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Is it possible to access deleted questions and answers? Where are links to deleted posts?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Generally, it is not possible to see deleted questions or answers. (If it were, they wouldn't really be deleted, would they?)

Team members can see everything ever, since they have access to the master databases. Diamond moderators and 10k users can see deleted content. 10k users are actually forced to see deleted questions and answers; there's no opt-out. 10k users are not allowed to see deleted comments. There are convenient places in the "tools" section that link to recently closed and recently deleted content to facilitate casting delete and undelete votes; this is what Gamecat was referring to.

Users below 10k may see their own deleted answers to questions that are not deleted. This is done simply by accessing the question at its regular URL and looking for the post with the dark "deleted color" background. Users below 10k may not see any deleted questions, regardless of authorship. They also may not see their own answers to deleted questions.

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A user may change mind so as to modify the existing deleted Q/A to reflect useful stuff to self/others. (which is quite rare but possible case) keeping it in mind I asked this Q. But SO seems to be more well structured and managed :) quite conveying answer. could be accepted as BA. regards:infant pro –  InfantPro'Aravind' Nov 18 '10 at 13:20
    
@infant, you're right, it can be annoying, but at least there's a workaround: you can just ask a new question if you have an improvement to make on a deleted version. –  Pops Nov 18 '10 at 17:52

It's only possible to see deleted posts only if:

  • You're a diamond moderator.
  • OR You have over 10K reputation.
  • OR You are the owner of the deleted post.

But they are not listed anywhere, so are difficult to find, although I understand diamond moderators do have a tool for this (I'm not sure if 10K'ers do or not) so if you really desperately need to find a post of yours that has been deleted you could probably ask the moderator team for help.

Note that URLs to questions do not change, so if you retain the link to a question you can always find it (assuming you meet the criteria above, otherwise you'll just get a not found page).

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ok, thanks for the response. :) +1 –  InfantPro'Aravind' Nov 18 '10 at 8:42
    
I proposed a Can we have an isdeleted:1 search option/operator? which was [status-declined]. –  Charles Stewart Nov 18 '10 at 8:56
    
-1, users below 10k can see their own deleted answers to questions that are not deleted, but can't see their own deleted questions or deleted answers to deleted questions. –  Pops Nov 18 '10 at 13:03

In addition to the answer of DMA57361.

If you have access to moderation tools (10K reputation), you have a list of recently deleted questions.

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Thanks for filling in the gap; wasn't entirely sure if this was something in the 10K tools or not, as I haven't reached that level of priviledge yet. –  DMA57361 Nov 18 '10 at 9:32

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