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If you have 20,000+ reputation on a site and have been using your delete votes to clean up non-answers/low quality answers, this workflow is probably familiar:

  1. Find a 0-scored answer that should be deleted.
  2. Down-vote the answer to enable the delete option.
  3. Refresh the page.
  4. Click the delete button.

Or, worse yet, on the flagged posts and review pages:

  1. See a delete-worthy 0-scored answer.
  2. Click through to the question.
  3. Find the answer.
  4. Down-vote the answer to enable the delete option.
  5. Go back to the queue and refresh it (not entirely convinced this step is necessary for review stats tracking).
  6. Click the delete button.

While it may be a small bit of magic, it'd be great if instead delete votes counted as down-votes on 0-scored answers that the delete voter hasn't voted on.

The end result would be that 20,000+ reputation users would see the delete button on 0-scored answers, but when they press it, the system registers a down-vote at the same time as the delete vote, thus satisfying the requirements of the delete vote (that the post be negatively scored).

Something like this would alleviate the nuisance for something I'm just going to vote to delete anyway.

share|improve this question
Naturally, this could only work if the delete-voter hadn't already voted... Else this implicitly raises the deletion threshold to +1! – Shog9 Jun 21 '12 at 23:32
@Shog9 You're right: was stumbling over wording to explicitly avoid that scenario, but I added something now. – user149432 Jun 21 '12 at 23:33
Might be a bit unintuitive, but it could work if the post score and vote arrows are updated right when you vote to delete. – a cat Jun 21 '12 at 23:42
@lunboks Thinking about it, real-time updating could actually could produce another potentially more intuitive workflow: when you down-vote, the delete button immediately becomes enabled. Still multiple steps, but would cut out the "refresh page" step. – user149432 Jun 21 '12 at 23:43
(Darn, I was just going to suggest this!) But anyway, the deletion threshold does work at +1, doesn't it? Downvote, vote to delete, and upvote. You can't see it, but I think the delete vote is still there. @Shog9 – Ryan O'Hara Jun 22 '12 at 2:08
also Is using this downvote/delete loophole exploitative? in which I didn't explain myself very well but was basically talking about the same thing – AakashM Jun 22 '12 at 8:17
The end result would be that 20,000+ reputation users would see the delete button on 0-scored answers — but then: wouldn't it be easier (or at least cleaner) to allow 20k's to delete zero-voted answers? (Which they have not downvoted on, maybe.) – Arjan Jul 1 '12 at 12:54
@Arjan The rest of the sentence from which you quote proposes exactly that. – user149432 Jul 1 '12 at 19:52
Sure, but you're proposing to first (automatically) cast a downvote, right? I meant to say: wouldn't it be easier/cleaner to change "the business rules", to really allow for deleting it without first (automatically) downvoting it? (But I don't know all details and certainly don't know what is easier to implement.) Maybe you're thinking to far out of the box to get what you need! ;-) – Arjan Jul 1 '12 at 21:04
@Arjan All I intend to propose here is to automate part of the workflow 20k+ers already do. Changing the rules for deleting posts adds complexity for dubious benefit: you can only vote to delete negatively scored posts is clearer than you can vote to delete on negatively scored posts and 0-scored posts if you haven't down-voted them. It also opens up a slippery slope I don't want to deal with: who's to say in 6 months someone comes in and says "Why can't I vote before deleting a 0-scored post?" then in another 6 months, "Why do I have to down-vote a 1-scored post before deleting it?", etc. – user149432 Jul 1 '12 at 22:26
(Ok, thanks for the extensive responses!) – Arjan Jul 2 '12 at 5:18

A form of this has been implemented: when trolling the low quality posts queue on Arqade, I'm able to click a "delete" (not "recommend deletion") button on 0-scored answers. However, it doesn't register a downvote, and since the post is still at 0, there's no way to tell if it has any delete votes.

But, when I manually add a downvote to the post and refresh the page, the delete link has a (1) next to it, and if I click "delete" again, I get the "you have already voted to delete this post" error message.

According to Shog9 in the comments, this is intended:

The last thing you said - from the low-quality review queue (and only from there), delete votes can be cast on 0-scored answers.

share|improve this answer
The last thing you said - from the low-quality review queue (and only from there), delete votes can be cast on 0-scored answers. – Shog9 Sep 21 '12 at 23:34
@Shog9 Sweet, thanks for the confirmation. – user149432 Sep 22 '12 at 2:28

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