Is The Verge censoring comments days after publishing to manipulate their image?

I have been returning to this article periodically and I have noticed that The Verge removed the top comment - which argued against the article in a perfectly respectful manner and received A LOT of recommends.

The article was also shared by John Legere on Twitter and then re tweeted 83 times....

The comment was removed after a few days, after the majority of readers read it, which begs the question: did The Verge remove the comment later so people wouldn't notice, and to manipulate their image?

Has anyone noticed a similar attitude in other articles. I find it quite worrying given that the comment RESPECTED THE COMMUNITY GUIDELINES....

Wtf Verge?

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UPDATE: REPLY TO SHAUN (6/19/2014)

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I think it is ridiculous that the comments here get blocked. I am not trying to "game the system".

The first comment was essentially stating that The Verge didn’t have the necessary expertise to cover this story. Ben Popper, the person responsible for the story, is actually the Business Editor on the editorial team, so he’s well placed to cover anything related to that beat.

The first comment was saying two things (1) Business is not The Verge's expertise, which is arguable, as you say; and (2) A reason behind his arguement: "A junk rating does not mean that Tesla won’t be able to pay back it’s bondholders". If it where just criticism Ben Popper would have not replied.

Pretty much every comment in that chain was either unrelated to Tesla or it was attacking another commenter or the writers credibility. If you want to keep your comments visible be respectable, be on-topic – that’s to say don’t go off on a really divergent topic like coverage – and stick to the community guidelines. That way mods (myself, my team) won’t have any issues.

This is no justification for deleting the first comment. You could have just deleted the irrelevant replies.

lso, the number of recommends or flags have no bearing on a moderators decision. 100 people could recommend a terrible comment, or 50 people could flag something based on semantics and whilst we’ll take that number into consideration it’s not enough to justify a comments significance.

The number of recommends obviously has an effect on the image of The Verge. I am not saying that Moderators are not following due process but given that the comment did not violate the community guidelines, I think I have the right to demand an explanation. The one given below really is none. What specific aspect of the comment (not the replies to it) violated the guidelines?

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SEE REPLY ABOVE

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