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There was a question on Stack Overflow that I was following because I was trying to troubleshoot the issue and was interested to know the answer.

The question seemed perfectly fine to me (and there were no downvotes either), and there were a few others along with me trying to figure out the problem. However, all of a sudden the OP decides to remove the question.

Now I am deprived of the opportunity to find out the answer, and I cannot recreate the problem and try to solve it myself.

So I'm just wondering if there is/should be any policy on OPs deleting their posted questions in such circumstances.

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marked as duplicate by Martijn Pieters, Undo, ɥʇǝS, Emrakul, hims056 Jul 11 '13 at 1:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

If there are no upvoted answers, that is fair game. If there are, he can't delete the question. – Bart Jul 10 '13 at 21:05
There are many good reasons for an OP to delete a question: s/he made a silly mistake, or recognized that some other factor caused the problem, or figured out the answer, or found the answer elsewhere and realized that the question was trivial. – George Cummins Jul 10 '13 at 21:10
@GeorgeCummins Those are good reasons to answer your own question, not reasons to delete the question. – Servy Jul 10 '13 at 21:10
@Servy I'm not sure that is always the case. Silly mistakes can be typos: those questions aren't helpful to the masses. Questions with answers elsewhere on the site are dupes. Questions with answers that end up being related to a non-code related are off-topic (for SO). – George Cummins Jul 10 '13 at 21:12
@GeorgeCummins In such a case you can still answer, or comment with the solution, and in most of those cases it probably would be appropriate to close the question. I don't see a compelling reason to delete it though. It may get deleted automatically after a little while if others don't find it useful, which should be fine. – Servy Jul 10 '13 at 21:13
@Servy I'll defer to your knowledge, but I'm not sure I understand. If the user recognizes it as a bad question and has no intention of improving it, what is the benefit of leaving it around? (Except in the cases of chronic deleters who get autobanned after a while.) – George Cummins Jul 10 '13 at 21:17
@GeorgeCummins Just because you think nobody will find it useful doesn't always mean you can't be surprised. Rather than deleting it because it might not be useful, why not just leave it around for a few days and actually find out. The auto-delete system means that the clutter won't stay around forever if it's found to not have value, so it's not like you're burdened with checking back on it. – Servy Jul 10 '13 at 23:07
@Servy Okay, that makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain! – George Cummins Jul 11 '13 at 1:25
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The policy on a user deleting posts is that users are able to delete their own contributions. In the case of answers it means they can delete them whenever they want. In the case of questions it means they can be deleted so long as there aren't valuable answers that would be deleted along with it (where "valuable" is defined as a score of 1 or more).

If it's noticed that a user is deleting a significant percentage of their content, and a mod feels that they are simply vandalizing their own valuable contributions out of spite, rather than because it really doesn't belong on the site any more, they may decide to disassociate the post(s) from the user and un-delete them (a user always has the right to have a post disassociated from them). This is fairly rare though; it's reserved for cases of clear malicious deletions.

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