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Today, a question I asked was deleted. It was the first time I had ever received a down vote or had a question deleted.

I received absolutely no feedback on the down vote or the deletion. As those of us who study human interactions or systems behavior know, the worst possible thing you can do if correct someone without giving feedback on how to make what they did better.

With this in mind, should we: require those voting for deletion to give a specific reason for the vote?

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I believe the problem here is just that the OP can not view their own deleted question; I think they should be able to view it just as a 10k user can, that way they can view the comments and close reasons, when they get the notification of the deletion.

I disagree, however, that there should be a 'delete reason' required for delete votes. The close reason should suffice for that. I can't recall ever issuing a delete vote where I would want to indicate a reason different from the close reason. If I did, I might leave a comment to that effect.

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I am not sure that the 'Close' reason always covers things. The reason a question was closed, may not be the reason it was deleted. To make it concrete, a question I asked, but which was deleted 18 months later, appears to have been deleted because it was stale. It was stale because it was closed and could not be updated. – Jordan Feb 4 '13 at 23:02
It was "stale" because it was closed because it's no longer considered an appropriate type of question for SO. It was deleted for the same reason it was closed. – Andrew Barber Feb 4 '13 at 23:04
I would argue that it was closed as inappropriate, but that wasn't sufficient to delete it. If it had been sufficient, it would have been deleted 18 months ago. – Jordan Feb 4 '13 at 23:08
@Jordan Deletion does not work like that. It takes time for some questions to attract enough attention to garner delete votes. The fact that it took 18 months is completely immaterial to my delete vote being for the exact same reason as the question was closed. – Andrew Barber Feb 4 '13 at 23:10
It is your assertion that the reason it was deleted is always the reason it was closed? In any case, as I note in…, once it is deleted, I can't see the reason(s) it was closed. – Jordan Feb 4 '13 at 23:11
@Jordan In my answer, I say I agree that you should be able to view the question. And when did I ever use the word always? I said "should suffice". The instances of it being different are just not worth the effort, in my opinion. – Andrew Barber Feb 4 '13 at 23:13
Sorry, Andrew, you are correct. I shouldn't have made note of that in my response. – Jordan Feb 4 '13 at 23:15
  1. Up/Down vote reasons: no, because you'll just fill comments with criticisms of the post instead of with actually helpful clarifications/ideas etc.
  2. Vote to close: we already do at the moment, with a variety of close reasons, each with their own explanatory text
  3. Deletion: Maybe you have a point - it might be helpful to have a selection of delete reasons (and a custom delete reason) left lying around somewhere you can read it.
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Getting that feedback on why it was deleted would be very helpful. – Jordan Feb 4 '13 at 22:45
I'm not so sure about #3; The way I see it, the reason for the deletion is almost always exactly the same as the reason for closing. – Andrew Barber Feb 4 '13 at 22:45
@AndrewBarber - If you aren't a 10K User, you can't see the reason for the issue being closed once it has deleted. You just get a "It isn't Here" page. – Jordan Feb 4 '13 at 22:51
@Jordan If you aren't a 10k user, how are you going to vote to undelete in the first place? The people who need to see the info can. – Andrew Barber Feb 4 '13 at 22:53
@AndrewBarber Jordan's asserting that it's also useful for the deleted Q's OP to see that info, not anyone else. – AndrewC Feb 4 '13 at 22:54
@AndrewBarber - Exactly a AndrewC said. I want to see why my question was closed/deleted. If you asked the question, you are cut off from any and all feedback on the process. – Jordan Feb 4 '13 at 22:57
OPs should see a reason for a downvote. I think that helps improve the ability of users to ask better questions or provide better answers. Perhaps only THEY should see why a downvote was given or a deletion. But I think you should always see a reason for an action you didn't expect so that you can either expect it next time or act differently so as not to see it. It's a usability problem (not necessarily a logical problem) to allow downvotes without reasons and closures without reasons (visible to the person who posted what was affected). – MyStream Feb 5 '13 at 3:01
@MyStream In my experience, if a downvoter leaves a comment on your answer, upvoting stops, and sometimes you get more downvotes. If they downvote silently, others make up their own mind. If you ask people to explain a downvote and they don't want to, they'll just fill the comments with rubbish. Free choice allows people to express their opinion they way they feel is best. Anonymous downvoting is also useful because it starts fewer flame wars/revenge votes. There aren't closures without reasons, but there are deletions without reasons, and that's the one I've left open for debate in my answer. – AndrewC Feb 5 '13 at 8:05
@MyStream notice that currently the vote and the comment are disconnected, so you were able to say what you felt without voting, and someone else can vote without writing. This flexibility is good. – AndrewC Feb 5 '13 at 8:08
I love the flexibility. What I find fumbly is the lack of feedback when there's something you can do better. You can still keep the voter anonymous, but you should notify the person who posted and was voted down 'why' they were voted down (deleted/etc) so those truly interested can improve the situation quickly. Downvotes for lack of code, for example, are better served with a comment to add code. Deletions for some reason should carry a reason back to the OP (anonymised works). It's that disconnect between an action and a reason (to the OP) that makes it fumbly, in my opinion, in this area. – MyStream Feb 5 '13 at 11:27

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