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I just noticed that Jeff has deleted this highly-upvoted accepted answer (10ks only) to this question. The answer is good and complete. It's highly upvoted (+19). It's the accepted answer. Its only apparent problem is that it points out a lot of declined feature-requests on the subject, i.e. it disagrees with the SE stance on this topic.

Questions and Answers on Meta shouldn't be deleted just because the Team disagrees with them. They should be mature enough to handle disagreement, and allow discussion on a topic.

Text without links:

Nope.

I've added basic contact info to my profile's bio page, as have quite a few other people.. It's hardly ideal..

There's at least 4 uservoice tickets on this:

    * User messaging or wall

          it's possible we might have some kind of messaging function later, so as not to expose emails but let users communicate. But it's low priority.

    * User Messaging

          recommend adding contact info to your profile -- basic HTML is allowed in the "about me" field!

    * Messaging between users

    * How do you send a message to a stackoverflow user?

All declined.

Here's another deleted accepted answer (10ks only) that was converted to a comment.

share|improve this question
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Well, they are UserVoice-era feature requests, so I don't personally think it's that big of a deal. –  waiwai933 Apr 17 '11 at 21:59
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Nevertheless I think it shouldn't be deleted. –  RoflcoptrException Apr 17 '11 at 22:00
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@waiwai933, it's not about whether the feature requests are relevant, it's about whether any answer, no matter how highly-upvoted or accepted can be deleted if it's disagree with by management. –  Lance Roberts Apr 17 '11 at 22:01
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corollary: since the deleted question is still marked as accepted, but OP can't see it to un-accept it, would OP be able to accept another answer now? –  Kip Apr 17 '11 at 22:16
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Care to explain where you get the "because management disagrees" part from? Especially since there are more (not deleted) answers that also have subversive content questioning The One True Fact(tm)? –  balpha Apr 17 '11 at 22:21
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@Lance I have a feeling that it wasn't deleted because SE disagrees, but because it's simply terribly outdated. Jeff does have a history of doing that, IIRC. –  waiwai933 Apr 17 '11 at 22:33
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@Kip Well, the asker doesn't have to unaccept it, he/she can always just click the checkmark on another answer, so yes. –  waiwai933 Apr 17 '11 at 22:33
    
Looks like I traded 10 flag weight points for the rep from this question. So much for those who think you can just flag questions that the moderators delete. You will just be punished. –  Lance Roberts Apr 18 '11 at 16:32
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You realize that the second example you provide was converted to a comment, not "deleted because it was disagreed with", aye? –  Grace Note May 17 '11 at 19:36
    
@Kip, ejem: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/91117/… –  jmfsg May 17 '11 at 19:53
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Lance, please just cool down. There's no conspiracy; no one is out for your rep; we don't sit around rejecting your mod flags just to hurt your flag weight; and these aren't the droids you're looking for. –  mmyers May 17 '11 at 19:55
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@lance your edit is incorrect; that answer was converted to a comment, not deleted. I think sometimes you're a little eager to rush in to conspiracy theories, personally. –  Jeff Atwood May 18 '11 at 4:04
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Because this question isn't just about about deleting accepted answers, it's about doing that "because [the deleter disagrees] with them", to paraphrase you. Which is assuming some sort of malignant motivation - hence the conspiracy remarks. I'm pretty sure that if you had a less antagonistic objection to the deletion of accepted answers, you'd probably get a much different reception than you are getting now. Like, just requesting "Please don't delete accepted answers", and explaining why you don't think those should have been deleted. –  Grace Note May 18 '11 at 14:39
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The problem is, the concept you present here is "moderators are deleting answers because they don't agree with them", and your example is not actually an example of the concept. It's hard to discuss a concept that may not even be occurring, as we don't have any good examples. If you updated your concept (and question) to "moderators are deleting obsolete answers instead of improving them", then I think we'd have something to discuss. :) –  adamjford May 18 '11 at 15:06
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Then say that, say "There's no good reason that I can see for deleting them". Don't say "Because the deleter disagreed with it". Highlight why you think whatever given reasons (such as broken links) are not good, and use that to support your argument of why such answers shouldn't be deleted. Kicking up dust by projecting what can only be interpreted as an accusation of malice, that's just going to spur negative reaction. What you're calling "analysis" comes off as antagonizing and conspiracy as long as you do not withdraw the disproved notion of the deletions being out of disagreement. –  Grace Note May 18 '11 at 15:13

2 Answers 2

You're upset because an answer consisting primarily of links to the old SO account on UserVoice - one of which is broken - was deleted? An answer which was so out-of-date that it not only ignored the history of similar requests on MSO and changes made in response to them, but even the changes made in response to the UserVoice requests it linked to?

Would you rather I edited it to simply summarize the long, long history of this feature request, its misconceived justifications, faulty assumptions, and the strident arguments against it ever being implemented? Because I can do that. If that's what you want.

But simply undeleting it so that it can sit and rot, purely for the sake of posterity, is madness.


Please realize: accepted answers are intentionally hard to delete. The author can't delete them. Other users can't delete them. Moderators and the spam/offensive-flag-driven Community user are the only way they can be removed. There've been request going back to UserVoice for a way for authors or others to delete or "unaccept" an answer, and they've been consistently declined in favor of editing - with moderator-led deletion as a last resort.

So the concept of a deleted, accepted answer is simple: it's the failure case, for when neither the OP nor any other user has been able or willing to fix a bad answer.

It's not necessarily the final verdict though. As a user with 10K reputation, you're perfectly able to edit even a deleted answer - if you see an accepted answer removed and feel it could be salvaged, fix it and then flag for a moderator to undelete it.

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Actually, you could just edit good links in, and let the feature request stand on its own, or in fact add an answer. We shouldn't be deleting posts just because some links are bad. –  Lance Roberts Apr 19 '11 at 15:11
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@Lance: the meat of that answer was the links. At the time it was posted, UserVoice was the history of feature requests - linking to them provided a useful reference for how and why it had been declined in the past. But we now have a couple dozen similar suggestions on MSO, with associated answers, comments, etc. In addition, the system itself has changed - there's chat, moderator-user private messaging, etc. The answer informs readers of none of this. It has become an anachronism. So again: the choices are, A) Update it to be useful and relevant. B) Leave it deleted. Pick one. –  Shogging through the snow Apr 19 '11 at 15:32
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This is sparta! –  jmfsg May 17 '11 at 19:52
    
    
@Shog9, Thanks, that seems like a really good edit, and I appreciate the effort you put into it. You are the man. I do hope you see that I'm not near as concerned about the specific example question, as I am on the concept of deleting accepted answers. –  Lance Roberts May 18 '11 at 17:54
    
@Lance: accepted answers are intentionally hard to delete. The author can't delete them. Other users can't delete them. Moderators and the spam/offensive-flag-driven Community user are the only way they can be removed. There've been request going back to UserVoice for a way for authors or others to delete or "unaccept" an answer, and they've been consistently declined in favor of editing - with moderator-led deletion as a last resort. So the concept of a deleted, accepted answer is simple: it's the failure case, for when neither the OP nor any other user has been willing to fix an answer. –  Shogging through the snow May 18 '11 at 17:59

To answer your question, I don't delete answers because I disagree with them. I delete them because in some cases, they need to be cleaned up.

In the two cases you cited:

  1. Was deleted because it was ancient and pointed to 3 or 4 User Voice links which haven't been valid since 2009.

  2. Was converted to a comment, so the deletion was only a side-effect of conversion.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for responding. –  Lance Roberts May 18 '11 at 21:32

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