Why doesn't Stack Overflow let you know when an answer is deleted?
I added an answer to a question. It got down-voted and deleted. It may not have been a good answer. But I never received ANY notification of any kind about the problem. When an answer is deleted, it disappears from the list of answers in your profile. You have no links to the answer, and certainly no visible evidence that there is any problem.
The people who deleted the answers put reasonably thoughtful comments on the reasons for deleting, BUT I never saw them after the answer is deleted. No email, no alert, no notification, it just disappears.
There is a list of alerts and 'notifications' going back to my joining up. There is NO entry in there for the deletion of the answers. It would seem that one of the most important things to alert people to is that there answer was deleted ... so they can fix whatever problem was there. There are notifications when an answer is edited. Why are there no notifications when an answer is deleted?
The only way I found out about the problem is that my account got blocked because I had two deleted answers. That is it -- two deleted answers and your account gets blocked. Why is there no indication in the account display saying the account is blocked? This is not the kind of thing you want to keep secret! There is a generic link to a page that talks about all the possible reasons, but no specific information about your case. It says you might have some answers deleted and you should address those problems first. So I looked to see, and there was no indication of any problem in the list of answers on my profile. All the answers there were fine -- because the answers with the problem do not appear in that list. Also, the record of the down-vote disappears as well if it is deleted.
Then I had to gripe, complain, and contact the site administrator. This makes no sense. The answers are still there, there are just no links. I understand removing the links from the question, BUT why would anyone remove the links from the author's profile?
UPDATE: I got some helpful comments on this question, but no answers. I assume that is because this is simply a bug in the system -- there are no answers. Those bugs should be fixed. I recommend these design goals on any social collaborative system:
- if an account is blocked for some reason, that status should be clearly indicated on the account display. Do NOT allow the user to spend time composing an answer, only to find out AFTER submission that the account is blocked.
- if an answer has a problem, make it a high priority to be sure that the author gets alerted about the problem so that the user can rectify the problem.
- list ALL of the answers that a person has submitted in the user profile, regardless of deleted or not. A user should find a ready link to all answers, ESPECIALLY the ones needing attention.
- if an account is blocked, the reason for the block, and what the user should do about it should be clearly indicated in the account display.
The point is: if you want people to respond to such problem, you need to make them VISIBLE. Hiding stuff only frustrates the legitimate users. I suspect this is just a bug, and not a designed feature.