I don't see the point of moderators doing anything on meta at all, beyond spam-cleanup, but my suggestion to have no moderator deletion on meta was sadly overruled. I asked for this while the dispute was active on the site, and stuff kept disappearing much as these discussions were disappearing, due to being "off topic". I completely agree that the deletions are distorting the discussions, these deletions should not occur on meta, neither should hiding questions which are timed out or obsolete. This makes it that you have to repeat everything a thousand times.
Dimension10's action is a type of moderator mistake which is both open and reversible, it happens all the time, and the action is reversed by community consensus as soon as it is clear it is a mistake. It's not like dimension10 did it in secret, and he reversed it immediately when it was considered disagreeable by others. This kind of thing happens all the time when you are a mod--- in a reverse version of this, I reshowed a comment which was community deleted, and then Dilaton and Dimension10 pointed me to the vote, and I rehid it. That's not moderator abuse, it's annoying nonsense.
The actions in Dilaton's case were completely different, because they involved deliberate deception, and their effect was on a user who was completely powerless. Dilaton made repeated edits to VK's comments, removing content by editing. When VK came to us and asked "What happened to my comment?" We were mystified, and Dilaton didn't say anything. Dimension10 (and, sadly, me) decided that VK was just senile, and forgot that he did it himself, and Dimension10 kept assuring VK that there were no deletions, loudly and confidently, because Dilaton hid the deletions. VK became a persona-non-grata on meta--- he begged Dilaton to admit there was a deletion, Dimension10 said "There was no deletion, it's all in your head", in a long exchange, and then Dilaton's final response was a second official warning for off topic material, in addition to another one on the main site in a similar context, setting him up for a block.
"5 off topic warnings gets you a block" was an obscure rule, and it's implementation was invented on the spot by Dilaton, for the purpose of quickly blocking VK. It doesn't appear anymore, as it was the first rule I got repealed, it was introduced on an obscure page by Dimension10 without thinking of the potential for abuse.
I could review all the events only because I was moderator, and could see hidden posts--- if I remember correctly, much of the discussions were hidden from view once VK asked to be removed. I took pains to unhide the stuff while the dispute was going on, but I think now that I've resigned my moderatorship, much of it is hidden again. This is why I have to explain what was going on again and again to those who were not present at the time of the events.
This wasn't an annoying mistake, like Dimension10's mistakes, or mine. It was a deliberate plan of secret harassment directly targeted toward one user specifically, with the obvious intent to get this user to either get blocked or to leave. It required a lot of subterfuge to conceal the activity--- Dilaton did nothing that would be logged as a deletion, comment editing left no trace. It also involved lying to the other moderators, by implying that VK was just crazy for claiming deletion of content. The lied-to adminstrators includes Polarkernel too, who kept on searching through logs for deletions without finding anything, because the deletions were done by editing. Polarkernel was also strung along, this wasn't clear to users but it was clear to admins from his angry emails.
The lack of objective evidence made me confused. I thought VK must be misremembering on mondays and tuesdays, but then I talked to him, and he sounded so sincere, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays I'd ask Polarkernel to check again on different threads, etc.
The moment I figured out how the chicanary was pulled off, Dilaton came clean. No sooner. After Dilaton was completely silent for a week, I asked in a comment if it was possible that the comments were edited, rather than deleted, and to check the logs for edits. Three minutes later, Dilaton appears for the first time in the comment discussion, and says now, after a week of debate trying to figure out what happened, 'Of course I edited out 'conformist', it was insulting."
What was really insulting was the fact that I had to sleuth out what happened like Sherlock Holmes, and VK had to endure denials and accusations for a month, and get threatened with blocking because he was complaining about moderator deletions which were being hidden.
Then came an admission, a belated apology that admitted as little as possible, and then came more denials, and now it's inviting non-active participants, like you Arnold, who didn't go through the terrible experience, to come here. And you have to fill in the newcomers one by one.
The comment deletion by itself would have been only a minor hassle, but the denials, the cover-up, and the setup to block VK for complaining about it, this made it impossible to comprehend. I completely lost it, as this was worse than stackexchange. At least they were honest about the crappy things they were doing. There is no way in heck you would be saying any of this if you were actually able to review the events as they occured, you are probably getting a version which has been sanitized by hiding the actual behavior.