In the question Is there another destination like Thailand?, I came across this answer, which I upvoted, only to notice shortly afterwards that it had been deleted.

enter image description here

This was jeffmcneill's first answer on this site, and I think it's a good, high-quality one, even if it's mainly pointing out it's hard to find "another Thailand". (Also note that jeffmcneill probably knows what he's talking about, as he lives in Thailand.)

No comment or anything, just straight delete. I don't think such a sober post by a new user should ever be met quite like that, even if it was somewhat off-topic or non-optimal. (Which this answer isn't, IMHO.)

A vote to undelete it cannot be cast, since:

A moderator has deleted this post and it cannot be undeleted

I think, at least in this case, Mark was being too trigger-happy with his delete privileges. Any opinions?


Sorry, I failed to notice the answer was converted to a comment on the question. So I guess my point now is:

  • IMHO it was a valid answer to begin with. -> Are answers being converted to comments too easily?
  • That particular answer is too long to fit in a comment, and it currently gets cut off mid-sentence (see screenshot below). Also, in general, converting to a comment hampers the readability of a post to some extent, as it loses formatting into paragraphs, etc.

enter image description here

  • Note that the answer was converted to a comment as part of the deletion—and I agree with Mark's decision, since the answer isn't an answer to the question as posed. It's probably helpful to the OP, but since it doesn't answer the question, it belongs in a comment, not an answer.
    – waiwai933
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 6:27
  • 1
    It's a matter of interpretation whether jeffmcneill's post "answered the question as posed". Reading all of it carefully, I think it does. (It's completely ok if an answer points out problems with assumptions made in the question, etc.)
    – Jonik
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 9:35
  • The question asked about OTHER countries. He failed to mention another country. It's ok to point out problems, but that is what comments are for.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 14:57
  • @Mark; he DID mention another country (namely Bali, Indonesia). It's in the part that got lost in conversion :P But whatever.
    – Jonik
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


In this case, I would have kept the answer and left it to be upvoted / downvoted. Even though it does not mention other countries, it gives an explanation as to why it's unlikely to other countries. I see this as similar to the question: Is there are an equivalent to Seat61 for bus travel where IMO, as I wrote in my answer, the best answer in this situation is there is none. So there can be questions where a good answer could be, "No, there's no alternative.

The other thing is that I think the 'convert to comment' should be used mostly in cases where the answer is one sentence or less and doesn't add much to the discussion. Without any intention of pointing fingers, I'd say this answer on the same Thailand question is a better candidate to be turned into a comment (and even then it'd be a borderline decision for me, so I'd leave it alone). In this case it was a fairly well-fleshed out answer, so if at all it was 'wrong', then I'd have downvoted rather than delete it.

Just my two cents.

  • I agree on both counts. (Minor detail: jeffmcneill's answer did mention one other country (Bali, Indonesia); see the last sentence.)
    – Jonik
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 22:34
  • Since most people seem to agree with @Ankur on this, how about resolving this particular case by undeleting the answer (and removing the comment it was partially converted to)?
    – Jonik
    Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 8:38
  • 1
    Done this. Also deleted extraneous comments. Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 19:36

Thanks for keeping an eye on things Jonik, good to know there's people watching who care :) But I didn't delete it, I moved it to a comment. Answers are for answers. However there was still some interesting stuff in there, so rather than deleting it outright, it was moved to be a comment instead. Good question to ask though, hope that addresses any queries you have. Can always flag me in chat too if you're not sure about something one of us has done - we try to be open about it.

  • 2
    as an aside, it's always bugged me that it says "deleted" when we move. Why not have the text say "this answer was moved to a comment" instead. Ah well.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 6:46
  • Sorry, I didn't notice it was converted to a comment! (I think the comment wasn't there (yet) when I wrote my comment on the question, and subsequently wrote the meta question.)
    – Jonik
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 9:14
  • 5
    A problem remains though: the answer is too long for a comment, and if you look closer, you'll see that the comment get's cut out mid-sentence!
    – Jonik
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 9:15
  • It generally happens instantly, when we convert them. Yeah, I'm not really sure what to do when it's too long....it'd be nice if we could split it into two or something :/
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 14:54
  • Seriously, someone downvoted an explanation?
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 14:55
  • 2
    @MarkMayo On meta downvotes work different as you should know ;) I think someone just didn't agree with your decision. Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 18:43
  • 1
    @MarkMayo: Whenever you find something like this in the system that irks you, I urge you to file a feature request on meta.SO - it's our system we should try to get it improved when we find the icky bits. Commented Sep 22, 2012 at 4:49

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