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I've noticed on SuperUser that comments without upvotes are hidden by default, even if there are no other comments with upvotes. This is different from SO and MSO. Is this a bug, or the desired behavior? If this is by design, why?

Here is a screenshot from this question, where all comments are hidden (because they have no upvotes):

removed broken image

migrated from meta.stackoverflow.com Jul 22 '10 at 17:59

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Once there are more than threshold answers, all non-upvoted comments are hidden. This is done to save space, and happens across all sites.

On SU, the threshhold is 15, vs 30 on other sites. This was done in response to the huge number of non-questions on SU... So you're probably more apt to notice it there.

Note that this is also the threshold for forcing a question into CW mode, though questions can be marked CW without triggering the auto-hiding of comments.

Evidence:

See also: Reduce community wiki force threshold to <= 15 answers on superuser?

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    you speak with authority... but could you cite your source? ;-) – Kip Aug 3 '09 at 19:15
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    Ok - added examples. – Shog9 Aug 3 '09 at 19:29
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Not sure what the thinking was here, but I would be much happier if this were an integer user preference.

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That may be due to the fact, that the question is marked Community Wiki.


There is a correlation between them being marked Community Wiki, it's just not what I thought.

Questions with more than 15 answers become Community Wiki, and Questions with more than 15 answers start having the comments hidden. You can force a question into CW, but it will still show the comments.

  • i think you're right, i didn't notice. comments with no upvotes are hidden on CW questions on SO too (but not MSO, but I know MSO has different comment-hiding rules anyway) – Kip Aug 3 '09 at 19:04
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This is different from SO and MSO. Is this a bug, or the desired behavior? If this is by design, why?

This is not just a little different from SO and the other sites, and it only happens in questions that have lots of answers (or are CW?). (Example SU question where comments are not hidden)

Edit: A relevant blog post from April 2009 says:

On questions with >30 answers, only comments of +1 or higher will be shown

...but this does not seem to be the case exactly, at least no longer, because in your example there were slightly less than 30 answers.

But whatever the exact condition that triggers this mode, I personally find this little feature very well thought out (as I commented back then).

Edit2: It seems Shog9's answer has all the details

  • ... I just saw comments disappearing. – ThomasH Aug 3 '09 at 20:20
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    I didn't touch my comments, so I guess a mod decided we should put the whole thing behind us. Perhaps a good thing :) (One of the deleted comments was actually related to my answer, not the voting controversy, heh.) – Jonik Aug 3 '09 at 20:23

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