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My question here has cost me firstly lots of rep and secondly my ability to ask questions. I therefore want to delete it but when I try it says: "Sorry, this question has answers and cannot be deleted; flag for moderator attention instead." Why is this, and please can I delete it?

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Because deletion also affects the reputation of those who answered your question, and because the content in the answers also counts for something. – Martijn Pieters Mar 24 '13 at 13:40
Besides, deleting it would, as far as I gathered, rather exacerbate the question ban problem than mitigate it. – Daniel Fischer Mar 24 '13 at 13:41
Note that deleting that question would only harm you more if you have a post-ban. You do absolutely not want to delete it. Furthermore, a post-ban is not caused by a single post. It will be the result of an average participation history. Therefore it will be wise to focus on all your questions, bad or good, and improve them as much as you can. – Bart Mar 24 '13 at 14:07
@Bart if i edit bad or downvoted questions, why would it make any difference? Nobody is looking at them anymore. – imulsion Mar 24 '13 at 14:09
Editing those questions into shape would bump them to the front page (if not downvoted below -5 I think). If significantly improved it might well bring you extra upvotes. And don't focus only on downvoted material. Upvoted ones which you can make even better might help as well. – Bart Mar 24 '13 at 14:22
@Bart my question is -6. what to do? :/ – imulsion Mar 24 '13 at 14:24
Leave that one alone if you can't improve it. Focus on your other content. – Bart Mar 24 '13 at 14:29
That one question might have tipped you over the edge, but you have 8 deleted questions, which hurts you more. If you want, I can undelete those questions for you to edit into shape. – Brad Larson Mar 24 '13 at 15:55
@BradLarson if I do will that reduce my rep? Rep is more important to me than asking questions – imulsion Mar 24 '13 at 18:39
What are you going to do with rep if you can't participate on the site? – Bart Mar 24 '13 at 20:28
@Bart if I answer enough questions I might get to ask one again – imulsion Mar 25 '13 at 8:26
You can try. I don't know the details of the ban mechanism, so I can't say if that's a wise route to take. If you're question-banned a focus on your questions might be more productive. – Bart Mar 25 '13 at 8:29
@BradLarson hell, undelete my questions. I guess I deserve it – imulsion Mar 26 '13 at 9:45
@imulsion - I've undeleted the questions you deleted, plus two questions that were closed as duplicates, but I believe deleted prematurely by the community. That should help, but you might want to go back and clean some of those up, if you can. – Brad Larson Mar 26 '13 at 14:06
@BradLarson I still have a question ban!!!!!! – imulsion Mar 27 '13 at 10:02
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Firstly, deleting the question will make the qban problem worse. The question ban is based on how many downvoted/closed/deleted questions you have.

Secondly, a question with upvoted answers cannot be deleted because people have put effort into writing those answers (and have gotten rep from the answers, which will go away if you delete it). So, only mods/20k can delete these.

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20K+ users can also delete such questions, not only moderators. – Shadow Wizard Mar 24 '13 at 13:48
@ShaWizDowArd: that too; I wasn't exactly sure of this. The only place I have 20k is MSO, and I mainly delete programming questions here :) – Manishearth Mar 24 '13 at 13:59
10K+ users can delete too, but after the question has been closed for at least 48h. – Mat Mar 24 '13 at 14:10

You do not want to delete the question. If you have a question ban now, deleting questions is only going to make it worse. It'll take more than one downvoted question for you to have received a question ban, if you are banned now this question was not the only reason for that ban.

Questions with more than one answer, or with one upvoted answer are not deletable by the owner to protect the content added by others from frivolous deletions. People have put effort and time into creating answers to your question and that counts for something, not to mention reputation gained from upvotes on their answers.

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You should flag your question and in a custom flag, request that the post be disassociated from your account.

  • Deleting the post will nullify any effort made by other users to answer the question - we don't want that...

  • Deleting the post might also delete some really great answers - we don't want that either (there's even a badge for answering a heavily down voted question with a great answer).

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