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I don't know if it's correct place to ask, but I am new to SO and need some advice. A week ago I've posted this question:


I have seen many questions about interviews on SO and decided to ask one. I was nicely surprised how many users liked this topic, and answers are really nice(answerers spend lot of time preparing them).

I understand that some people found this question weird because it's not connected with any specific problem. That's probably why the question was closed. And now it's almost deleted (7/10 votes).

I know the content of this site is moderated by users(thats why i like SO) and I will agree if the question will be deleted. My question is: is there a possibility to find out what is the reason that people vote for deletion?

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4 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Users aren't required to give any reason, although you hit upon the likely reason in your question:

I have seen many questions about interviews on SO and decided to ask one

If a particular class of question is frowned upon but allowed to stay around, then people see it and it encourages them to write their own, so we end up with even more questions of that type. I'm not sure if I agree with them -- your question is a bit of an edge-case but seems like a real question -- but that's probably their motivation for wanting to delete it

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I can't exactly tell you why people voted to close your question, but I can tell you the most likeliest reason: It's Off-Topic on StackOverflow...let's have a look at the FAQ and see what points fit your question:

  • a specific programming problem -> Nope
  • a software algorithm -> Nope
  • software tools commonly used by programmers -> Nope
  • matters that are unique to the programming profession -> Maybe, but no

No insult intended.

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It's not unique to programming, as other fields can have arbitrary contests with similar criteria. English.SE could have "longest palindromic sentence", for example, though it could/should be closed for the same reason this was. –  Gnome Sep 23 '10 at 15:22
@Gnome: I was trying to point out that it could be possible to be unique to the programming profession (you just to change the wording slightly and explicitly include coding). I've seen quiet a few questions like that floating around. –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 23 '10 at 20:39
If all you have to do is change "coding" to "brick-laying", then it's still not programming-unique. :) –  Gnome Sep 24 '10 at 13:09
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There is no "reason" given when voting to delete beyond the base understanding that "Deleted content is stuff we don't want on the site". The only method of divining any specific reasons from individual users comes from those users posting comments before or after voting to delete (ideally specifically identifying that they voted to delete - don't misconstrue any comment that simply explains faults with the post as an admission of voting).

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All votes on the site — upvotes, downvotes, comment votes, flags, close votes and delete votes — are anonymous by design. (Exception: if and when a question achieves "closed" status, the names of the close voters are made public. Not sure if the same happens for deletions, as I'm not 10k.) You can leave a comment asking for voters to explain themselves, but ultimately it's up to them.

In your specific case, I would assume that delete votes are being cast because your question is broad and about an interview question. You point out that you've seen many questions about interviews on the site, but some of them are known to be off-topic and simply grandfathered in due to age.

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If the question is deleted by vote, then all users who voted will be listed. This includes the one-vote-necessary deletions caused by the author or by diamonds and above. Deletion by flagging is shown as "deleted by community". –  Grace Note Sep 23 '10 at 15:10
Thanks, @Grace. –  Pops Sep 23 '10 at 15:25
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