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Are long comment threads on meta questions discussing issues directly pertinent to the question considered bad, even if they do not become repetitive? I know this is considered bad on main...but meta is different (for example, comments are hardly ever deleted by moderators on meta).

In this question, the original poster (Lord of Time) seems to have expressed the wish that mateo_salta and I stop our back-and-forth argument. The OP has also claimed, strangely, that "argument is counter-intuitive here" (even though it's meta and the question is tagged discussion).

What is the right thing to do here?

In this situation, it seems wrong to continue the argument (in that place), given the OP's expressed desire not to do so. The OP gets a notification for every comment, which is one of the OP's expressed reasons for not wanting to do this.

Still, what options are available for discussing a complex site-related issue that is relevant to a large number of people? Should we move this to chat? I would be quite happy to do this, but I feel it might not be the best option because we have both made important points which deserve to retain visibility to anyone visiting the meta question. I don't want to move this to chat if that's not the right thing to do in this situation.

  • Please note that I do not have a bone to pick with Lord of Time (or anyone else), and I do not want to disrespect Lord of Time or any other participant in that discussion. I am posting about this here because I feel that it would expressly violate Lord of Time's wishes (and appear argumentative, or even combative) for me to ask about it there; because it's a site-related support question so it deserves its own meta question; and because I am unsure what to do, so I am consulting others. Lord of Time should feel welcome to post an answer to this question (or not).

I assume there is some "right" answer for what I should do here, which more experienced users and moderators know. So I am not tagging this discussion. Anyone who feels they know the answer should feel free to post it, but I don't want to turn this into an extended "meta meta discussion" of this meta question.

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    by "Counter-intuitive" i meant the back-and-forth bicker-like stuff that was occurring, my recommendation is you post answers and then discuss on the answers (which I'd like to see), rather than post comment after comment after comment (with 41 comments on the page, its semi-problematic and difficult beyond reason to follow the conversation you guys were having.) – Thomas Ward Jun 7 '12 at 13:27
  • @LordofTime Thanks for the clarification. – Eliah Kagan Jun 7 '12 at 16:44
  • no problem, just keep in mind a lot of people seeing several hundred comments will have similar opinions of "Wall of Text, Will Not Read" – Thomas Ward Jun 7 '12 at 16:48
  • @LordofTime It had been my hope that mateo_salta and I would soon reach a point where we could condense our comments into edits to my answer (or others) or one or more new answers, preventing this phenomenon. In the comments that were to your question, rather than to answers, we were going back-and-forth on a comparison (to another kind of controversial links) where we'd each incrementally clarified our views. I had been hoping we were going to be able to put our views in durable answers soon. But this can wait until the issue arises again. – Eliah Kagan Jun 7 '12 at 17:13
  • I'd discuss this in chat, the same system logs publicly, so the discussion can work correctly :) – Thomas Ward Jun 7 '12 at 17:15
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There are 41 comments on that entire page. People are obviously talking past each other.

  • We have 9,786 unanswered questions.

I'm having a hard time understand how continuing that discussion is useful for anybody outside the few people having it when we clearly have more important issues to deal with.

Use the chat perhaps?

  • This is a good point. It occurs to me that there doesn't currently seem to be any impetus for creating or changing any AU policy about the issues discussed in that question. So given that there are other important matters, it may be best to let it rest, at least until the issue comes up again naturally (as a result of users using or wanting to use links to controversial kinds of download sites). My concern was that an overly simplistic policy might be made rashly ...but I must admit that I continued arguing about the various issues involved even once it became clear that this wasn't happening. – Eliah Kagan Jun 5 '12 at 21:31
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    I have a simple policy. If something is wrong I downvote it. Solved. :) – Jorge Castro Jun 5 '12 at 21:33
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Perhaps we should start another meta question for the security concerns about PPA's or launchpad accounts. There were some good points made, and would make good individual meta posts. I think the overly broad discussion we were having may not have been best for the original topic of the post. And I myself may have taken parts of the discussion a step too far. I believe that LordofTime's orginal gesture to take the discussion into chat was the point where we should have stoped or considered if our discusion would fit better as another meta question.

  • I don't think you're responsible for taking things too far in our discussion. Not any more responsible than I am, anyway. :-) – Eliah Kagan Jun 5 '12 at 21:46

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