Regarding the recent kerfuffle triggered by the new visibility of deleted questions, circa end February 2012: it seems to me that one problem is that some decisions about deletions are made solely by moderators, without consulting stakeholders (asker and answerers). So I am filing a feature request that the SO team find a way to consult stakeholders about the deletion of old questions. Here are some initial ideas:
It can't be done piecemeal, one question at a time, because otherwise the stakeholder's incentive is to say "my reputation must be preserved". But since the deletions appear to be implemented en masse, it should not be an undue burden on the moderators to present a small group of questions for stakeholders' consideration.
Maybe stakeholders' votes needn't be binding. But to remove people's history without consulting them seems wrong.
Maybe the issue of reputation needs to be uncoupled from deletion. If the community genuinely believes that reputation should not be awarded for entertaining answers or "joke" questions, perhaps the question on which stakeholders should be consulted is "should this question be deleted, or should it merely be closed and its reputation moved to Community Wiki?"
These are just ideas, and I don't like any of them. But deletion of old questions by moderator action with no community input seems wrong, and I am requesting that a feature be added to the moderation system so that an alternative is possible.