I was working on a question yesterday, and finally posted an answer with working code. Probably, the question might not have been of the best quality (maybe my anser wasn't either), and while I was working on my answer, the question got downvoted to at least -5. Nevertheless, there were some interesting details about Java Generics which I think would be worth retaining.
This morning, I do not see my answer in my profile anymore. Neither do I see the comments I posted on the question. My assumption is that the question was deleted, but anyway there is not the slightest sign anywhere in my profile that I have ever spent any effort on this question. This is somewhat frustrating...
I found the following discussions with similar background (probably there are more):
but I think they only partially cover this. From my perspective, there are two things which should be considered:
Notification of deletion - I would like to see at least some sort of feedback when an answer gets deleted for whatever reason - as said above, my assumption is that the whole question has been deleted, but there is nothing which proves or disproves this assumption.
Retaining content - when people spend time on answers, they should still have access to the content even if the answer gets deleted for whatever reason. At Send authors a courtesy copy when questions or answers are deleted, @Gilles brought it to the point: "... do leave people's content accessible in some passive way, from their profile (which is the place they'd look naturally)"
From the comments, I learned that the data from my answer's posting is still there in the SO database. Also it seems that there is a large community support for solutions to the above problem. I am certainly overseeing some (technical) details, but from an SO user's perspective, I would like to propose to retain deleted answers in the profile's "answers" tab and highlight them similar like deleted posts are highlighted:
This would solve both topics described above:
- Notification of deletion - I, as a user, immediately see that my answer has been deleted.
- Retaining content - I, as a user, can still navigate to the answer I posted (and which, even today, is still in the database, but can not be found easily).