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This seems like it should be mentioned somewhere, but I tried to find something about it, and came up blank.

Today, I posted a fairly lengthy answer to a question, with examples, etc. In other words, I spent a bit of time on it. But later, I checked back and saw no evidence of my answer, and found out that the original question was removed by the author with no explanation.

I felt bad about losing all that work I put into the answer, and I didn't even have a copy of it myself in case it's either asked in another area or some other forum.

Is this a common occurence, or was it perhaps some sort of bad timing for me? I like to help people out, but sometimes it seems like a lot of work, and in this case, was totally wasted.

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Do you know or have a link to this question? – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Mar 27 '12 at 20:52
You might have been subject to the Help Vampire P0rblem. – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Mar 27 '12 at 20:53
@amanaPlanaCAnalPAnaMA I don't think he has the link to the question, otherwise he wouldn't have asked, no? :P – Alenanno Mar 27 '12 at 20:57
Marty - can you check your browser history and find a link to the question? 10K users will be able to open it and take a look – Adam Rackis Mar 27 '12 at 20:59
I undeleted the question and left a comment for the asker. There may have been a valid reason for it, but it does seem a bit rude. – Shog9 Mar 27 '12 at 22:38
@Shog9: I saw that the question was undeleted; thank you for that. And welcome to AskUbuntu as a new moderator. To everyone else, thanks for you interest and help; I did have the link in my history, which was how I saw that it had been removed with no explanation. – Marty Fried Mar 27 '12 at 22:58
@Marty: Not a new moderator on AU, just stepping in because you'd posted this here instead of on meta.AU ;-) – Shog9 Mar 27 '12 at 23:03
Oh, darn, I thought maybe a new moderator had been found. I'm still a bit new around here, so I'm sorry if I posted in the wrong place; I thought this would be the place for all general questions, so I asked here. Then again, this worked pretty well... :-) – Marty Fried Mar 27 '12 at 23:10
@All: By the way, if anyone's interested, the original question was – Marty Fried Mar 27 '12 at 23:11
up vote 10 down vote accepted

It was bad timing, in that the asker wouldn't have been able to do this if your answer had had an upvote.

It's impossible to know why the asker chose to delete his question; a few reasons come to mind:

  • He realized his question was based on a flawed assumption, and decided to rescind it. Your answer didn't help him because what he asked wasn't what he meant to ask. The question may still be useful to future visitors, though.

  • He is new and thought he should delete his question now that he's obtained an answer. He shouldn't have done that, and the question should be restored.

  • He is ashamed of his question or has revealed too much about confidential matters. If this is a serious issue, the question can be anonymized or the confidential information can be removed, and then the question can be restored.

Undeleting takes 3 votes from users with 10k reputation or a moderator. Do you still have the link to the question? If you do, anyone with 10k reputation (e.g. me, if it's on Stack Overflow) can give you the contents. If you don't, only a moderator can find the link.

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@sixlettervariables Accepting still lets the asker delete (he could unaccept then delete anyway). But an answer with an upvote (or rather a positive score) prevents the asker from deleting his question. P.S. Thanks for fixing my typo. – Gilles Mar 27 '12 at 21:16
I read it as upvote/accept interchangeably for some reason. – user7116 Mar 27 '12 at 21:19
Thanks for the good points you made about why it may have been deleted. Although the moderator must have seen this post and undeleted the question, I don't yet know why it was deleted. I don't really think it was anything personal, but your post give me insight as to why it might happen. – Marty Fried Mar 27 '12 at 23:11

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