I recall a rich and productive comment thread underneath this answer, which seems to have been purged for an unknown reason.
As a subjective Stack Exchange site, comment threads are well-recognized as one of the primary ways the site provides value. To get an idea of what I mean, compare us to another subjective SE site, programmers.SE. This was literally the first high-vote question I clicked on when I darted over there for an example:
- The question has over 30 comments, many highly upvoted (which is not possible in MA.SE due to our low number of users)
- The first question has 10 comments
- The second and third, 9
- The fourth, over a dozen
- The rest, between 0 and 25, with 0 and 3 or 4 being the most common.
Those comments involve disagreements, back-and-forths, interjections, sidebars, and yes, the occasional unnecessary derail. I understand that thread cleanup is going to remove the totally unrelated chats between people, but most of it's going to stay. And why not? It's related to the question, it's not substantial enough to be an answer, it's not an edit...but it's useful!
So why are we deleting illuminating comment threads?
In some cases these exchanges in MA.SE are lengthy and may have been better in chat, but in others--such as this one--it seems like we're deleting comments just for the sake of not having more than one or two comments underneath a post. Let's not. Leave more of the comments untouched and realize that comments that are on-topic add value.