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I ran the reputation script and noticed that I would somehow gain 160 points in a rep recalc. While I used to be the king of downvotes until Evan knocked me off the hill, this still seemed like a lot of questions deleted to make that big of a difference.

So I started going through all the deleted questions, and was amazed at what was being deleted. A lot of posts that are outdated, but were relevant at the the time.

In other words, we're losing history, and I don't see any reason to be doing this.

One example is Kyle's post on StackExchange (can only be seen by 10ks), which he deleted himself on May 4, but this post had great information at the time, that is good history, and I wish he hadn't. Maybe instead of deletion, we should have some way of putting things in an historical archive.

I'm open for ideas.

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3 Answers 3

Maybe. Your example is not good. I disagree, rather violently actually, that the Stack Exchange post needs to stick around.

It's history that is now misleading and wrong.

I tend to delete old stuff on meta that is so out of date that it will actively confuse new users looking for existing "bugs" or "feature requests" rather than opening new ones.

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I was thinking that is showed the 'first look' of StackExchange, and would be good for the virtual StackExchange museum that can now be built with all the new money. –  Lance Roberts May 18 '10 at 0:59
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I personally don't think anything should be deleted. If an old post is out of date and misleading, you should add a disclaimer to the top as Joel did with his guerilla interviewing blog-post here: joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000073.html. IMHO, this is the best way forward. History is preserved and newbies can find updated, more relevant information. –  CraigTP May 18 '10 at 7:30
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If they're all getting deleted by the original owner, I say let them delete; it's their question. Appeal to them to keep the question, but don't deny them the ability to delete if they don't want it anymore.

If they're being deleted for other reasons, such as being inappropriately flagged, then we have a problem that should be looked into.

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The ones I care about are getting deleted because they no longer apply to present day MSOFU, but they still have good historical information, and can let us know why things went the way they did. –  Lance Roberts May 17 '10 at 20:50
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I disagree, because the questions have value to users outside of the OP. In fact, I believe normal users can't delete their own posts once there are a certain number of upvotes and/or answers -- Kyle is special, of course, as he's a mod. I support Lance's suggestion to have some kind of archival place for these that keeps the main Trilogy clean but doesn't lose its rich history. (Anyone know if archive.org is keeping up with MSOFU? If so, this is moot.) –  John Rudy May 17 '10 at 21:18
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Maybe instead of being deleted, the question and answers can be anonymous..ised.

In some cases I'd like to leave a question/answer, but not be personally associated with asking (or answering) such a dumb question (or answer). Delinking the individual question/answer would be a nice idea.

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