Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

A moderator deleted an answer to my own question on Stackoverflow,

Has anyone created a web-app mix-in for Sinatra and Datamapper with Ruby?

but left no explanation, and I can find nothing in the FAQ that indicates why he might have done so. I cannot find any way to contact him in inquire because he did not publish an e-mail on his profile.

Shouldn't there be some way to provide accountability?

share|improve this question
See also the fifth bullet in this section of the FAQ. – Michael Petrotta Jan 5 '12 at 6:47
This site ( is the accountability you speak of. – Michael Petrotta Jan 5 '12 at 6:51
@hammar For maximum irony you should post that comment as the answer. – tylerl Jan 5 '12 at 7:03

If your previous answer is similar to the one I see, then it is not really an answer.
If the answer is just a link, or contains a link and few more, then it is not considered an answer. An answer should report the answer in the same page of the question, not force everybody to read what reported in another site; you can make a summary of what reported in that site, and then give a link to it, but when an answer is just a link, and link rot happens, that answer is not useful at all, as who reads it just sees a link to a site that cannot be reached.

The actual answer doesn't make sense too; you are asking if somebody wrote the code to solve a specific problem, and then you answer giving the link to a git repository you created, asking to comment on that.

The FAQ says:

Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are …

  • commentary on the question or other answers
  • asking another, different question
  • "thanks!" or "me too!" responses
  • exact duplicates of other answers
  • barely more than a link to an external site
  • not even a partial answer to the actual question

That part of the FAQ clearly says that answers that don't really answer the question can be removed; the list reported there is not a complete list of answers that can be removed.

share|improve this answer
My original answer to my own question was admittedly terse, but completely self-explanatory to anyone who uses StackOverflow. I was looking for a solution to a certain problem. When no one responded, I created my own solution and posted a link to it that might help others, thus answering my own question. I never thought of Github as "link-rot". That's a new one! Sorry. – Lawrence I. Siden Jan 5 '12 at 7:57
If you report a link to an external site, that link could not be anymore reachable for any reason; for example, the server could have a problem. Apart than, imagine a question where all the answers contain just a link; how could they be useful? To get a list of links, I just enter a search string on Google, and I get many links. – kiamlaluno Jan 5 '12 at 8:14
-1. There's a difference between an answer being deleted because the link has already rotted, and one deleted preemptively. Deleting answers with links before the links go bad is ridiculous. The internet is made of links. That ship has sailed. An answer with a link, and a summary may be best, but an answer with only a link is still better than no answer, which is what's left after deletion (for users < 10k). – Nate Mar 5 '13 at 8:57
@Nate Look at what the FAQ says about answers that are deleted: "[answers that are] barely more than a link to an external site." It doesn't say "when the link is rotten." There is no need to wait that happens: An answer that is merely a link is a bad answer; if you cannot bother to write an answer, don't write it, or write a comment. – kiamlaluno Mar 5 '13 at 11:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .