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Today I asked a question. I received four answers. One of the answers was from UserA (unnamed at this moment). UserA's answer led to 22 different comments in response to that one answer. Amongst those 22 comments, there was some very good information.

Towards the end of the 22, UserA cited some information that was flat-out wrong. I asked him about it (Hey UserA, I think that may be incorrect because of X, Y, and Z). UserA's response was to delete his original answer, which effectively deleted all 22 of the comments (I think it was UserA, who else would be able to delete the answer). There goes all that info.

I didn't down-vote anything, in fact I gave him points on some comments (because I appreciate it when people respond to my questions). But, because I pointed out something that was wrong, it seems that he is trying to remove any traces of that.

Is that something that is acceptable? Shouldn't he have just mea-culpa'd, leaving the 22 comments with info in it in place (On top of that I don't know what happened to the points I gave to other Users that responded within the 22).

Something is sticking in my craw about this. I also wonder if there is a way to get that info back.

EDIT: Moving a comment to here

Personally, I'd like this topic to die. But, I'd like to defend one thing:

The repost of comments (and the deletion of the answer), I feel is leading to some confusion.

In that repost of the comments (which I didn't expect), you don't see any User Names. That conversation was mostly between me and another user, not the guy that deleted the answer. So, I absolutely appreciate it (which is why I didn't want to see it deleted).

Toward the end of that unruly comment path, delete guy threw in a snarky "google this. bye" comment. I asked him about it, and answer got deleted.

In fact, I gave a "great comment" to every response, including delete guy's comments (and I upvoted his answer) - so I absolutely appreciate his time, as well. I am not the bad guy here.

(Of note: I assumed (bad on me), that marking a comment a "great comment" would increase reputation points. I know that's not the case now. I want to repeat: While under that assumption, I upvoted delete guy's answer ... and ... gave a great comment to every one of his comments. Again, I appreciate all responses to my questions.)

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Link to the question please –  jjnguy Jan 6 '10 at 19:26
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"Something is sticking in my craw about this." - What the heck does that mean? –  jjnguy Jan 6 '10 at 19:27
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That means "it just doesn't feel right." Etymology: phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/21/messages/947.html –  Michael Todd Jan 6 '10 at 19:28
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What's a 'Craw' though? –  jjnguy Jan 6 '10 at 19:29
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Ahh, well, thanks. –  jjnguy Jan 6 '10 at 19:30
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That is one long discussion...gave me a headache trying to read it >_< –  jjnguy Jan 6 '10 at 19:36
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Considering that your first comment on the question was asking for people to vote it down, and the last one ended "Come on, guy", I'm not surprised he deleted it. If you want people to engage in a conversation, don't be a dick. –  Paul Tomblin Jan 6 '10 at 19:39
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I have to wonder how much you made that guy mad: you seem to have a vote to close that question as "blatently offensive". –  beska Jan 6 '10 at 20:07
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You should be ashamed for wasting that user's time. He made a real effort to answer your question, but you don't seem to appreciate that. –  Georg Schölly Jan 7 '10 at 10:45
    
Sigh. I think you are missing something: In that repost of the comments (which I didn't expect), you don't see ANY User Names. That conversation was MOSTLY between me and another user, NOT the guy that deleted the answer. So, I absolutely appreciate it (which is why I didn't want to see it deleted). Toward the end, delete guy threw in a snarky "google this. bye" comment. I asked him about it, answer got delted. In fact, I gave a "great comment" to every response, INCLUDING delete guys comments (and I upvoted his answer) - so I absolutely appreciate it. I am not the bad guy here. –  user141437 Jan 7 '10 at 13:28
    
Technical note re the question. Basically, the finalizer is invoked during the garbage collection process before deallocation of the object. It's certainly after GC decides to garbage collect the object and when it runs your finalizer, you can't prevent garbage collection anymore. I think this is what the answerer meant to say, and he's quite right about this although he probably shouldn't have used the word after. –  LeakyCode Jan 7 '10 at 14:26
    
Too bad about the programming-relevant comments, but that guy did you a favor by deleting everything. You are being demanding and high-maintenance. –  Tobu Jan 7 '10 at 14:39
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@JustLooking: I stripped the usernames because I thought you were interested in preserving the content, not the argument. I've re-added them (crudely anonymized), but would encourage you not to pursue this further: beseeching the community to pick a "winner" in some argument you were having is unlikely to end well for you. –  Shogging through the snow Jan 7 '10 at 16:48
    
Fair enough, removed. Hope this thread has been enlightening for you... ;-) –  Shogging through the snow Jan 7 '10 at 18:27

5 Answers 5

up vote -2 down vote accepted

It's hard to say for sure without seeing the specific question and answer, but I would tend to side with you from a gut-feeling perspective.

That said, it's often good to edit a question with points made in comments so that things like this don't happen. (enter the obligatory "This ain't a discussion site") Everyone has the right to delete their answer. It's a shame that sometimes good content goes away...

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Something is sticking in my craw about this.

Let it go. It's his answer, he's free to delete it. I'm always happy to see users who post incorrect information come back and remove it when that's pointed out - whether they remove it by editing or deleting is up to them. When it comes to my own answers, I've done both, depending on whether I felt I had the time and knowledge to salvage an answer.

I also wonder if there is a way to get that info back.

Absolutely! Rarely is anything ever completely deleted on SO: moderators and users with reputations >= 10K can still read deleted answers and attached comments. I've pasted them here for posterity...

[removed at UserA's request. See revision history if still interested]

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Without the names by the comments, this is impossible to understand. –  jjnguy Jan 6 '10 at 20:11
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@jjnguy: IMHO, it's not that much better with the names. –  Shogging through the snow Jan 6 '10 at 20:17
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Thanks for taking the time to pull these out (and clean up the names). I agree with your "IMHO", BTW. –  Marc Gravell Jan 6 '10 at 22:08
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GAH! I couldn't even make it through the whole thing. That exchange alone makes me glad I didn't hit 10K on SO yet. My eyes are bleeding, must go wash and bandage them now. (Also, wish I could upvote this a second time for the effort that went into the comment posterity.) –  John Rudy Jan 6 '10 at 22:15

Your first comment starts with "Can someone vote this down", your last one with "I just think you are spreading misinformation.".

So why aren't you now just happy that he stopped to "spread misinformation" and deleted the answer that you thought was so bad? What else were you trying to accomplish?

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Yes, it was UserA who deleted his answer. No data is lost; it is all still there - but it would take some digging to get the useful bits out of all those comments. Indeed, most of the comments are yours. I'll happily send you your comments?

On top of that I don't know what happened to the points I gave to other Users that responded within the 22

Points are not an issue in comments

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Don't they potentially go into the Pundit badge (and possibly others)? –  David Thornley Jan 7 '10 at 20:57
    
@David - well, none up them were ever going to be +10 votes (excluding gaming), so we're only talking "commentator" which is trivial to get. –  Marc Gravell Jan 7 '10 at 22:08

OK, now my reputation points are being attacked. What can be done here?

Nothing. Kiss your rep good-bye!

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not true; the daily vote anomaly script picks this sort of stuff up automatically and fixes it. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 8 '10 at 4:11

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