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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.

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it should not be an undue burden on the moderators to present a small group of questions for stakeholders' consideration -- We already did that, and look where it got us. –  Robert Harvey Mar 3 '12 at 19:43
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"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". ....this is just to complain about that yet again? Really? –  Michael Mrozek Mar 3 '12 at 19:45
    
@RobertHarvey happy for you to merge with meta.stackexchange.com/questions/122120; did not mean to duplicate –  Norman Ramsey Mar 3 '12 at 19:48
    
No worries; it's not a duplicate. –  Robert Harvey Mar 3 '12 at 19:49
    
@RobertHarvey "look where it got us"? What did I miss? Looks like some forward progress to me... –  Norman Ramsey Mar 3 '12 at 19:50
    
What's the new visibility of deleted questions? –  minitech Mar 3 '12 at 20:07
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@MichaelMrozek long time SO user, first-time Meta complainer :-) –  Norman Ramsey Mar 3 '12 at 20:18
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What an eminently fair and sensible idea. But then I'm one of those crazy people who is unable to imagine how entertaining questions and answers make my life worse, so clearly I just lack the moral fibre to downvote you the way so many other upstanding citizens have. –  j_random_hacker Sep 5 '12 at 11:22

1 Answer 1

While I'm a bit pained by the sheer number of undelete requests that have erupted recently, that is the correct way to handle these issues.

If you genuinely have a case for undeleting a question on its own merits, bring it to Meta and we will review it together. Each question needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

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Robert, in principle this sounds great. In practice, I've been hit with 10 deletions in just the past 3 days. I have other work to do. The opportunity cost for me to consider each question on its own merits is too high. If you genuinely want to give community members the opportunity to consider each question on the merits, you must reduce the rate of deletion. –  Norman Ramsey Mar 3 '12 at 20:08
    
I have posted an appropriate feature request to Meta. –  Norman Ramsey Mar 3 '12 at 20:17

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