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I think the authors should be able to delete their answers within the grace period allocated for editing without being subject to the daily limits on answer deletions. If I correctly understand the intent behind the daily limit on answer deletions, allowing unlimited deletions within the grace period does not contradict the purpose of the feature.

I ran into a situation today when this feature would have come in handy: after doing some clean-up of my old answers and maxing out on my daily deletion limit, I posted an answer that looked right on the surface, but was hopelessly wrong at its core. I realized that my approach was incorrect only after looking at my answer for a minute or so. It looked workable to others, too, because I got two upvotes within a few minutes. I reached for the delete link, but got the orange "over-the-limit" message. Fortunately, I figured out and posted an alternative that worked, but that's just luck: an ability to delete would have been better.

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Flagging for moderator attention should work just fine in edge cases like this. I honestly don't understand the handful of high-rep users that go through and delete their old answers just because they haven't received any upvotes. I occasionally come across a question with a good answer that's been deleted (that I can only see because I'm 10k) and think, wow, if I'd been here earlier, I'd have upvoted that. Just because no one has happened to upvote it doesn't mean it's bad and should be deleted. So that should give you plenty of daily deletion votes for answers that truly are wrong/noise. – Cody Gray Feb 22 '12 at 3:18
@Cody: The motivation is cleanliness. It should also be motivation for those users who dislike the sweeping of floors to upvote those answers they'd like to see stay on the site. – Robert Harvey Feb 22 '12 at 3:29
@CodyGray I do not delete my answers just because they have not been upvoted: I delete my old answers that I believe to be sub-par when compared to competing answers, or reported as non-working solutions by the OP in the comments. I rarely delete answers with fewer than three competing answers and an accepted answer. – dasblinkenlight Feb 22 '12 at 3:32
@Robert: I do upvote them when I see them. Do you know how many questions are asked per minute?? I'm only one person, and most days I have other things to do than browse SO. ;-) Yes, I agree about removing noise answers—those do hurt cleanliness. And of course, I agree with das's clarification too. – Cody Gray Feb 22 '12 at 3:34
Aren't accounts automatically locked/banned if too many of their answers are deleted? – Chris Frederick Feb 22 '12 at 19:47
@Chris I think this happens only when the answers are deleted by moderators. – dasblinkenlight Feb 22 '12 at 20:28
@dasblinkenlight Ah, okay. Or when questions are deleted by their posters. – Chris Frederick Feb 22 '12 at 20:31

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