I think there's many great answers here that have valid points and good suggestions that I think at least justifies an explanation. Since I put a bounty on it, I figured I'd drop my 2 cents as well:
To begin with, I would like to make a few quotations to outline my need to get a better answer:
Quotes that explains (or doesn't) the decision of status-declined
I would really like to see all of my questions and answers on the profile page, even if some of them were deleted, and I don't have enough rep to see them on the site.
Jeff Atwood♦'s response:
Generally when things get deleted, it's for a good reason, and we don't want users to be undeleting them
Clearly he misunderstood the question. So Hendrik helped him out:
@Jeff: The question was about showing deleted questions, not about allowing users to undelete. Surely it would be possible showing them without allowing undeletion.
As you probably read by now, Jeff Atwood♦ responded:
@hendrik it would lead to unbelievable amounts of whining. Will not get implemented as long as I am still alive to prevent it from happening.
Judging from that statement, it seems to me like this request was declined based on speculation (and personal opinion).
Before I get to criticize that, I would like to hold a positive note and try listing the things about this feature that I think would give value to StackExchange:
Values for StackExchange
Implementing the suggested feature:
- Leads to more users with better posts, because it gives askers another good way to learn from their mistakes.
- Leads to more ad-revenue, because less new / inexperienced users are frustrated with having their question vanish into thin air and decide SE isn't a place for them.
- Leads to less tasks to handle for support, moderators and other users with privileges to view/handle complaints in any form, because askers/answerers who lost their posts won't be complaining/asking for support for that reason.
Other than these points, it would also solve several annoyances from the users' perspective, but I tried listing it from SE's perspective, so keep in mind that I left those out.
Maybe you ask "All these things happens rarely, why is this feature important?":
What I would like to ask back is "What is it that makes this a feature out of interest to SE?" because I can't find any good reasons not to implement this.
This is where I would like the people who knows why this was status-declined to help me out.
This may not be the most important feature, viewed from SE's side, but I cannot see how it is in the pile of "Will not get implemented as long as I am still alive to prevent it from happening".
If you've ever tried needing to view a post you can't access, you would know how incredibly frustrating it is to be in that situation. Even though this may be a minority of users, it's still important to keep in mind that this wouldn't hurt the users who don't need/want this feature (which is the majority), because like the show removed posts-feature, in the reputation tab, it could just be an optional view, as well as adding notifications of deleted posts which will of course only show up for those who had their posts deleted.
For what it's worth:
To the critique of "unbelievable amounts of whining": From what I've seen in my 4 months here, I don't really believe it. I may be blinded by my frustrating desire to view my deleted posts, but if those affected by this feel the same way, I'm even more inclined to request an explanation of the nature of this belief.
Maybe you ask "You're just speculating yourself. How is that different from Jeff's speculation?":
My speculation isn't different, seeing as it is also speculation. We're both talking about predicting what the future would look like if this feature was implemented. The main difference is that I tried to thoroughly explain why I think this is a feature worthy of SE, which I think an as popular suggestion as this at least deserves.
Suggestions to implementation
This might be shortsighted since this might be on Jeff's blacklist for as long as he's alive, but here's to hoping that those influential on SE will reconsider:
What I think is by far the most important part of this feature request is notification of deletion done by other users/moderators. Currently, there is no notification at all. This only leads to unnecessary confusion and should be fairly easy to implement.
Viewing a deleted question
I think the second-most important part of this feature request is to be able to view the question of yours that was deleted. The purpose of this is to let the user see the answers and comments, which are likely to explain the reasoning. I'm unaware if it's possible for 10k+ rep users and moderators to write comments to deleted questions, to discuss them, but if so, those could be hidden from the user if necessary.
Also, to not make inexperienced users confused when viewing the deleted post there could be a message at the top of the question saying something like:
"This question was deleted by JohnDoe♦ (see the FAQ for possible explanations why your question might have been removed).
This question is only visible to:
With possible variations like
(in this case, you) and a one-liner reasoning by the moderator, if necessary.
Viewing your answer on a deleted question
Even though this shouldn't be an issue, since 10k+ users are told to review answers before deletion, I've still seen a few cases of users desiring to view and, probably most importantly, being able to copy content from answers they provided to now deleted questions.
The typical scenario I've seen is when the asker deletes his/her own question and the answerer would like to be able to access their answer to the now deleted question:
I hope this was a detailed enough explanation to encourage a reconsider, or at least a more detailed reasoning of the rejection.