5

it hurts my pride, but I'll have to admit that my comment really was more fit as an answer then a comment. Sorry for the fuss, and here is a fitting question if anyone else gets in my situation in the future.


I'm still relatively new to music.stackexchange.com, so I guess I must get the ropes right before anything, but I have a feeling that I've been target of abusive moderator activity.

I commented on that answer about the fact that practicing for the sake of practicing was not very useful on the long run (not exactly those words)

a few minutes later, without so much as a message in inbox which disappeared quickly enough for me not to be able to read it, my comment was gone. Feeling the op, who also happens to be a moderator, had done it I took the time to actually ask him, and it turns he probably deleted it himself, from what he says in comments. He claims the comment was not constructive, I think he disliked it because it contradicted his answer.

Now, he claims that Comments are for clarity, and are temporary. Where in that statement does it say that moderator can delete comments on their own question without so much as a justification? moreover, he is clearly missing some points on comments:

Comments are often used to ask for clarification on, suggest corrections to and provide meta-information about posts.

my comment provided meta-information about the fact of practicing for the sake of practicing, which is on-topic when commented on an answer which suggest practicing for the sake of practicing.

I can't see the comment anymore, but it did provide factual, arguable information. There was no insult in it. It did not deserved being deleted, it deserved being answered to if someone disagreed.

It would be less of a problem if that moderator actually had real experience in technical violin playing

he claims having played fiddle violin some years ago. Technical difficulty when playing fiddle violin versus classical repertoire is absolutely not the same. My rep may not represent it, but unless he has several years of scholarship in higher education studying the violin, I know advanced violin practice and execution more then he does.

So, can someone with sufficient privileges get that comment here in public and explain to me why/how it was not constructive, as claimed by the moderator who deleted it, if it's possible at all.

  • 3
    Since we are in a subject where objective "truths" are rare, I think it's hard to say that something is wrong. I think you can achieve what you are after in your post with the method described in the answer you commented. No one playing fast will be consciously thinking about each note they play. Your method might, or might not, be more efficient. In this context, the community decides. Good answers might in some cases be buried, but the benefits of this format by far outweighs the drawbacks, in my mind. – Meaningful Username Jan 10 '15 at 15:49
  • With that said, I've made comments critiquing answers which I feel are wrong, so I understand where you're coming from. Nothing is black and white... – Meaningful Username Jan 10 '15 at 15:50
  • The problem here is the moderator activity which by all account seems abusive as moderator just deleted a comment on his answer without real justification. People are welcome to agree or disagree with me, but not remove my content because they can. – Félix Gagnon-Grenier Jan 10 '15 at 15:57
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    Comments are subject to removal, and generally we don't have issues with moderation. I doubt we need action on this issue now, it's bad you got off on a bad start. Please hang around and discover that this is a pretty nice place :). – Meaningful Username Jan 10 '15 at 16:52
  • Mods don't need special permission to delete comments on our own posts; we are responsible for comment cleanup everywhere. SE does not give us any powers we are not supposed to use. – Matthew Read Jan 10 '15 at 18:31
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    +1 for bringing this to meta for clarification. – luser droog Jan 10 '15 at 19:59
  • @MatthewRead Hey there, thanks for the clarification, however my point here is not the usage of the deletion of a comment, which of course you can do on your post, the point is that even though you are a moderator, you need a reason to delete a comment. I would be very happy if you could confirm that you share that point of view. – Félix Gagnon-Grenier Jan 11 '15 at 5:23
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    Yes, I agree that you need a reason. Dr Mayhem has shared his, which coincides with the commenting guidance -- Comments are not recommended for any of the following: [...] Answering a question or providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one). – Matthew Read Jan 12 '15 at 15:50
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    Interesting point about moderators moderating their own posts, or those they're involved with, though. – Mr. Boy Jan 13 '15 at 21:33
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Felix - I left you a comment immediately after your comment telling you it should be an answer, and that I would delete the comment.

You then posted the answer.

Job done. I am not sure why you didn't read my response - and assumed you had as you wrote your answer right afterwards. And I'm sorry that I need to correct your assumption - I am more than happy with posts that disagree with me, as long as they are constructive and useful. Your post is useful as an answer.

I am not sure why you seem to think that there is any adverse reaction, and I'm really unsure why Yo wants to weigh in without any of the facts.

As a comment, your post was of little value other than saying "your post is wrong" but as an answer it is perfectly valid and can be voted on. It was not "meta information" - it was another viewpoint.

Answers are also considered relatively permanent on SE, whereas comments really are not - see any of the explanatory posts by SE staff!

Much better solution all round.

Update - this was the comment I deleted, so you can see why I thought it would make a good answer:

While practising is, indeed, a great way to become better, most people will attain a max level of skills by keeping practice in mind. Pactising eight hours a day is worth close to nothing if you don't think hard of what you are doing at each and every moment. You should never let small errors go as they will come back to haunt you when you're stressed out (likely when it's important, like playing in front of people). Awareness while practising should be the moto. If you find yourself thinking about your day at work or your girlfriend, put down your violin and come back later.

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    Hey Dr, thanks a lot for following on this, and sorry for the disagreement. I did not read your response because I did not have the time to. However, I strongly disagree that my comment was only saying "your post is wrong". As the highly voted answer, your will be on top for everyone reading this. The advice "practice, practice, practice" is damageable because it removes the focus requirement from the act of practicing. A comment on your answer pointing out that seems to me on-topic and constructive. – Félix Gagnon-Grenier Jan 10 '15 at 16:08
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    Well, after your most recent edit i gave your answer an upvote, so it is now 4th, which means it is likely to get read. I like the answer - i don't necessarily agree with it fully but as another viewpoint it's good. Generally, if you have a different answer, posting it is all you need to do - it will be seen, and upvoted if people agree. Sure, there are some folks on here who are unqualified, but some who are amazingly experienced and qualified (note I'm not including me in this group) and their opinion is incredibly valuable – Doktor Mayhem Jan 10 '15 at 16:14
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    I think the qualifications of people got mixed with the problem in this meta discussion. I hope you don't feel I undervalue your experiences in music. I think I'm starting to get your point, thanks for putting up with me. I will definitely be trying to phrase my comments differently, because I still think that comments on an answer can add useful informations to them :) – Félix Gagnon-Grenier Jan 10 '15 at 16:20
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    Okay - sorry this seems to have gone less smoothly than it should have. I've shed one of the other mods to have a quick look through the history to let me know his opinion, in case i was overactive on this one (we usually do this if there is disagreement with a mod's actions, to ensure fairness) – Doktor Mayhem Jan 10 '15 at 16:23
  • You really don't get why deleting a comment saying "you are wrong" might be seen as untoward? One of the biggest things a mod has to do on any forum is separate their moderating actions and their poster actions in some way. At most, your moderator powers should only be used in situations where you would have responded the exact same way to a report about the same issue. Ideally, you'll go a bit further, to avoid the appearance of impropriety. – trlkly Jan 12 '15 at 0:23
  • (continued) Do you really get many reports of comments that should be answers and delete them, telling the commenter that their comment should be an answer? That seems to be a waste of time. The general consensus on other SEs is that you only deal with comments that are causing significant problems. And that's without getting into the very real part that telling someone why you downvoted them is pretty important info--I've never even thought to report someone for a post like that. If someone says I'm wrong, I look into changing my post or argue they are wrong. Or I delete my own answer. – trlkly Jan 12 '15 at 0:26
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    trikly - a comment saying "you are wrong" is almost worthless. Felix's answer is much more valuable. Look at it from the perspective of a new visitor - they come for answers not for a discussion. This is SE, not a discussion forum. Sure, we all comment, and then we delete comments. In terms of flags, comment flags are incredibly frequent, and on almost all the other SE sites I frequent, we delete them (meta.se is an exception) as unless they add value, they are considered noise. – Doktor Mayhem Jan 12 '15 at 8:43
  • @trlkly I cannot vouch for every site, but no the consensus is not to leave comments be until they are causing significant problems. Once a clarification has been made, an edit added to the post to include new information, or the issue in the comment is otherwise resolved, it is subject to deletion. meta.stackexchange.com/a/19757/154510 – Matthew Read Jan 12 '15 at 15:48
2

music.se is not stackoverflow. I think the way comments are managed over there is not the same as over here.

On stack overflow, we comment on content to help people tell wether it's right or wrong. Comments saying that something is wrong (rightly so) will be upvoted to signify it's of importance. We may have a higher level of tolerance over what is a nice way to express one's opinion and what is not, so I think I may be responsible for a part of the response to my content.

It seems over here I should rather post an answer instead of commenting on an other answer, which is slowly getting into my head.

I think deleted comments are lost forever, so we can't come back on my original comment to see if it was really constructive or not, but I will get into rank and do it this way.

I'd like to thank @DrMayhem for putting up gracefully with my heat here.

-1

I can't know what the exact things that happen were, but taking "comments are temporarily" literally is an abuse.

If the comment points out what exactly makes one disagree with the answer, then the comment is valuable after 10 years in exactly the same way as it is after 10 minutes. Unless, of course, it gets incorporated into the answer, which, however, doesn't seem to be the case here.

People often feel that votes evaluate the quality. No, it's not true. Votes only express the (subjective) opinion of the people on the quality. And if you don't let people see the arguments against the quality of the post made by other -- maybe more experienced -- users, the judgement is going to be even less objective. True dialog can get us close to the best answers getting the most votes.

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    Interestingly put! Votes only express the (subjective) opinion of the people on the quality. Since we're Stack Exchange, lots of people have the right to vote wether or not they know a subject. Sometimes, this creates highly voted yet very false pieces of information. – Félix Gagnon-Grenier Jan 10 '15 at 15:07
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    @FélixGagnon-Grenier: Yes this is a feature of the format. If the community does not have the knowledge necessary for its subject, the SE will likely fail. The rare individual question suffers from this on Music SE, but in general I think we are fine. – Meaningful Username Jan 10 '15 at 15:42
  • comments are temporary is not some masterful work of metaphor. It is literal. Mods use their subjective judgment about comments the same way anyone else does. – Matthew Read Jan 10 '15 at 18:27
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    @MatthewRead There are probably zillions of obsolete and/or non-constructive comments on Music.SE, and probably even ones that are more blatantly so than the one in question. Since you seem to be the one to remove them, go ahead! ;) – yo' Jan 10 '15 at 18:30
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    @yo' I always remove any such ones I see. I do not review every post every day. You should be flagging these "zillions" you see in order to bring them to our attention. – Matthew Read Jan 10 '15 at 18:34
  • @MatthewRead No. As a moderator, you are held to higher standards. You are not making the same subjective opinion anyone else is. Your job is to reflect the opinion of the site in general, not your own opinion. If you are making the same judgements someone with 1 point is making, you are not doing your job. The job of a moderator is to be as objective as possible, avoiding any biases that they would normally have. --Not that I have any clue what in the world this has to do with the guy's statement that deleting comments because they are "temporary" regardless of their value is bad. – trlkly Jan 11 '15 at 23:52
  • @trlkly I said nothing about standards, and the value of a comment is inherently subjective. The point of referencing "comments are temporary" is to indicate that you shouldn't expect any comment to stick around -- no matter how useful, it can always become outdated or (as in this case) be incorporated into another post. – Matthew Read Jan 12 '15 at 15:38

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