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I get a "Page Not found: voluntarily removed by its author" page on a question I answered. Why can the author decide just to delete the question and my answer?

I even see a truncated comment by the author, probably explaining why the question was deleted, but if I click on it I don't see the comment because the question was deleted.
I can't even find out who the author was, to never answer a question from this person again.

Is this intended site behaviour or a bug?

The link to the question I'm having this trouble with is: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7212278/erlang-how-to-get-multiple-releases-running-at-the-same-time.

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As for the truncated comment: sometimes it helps to subscribe to the RSS feed of your responses. Then, if the feed happens to have been updated before the post was deleted, then you'll have your local copy of the comment. The feed uses much longer summaries than the Inbox does. –  Arjan Aug 27 '11 at 16:08
    
Google's index says it was randombits who asked and deleted. 196 questions, 0 answers. Any moderator who can see if this has happened before? –  Arjan Aug 27 '11 at 16:14
    
(I am 100% sure it is, @M. There might, of course, be a good reason for the deletion; randombits has been pinged to read this.) –  Arjan Aug 27 '11 at 16:22
    
Okay, meanwhile that question is restored, but now other recent questions have been deleted. (Like 1, 2, 3; don't know if those had any answer.) On one of the deleted questions Peer and me asked the user to read this very MSO post, but no response. –  Arjan Aug 28 '11 at 17:21
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Oh, 7 day suspension now, "to cool down". I guess that means you've detected a pattern. Hope the user will understand why deleting is bad. –  Arjan Aug 29 '11 at 17:50
    
Hope so. Will keep an eye on at least when randombits is posting Erlang related questions again since I tend to read them all... –  Peer Stritzinger Aug 29 '11 at 18:00
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2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

People can remove their own questions if there is only one answer that hasn't had an upvote yet.

Your answer was submitted, but never had time to receive an upvote.

The minimum upvote limit used to be even more liberal (one could remove their own questions if no answer had two upvotes yet), but was reduced due to misuse.

It's a bit unfair to the answerer(s), that's true, but on the other hand, respecting the asker's right to withdraw a question they realize is dumb or otherwise wrong is a fine thing as well.

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fair, but cruel =_= –  c69 Apr 6 '12 at 20:30
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I think that in this sort of case, a user who has provided an answer should be able to visit the question and see the question and at least their own answer. Other users who have not contributed to the question would not be able to see the question or answers, as it is now. If the answerer later deleted their answer, then they would no longer be able to see the question/answers. –  Kevin Fegan Jun 13 '13 at 4:37
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I think the asker should have the right to remove his/her name from to question, but that s/he is able to delete the question once s/he has an answer sucks. –  Kay Jun 22 '13 at 18:16
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Updated: Your answer was submitted. I find it odd that it doesn't appear in your activity tab on your Stack Overflow account:

activity tab

I don't see answered for the question Erlang how to get multiple releases running at the same time. However, the author can still delete their question if it has zero or one answers which haven't been upvoted. Thanks for the correction & the link Arjan!

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To be more exact: an author cannot delete their question if there's one upvoted answer, or if there are multiple answers. –  Arjan Aug 27 '11 at 16:00
    
Oh I see. However, I don't see it in his activity log. What gives? –  M. Tibbits Aug 27 '11 at 16:01
    
I'm sure my answer was submitted I still have a old browser window open where I can see my submitted answer –  Peer Stritzinger Aug 27 '11 at 16:01
    
The overview in your screenshot takes deleted things into account, right? (So: does not show deleted stuff, does it?) –  Arjan Aug 27 '11 at 16:02
    
but he didn't delete it. I find that weird. Perhaps it should say answered [question deleted by author] ? –  M. Tibbits Aug 27 '11 at 16:05
    
Ah, @Peer, so then we know who the author was! (Name and shame!) –  Arjan Aug 27 '11 at 16:05
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When a question is deleted all the answers are deleted as well, and deleted answers don't show up on the activity view –  Michael Mrozek Aug 27 '11 at 16:05
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@Mat: I consider this feature unfortunate, since the user deleted the question very shortly after I answered it there was not even a chance to get an upvote. There should be a delay after the last activity is registered. –  Peer Stritzinger Aug 27 '11 at 16:11
    
@Arjan: yeah after I found the leftover tab at least I know his name. –  Peer Stritzinger Aug 27 '11 at 16:14
    
@Michael -- if/when you have time -- could you look through randombits questions to see if this has happened in the past. He currently has 196 questions visible & no answers. –  M. Tibbits Aug 27 '11 at 16:27
    
@MTibbits I'm not sure what his answer count has to do with it; that just means he hasn't posted any answers himself. It looks like [194](user:175836 is:question answers:1) of those 196 questions have an answer, and 188 are accepted, so it doesn't seem like he makes a habit of deleting questions with answers. I can't see his deleted questions though (I'm not an SO mod), so I don't know for sure –  Michael Mrozek Aug 27 '11 at 16:46
    
Oh -- so sorry I thought that came with the 10K status. I think @Arjan & I were just curious if he made a habit of it. –  M. Tibbits Aug 27 '11 at 16:48
    
(@M., see my comments at the question.) –  Arjan Aug 29 '11 at 17:50
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