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I've noticed two things this morning that appear to be related:

  1. There have been more than the usual number of "why did I lose reputation" questions here on Meta Stack Overflow, all apparently related to deleted questions. Indeed, on several of the sites in the network I have seen a lot of changes to my reputation related to items being deleted. Much more than usual.
  2. On the sites where I have access to the 10k tools, I see a large number of questions deleted by Community ♦ at around midnight EDT (-0400 UTC). From the ones I looked at they're all questions with 0 or lower score, no positively upvoted answers, and were closed back in August and September. (Some closures may be older than that, but the 10k "recently deleted" tool only goes back so far.)

So, do we have some new tweaks to the auto-delete mechanism(s)/criteria, or was a cron job not running and repaired yesterday?

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Some of those questions about the rep got closed as duplciate: – juergen d Jul 12 '13 at 15:21
The developers are probably better able to comment on this, but we heard from Shog9 that code that was supposed to be deleting posts automatically actually wasn't. They were going to fix that, which would trigger a bunch of delayed auto-deletions at once. – Brad Larson Jul 12 '13 at 15:26
Also, see animuson's answer here:… and Shog's comment above that. – Brad Larson Jul 12 '13 at 16:02
up vote 18 down vote accepted

The auto-deletion criteria haven't changed since this was implemented, and the scheduled job was running. It was even logging the deletions it was doing!

...Which is where it started to get a little bit weird, since it was reporting nearly the same number of deletions - thousands - every day... And yet, thousands of questions were not getting deleted every day.

Turns out, the changes were being set up in the ORM without actually being submitted to the database. Which tends to not raise errors, but also not actually do anything.

So, yeah... That's happening now, which means a rather large backlog got processed last night: 29,172 questions for the new closed question cleanup task on Stack Overflow alone.

This should run - successfully - on a daily basis from here on out, and be much more evenly distributed as a result.

share|improve this answer
Poor database, getting delete-teased day in and day out. – Tim Stone Jul 12 '13 at 16:59
I feel sorry for you son, I got 99 problems, but a database ain't one. – Adam Davis Jul 12 '13 at 16:59
Thank you, Shog "ORM" Nine. – Jan Dvorak Jul 12 '13 at 17:09
Heh... Not my fault! – Shog9 Jul 12 '13 at 17:11
Interesting. I thought you guys were using a MicroORM - dapper if memory serves. I didn't think they supported cool EF type stuff like lining up a bunch of operations and then calling Save() – Adam Rackis Jul 12 '13 at 17:20
There's still a bit of LINQ hanging around in older code, @Adam. – Shog9 Jul 12 '13 at 17:22
That's quite refreshing to me, that even Stack Overflow's code base has some old, un-updated crusty stuff hanging around here and there. – Adam Rackis Jul 12 '13 at 17:25
Thanks, @Shog9, for the explanation. I'm sure I'm not the only person who was wondering what was going on. – Al E. Jul 12 '13 at 17:34

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