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Example Question: What happens if my ISP's DNS server isn't available?

My answer shows "deleted 20 hours ago", but I have the option to undelete, and based on past experience, I can indeed undelete it.

So, if it is supposed to be deleted, why am I able to undelete?
Or if it is not supposed to be deleted, why was it deleted?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

TL;DR: All migrated posts will be automatically deleted after some time.

When a question is migrated, the following happen:

  • Answers are deleted
  • Question is locked, but the answers aren't.
  • Eventually, the question itself is deleted automatically (in about a month)

The fact that you are able to undelete an answer is somewhat irrelevant, since the question will be automatically deleted at some point, and all answers will be deleted along with it.

Even if you managed to undelete an answer to a deleted question, there's a cleanup script that deletes answers to deleted questions. Yes, they are ready for you.

Perhaps it would make more sense if it was impossible to undelete answers to migrated questions – regardless of whether the question is deleted or not, but I am not sure the devs will think this is worth their time.

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My answer was posted exactely 1 month ago (Nov 29 at 17:51). The question was migrated at Nov 29 at 21:28. If you're right, my answer should be deleted in a few hours. – Rob W Dec 29 '11 at 18:21
@RobW Actually they are deleted in about a month, so it could take a few more days. But it will go away... eventually. – NullUserException อ_อ Dec 29 '11 at 18:24
+1 Your answers sounds plausible. I will add another comment once my answer is deleted. – Rob W Dec 29 '11 at 18:27

Based on my own tests, I believe that the question should be:

"Why are some migrated questions (not) deleted?"

I have tested the undeletion feature on two of my migrated answers, and got different results. Answers to deleted & migrated questions cannot be undeleted, whereas answers to just migrated questions can be undeleted, refunding the deleted reputation.

Not reproduced (deleted question)

I cannot undelete an answer to a deleted migrated question. Clicking at the undelete link will show a big orange box:


Reproduced (migrated, but not deleted)

I have successfully undeleted my accepted answer to a migrated, but not deleted question. The reputation from the undeleted answer (including Accept-bonus) will also return Source: me.

I can also cast undelete votes to someone else's answer:



  • This question was moved on 29 nov at 21:28, and deleted on 31 dec at 01:01 (deleted after approx 31 days)
  • The (undeleted) accepted answer, however, was deleted at 01:27 (after 26 additional minutes). Somehow, it also contained an undeletion vote.

enter image description here

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a) The question was not deleted from the original location after migration. b) I can test this current example? But maybe I should give a techie some time to look at the data first? – George Bailey Dec 29 '11 at 17:43
Update: I have successfully edited a deleted answer to a deleted & migrated question. Observation: Answers to migrated questions are not locked. – Rob W Dec 29 '11 at 18:02
@RobW This refunding of rep. only happens if you issue a recalc, right? – NullUserException อ_อ Dec 29 '11 at 18:16
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ I assume so. I haven't hit the recalc button, I only checked my reputation audit at – Rob W Dec 29 '11 at 18:18
@RobW Regardless, you will lose all the rep eventually (see my answer). – NullUserException อ_อ Dec 29 '11 at 18:22
In response to your flag: we can't clear undelete votes, apparently. It'll fade away after a while though if the answer doesn't eventually get undeleted. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Dec 29 '11 at 19:05
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ My answer has been deleted, 26 minutes after the question got deleted. See my updated answer, bottom line. I'm especially curious about the pending undeletion vote. – Rob W Dec 31 '11 at 10:21
@RobW The undeletion vote is yours: , not that any of this matters. Bottom line is, eventually it all gets deleted. – NullUserException อ_อ Jan 4 '12 at 20:55

Why is my answer shown as deleted from the original site when the question is migrated?

When a question is migrated, it is closed, and locked. The answers are automatically deleted because, otherwise, they could still be voted (and edited). The alternative would be to lock all the answers, but that would mean that who answered would keep the reputation on the original site (from the votes the answer got before to be locked), and in the site where the question is migrated (once they create an account).

Deleting the answers avoids the users who answered get reputation in two sites.

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