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I'm a little frustrated that content I've Favorited/bookmarked is no longer available with no redirect or context of what used to be there.

  • If people who answer a question are often downvoted for not summarizing the content of an external link, shouldn't the folks who delete historic / highly voted questions (thus breaking the bookmark) need to summarize and replace it with something?

It seems to me that SO's ideology of the broken URI is one sided and inconsiderate of its own users. The one who deletes highly referenced questions should have a 301/2 redirect or summary in place of that question.

What are your thoughts on having a system to promote good deletions and penalize bad deletions for Mods who have that power?

We penalize our own answerers whenever they don't summarize link text. (under the assumption the remote link can be deleted or changed)... but there isn't any control to govern delete behavior to keep up with the user base.

Food for thought:

  • It would be interesting to see how long it has taken 5 votes to delete a question vs how many active users there are over time. My guess is that 5 votes is insufficient to determine community consensus as the community grew larger

  • The quantity of 10k users with delete powers has grown significantly over time and therefore have a higher chance to act against community consensus or subject matter expert consensus.

share|improve this question
How is it broken? I care if links on the site are broken, rendering the site's content useless. That should be prevented. But I don't care much about your personal bookmarks ending up broken to be honest. – Bart Nov 4 '12 at 18:27
"promote good deletions and penalize bad deletions" might want to state what the definition of those is, before you ask to put a system in place that judges those. – Bart Nov 4 '12 at 18:30
Deletions are harmful. I don't know why deleting anything that has at least a certain number of upvotes (say, 10) is allowed in the first place. – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 4 '12 at 18:33
@Bart - SO.Meta won't support favoriting an answer, so the advice is to save the link. You should care, since that is the only offically supported way... and it is affected by deletes – LamonteCristo Nov 4 '12 at 18:33
Oh, crap, not this again... <sigh> – Yannis Nov 4 '12 at 18:35
Historic/highly voted questions are deleted because they no longer belong on the site. Link-only answers are downvoted because they have the potential to become useless, and should be deleted if they stay link-only and the link breaks. This seems pretty consistent to me. – ughoavgfhw Nov 4 '12 at 18:37
@makerofthings7 I really don't care. If there is interesting relevant content I know I would like to refer back to, I copy it to a file. I don't rely on links external to me. And I'm still waiting for your good/bad deletions definitions. – Bart Nov 4 '12 at 18:38
The quantity of MODs with delete powers has grown significantly over time and therefore have a higher chance to act against community consensus or subject matter expert consensus. This makes absolutely no sense at all. Care to clarify, please? – Yannis Nov 4 '12 at 18:44
@YannisRizos Not this again .. so if people keep on complaining why isn't it seen as a problem that needs to be fixed? – LamonteCristo Nov 4 '12 at 18:48
@makerofthings7 People complaining doesn't necessarily mean they are right, people can complain about anything, so what? Listen to Your Community, But Don't Let Them Tell You What to Do... – Yannis Nov 4 '12 at 18:50
@YannisRizos I happen to agree with the OP, so adding an answer wouldn't add much to the discussion. I will bring down the house on this witch hunt, but I need to do some more research to prepare a better argument. – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 4 '12 at 18:56
@Bart They ditched the popularity requirement, which IMO worked fine (ie: popular questions needed hundreds of votes to be deleted, effectively making them undeletable by regular users). Now you only need at most 10 users to delete any question. – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 4 '12 at 18:58
@YannisRizos The vast majority of (if not all) questions with at least 100 upvotes should never be deleted. – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 4 '12 at 19:19
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ Oh come on, you know that's nonsense, as an SO mod you know how pointless upvotes can be, people will upvote just about anything... Just post an answer here with links to some deleted questions you feel were incorrectly deleted, and let's see how many will get undelete votes. – Yannis Nov 4 '12 at 19:25
I really hope you realize your two complains are meaningless; the "put text in your answer" requirement is in place exactly because stuff gets deleted. Even if it's a link to another SO answer, if it gets deleted or changed, your answer may be useless. They're totally unrelated ideas. – Ben Brocka Nov 4 '12 at 19:30
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I disagree.

First, it takes 3 votes minimum to delete a question. More if the question is popular (Popularity = (total score of question + all answers) / 20).

If question is deleted, it can be undeleted by powerful users, in the same manner.

If a specific question you had bookmarked was broken, and now shows a 404 page to you, post it here on meta under a tag, and bring it to our awareness. If we feel the same, the question will be undeleted.

I don't feel that there's such a way as "bad" deletions, as much as there are "wrongful" ones. In which case, bringing it to the collective awareness of the community is the correct course of action.

Alternatively, work hard, get the 10k privilege cast delete/undelete votes, to trigger the change yourself, or possible flag a deleted question for undeletion if you think a diamond's intervention is appropriate.

Deletions usually happen for very low-quality cases. So I doubt it happens spontaneously.

share|improve this answer
@Yannis thanks :) – Madara Uchiha Nov 4 '12 at 18:53
They more or less ditched the popularity requirement, which IMO worked fine (ie: popular questions needed hundreds of votes to be deleted, effectively making them undeletable by regular users). Now you only need at most 10 users to delete any question. – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 4 '12 at 19:02
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ: The algorithm may need to be tweaked to compensate the increase of 10k+ users. But I think the current system fundamentally works fine. – Madara Uchiha Nov 4 '12 at 19:04
'Deletions usually happen for very low-quality cases.' That is profoundly untrue these days. And how much is the ability to undelete a question worth when you can't find it unless you have the exact URL? – Pëkka Nov 4 '12 at 19:13
@Pekka: Good points. Maybe a 10k review queue? – Madara Uchiha Nov 4 '12 at 19:29
10K+ users already have access to a list of recent deletions. That said, it's a limited list and it isn't that really helpful, a delete/undelete queue would be awesome. /cc: @Pekka – Yannis Nov 4 '12 at 19:34
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ - Do you have the link to them ditching the popularity requirement? – jmort253 Nov 4 '12 at 20:44
@jmort253 I don't, but just look at this question. It's got 1000+ upvotes between the question and the highest voted answer, which would require 50+ votes to delete, right there. Yet it was deleted by 10 users. – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 4 '12 at 20:51
@jmort253 'Twas earlier this year, in the great deletionist wars, when the complaints about moderator deletions became a daily lament on MSO, when Shog or Jeff (don't remember exactly, I think it was Shog already) capped the maximal number of necessary delete votes so the community stood a chance of deleting what they deemed delete-worthy without having to beseech a moderator because a myriad of old-time users liked boat-programming in the mists of past. – Daniel Fischer Nov 4 '12 at 20:54
@NullUserException_: Followup – Madara Uchiha Nov 4 '12 at 20:59
@DanielFischer - That can't really be Jeff. Someone hacked into his account and posted that as him. ;) These examples just aren't on-topic. I guess if there's stuff that shouldn't be deleted, it should just be locked like the Cartoon Question (which would clearly get a delete vote from me if I could...) – jmort253 Nov 4 '12 at 21:04
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ The number was capped some time after this, I don't remember whether Jeff went when March came or April. – Daniel Fischer Nov 4 '12 at 21:07
@NullUserExceptionอ_อ - February 29th, 2012. It's easy to remember because it was leap day. – jmort253 Nov 4 '12 at 21:16
The exclusionists have clearly won; undeletion is very rarely possible except for exceptional posts. – Jeremy Banks Nov 4 '12 at 23:09

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