24

Ultimately this is not a discussion forum, it's a question and answer site. Comments are (and were always) meant to be a temporary artifact, used to request/add additional details.

When comments are flagged as offensive; as this one was, it's common practice to remove the comment. This is especially true if the comment is deemed to actually be offensive by the moderator that reacts to the flag. In my opinion, it sounded as if the user getterdun was saying this was a stupid question to ask. And by extension, calling the asker stupid themselves for asking it.

Common sense should have prevailed, and this question should not even have been asked here: -1.

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  • What about an admonishing comment directing the rude commentator to edit (or substitute a polite comment) within a short time or be deleted face being deleted? Obviously this applies only to rude comments that contain some germ of info or opinion on point. – bib Jul 9 '14 at 13:33
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    If there was rude or offensive content in a question or answer, then a comment to edit would be appropriate. Since it was only a comment, deletion without comment seemed adequate. – Tester101 Jul 9 '14 at 13:50

For reference, the comment was: "Common sense should have prevailed, and this question should not even have been asked here: -1"

While the question may have been ok, the way it is said comes across as bashing the OP in a non-constructive way. If the comment risks turning the site into a flame war, it tends to be removed to keep things civil, so I agree with the mod action to remove it. Had they phrased more politely, it would have remained.

Edit: See also the privileges section on comments where it defines that "constructive criticism" is good, while other criticisms that don't add anything constructive is not.

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  • I agree that the comment was rude, ill-advised, wrong in its analysis and not in keeping with the tone we try to set. (Have you seen the level of vituperation on ELU?) I cherish our kind ethos on DIY. I think a comment asking the rude commentator to be courteous might have served a dual purpose of allowing discourse on scope and reinforcing the community values of helping not haranguing. – bib Jul 9 '14 at 13:30
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    @bib A one time rude comment is dealt with by simply deleting the comment. If the user doesn't get it, and continues to be rude. Then it's time for further action, including but not limited to private messages, suspension, etc. The mods try to be pacifists, and avoid confrontation at all cost. – Tester101 Jul 9 '14 at 13:46

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