I just realized that I lost 105 reputation points - so I looked in my user profile and only found "removed" as the sole explanation. Not "User removed", just "removed"

This is the question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10567404/python-global-list

It says "This question was removed from Stack Overflow for reasons of moderation" and points to the FAQ which offers a number of reasons this could happen. However, this doesn't help me understand what was wrong with the question? Or was there something wrong with what I posted?

I really am surprised no explanation is available (or perhaps I don't know how to find it?), how can anyone learn or draw any useful conclusions from any removals otherwise? Are the users with sufficient reputation points to use the moderator tools the ones who remove a question? Is this voted on or up to a single individual?

I searched on meta and realize there are similar questions to this, I didn't come across one that explained the reasoning about why no information is provided about these removals.

Can anyone offer a reason and/or alternatively a way to find out what happened?

EDIT: Just to clarify this was not my question that was removed, I was someone who answered this question (there was some confusion as some posters assumed I was asking why my question was removed)

  • how can anyone learn or draw any useful conclusions from any removals otherwise? By asking on Meta, as you just did.
    – yannis
    May 16, 2012 at 1:49
  • 4
    Well, that really seems somewhat of a roundabout way, don't you think? I searched a lot, then drafted a question. This took at least 30 minutes and even then I have to hope that someone "in the know" will share what they know. It just seems it would be more helpful if a basic explanation along with the question was provided. I am not trying to argue, just to understand how this is useful.
    – Levon
    May 16, 2012 at 1:56
  • 2
    A basic explanation was provided in the form of the close notification when the question was closed.
    – yannis
    May 16, 2012 at 1:58
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    Yes, I now understand that is the case for the user who asked the question. It wasn't my question .. so I didn't get any explanation. "removed" by itself isn't particularly helpful.
    – Levon
    May 16, 2012 at 2:01
  • 2
    That I agree with, just seeing "removed" there is not very helpful, especially if you are not the asker, but one of the answerers. Asking in chat or Meta is currently the workaround, and I can't really say I can think of a better way to find the information you were looking for.
    – yannis
    May 16, 2012 at 2:09
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    @Levon: for clarification, no moderators were involved in the closing or deletion. Moderation is not exclusive to moderators. I'd have closed and deleted the same question.
    – user7116
    May 16, 2012 at 2:15
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    Btw not so long ago, you didn't get that message or notice the change in reputation, when a post was removed. To put it simply reputation was out of sync, you only found out about the lost reputation through a rep recalc (either one you triggered, or one that was triggered by mods or devs). So, although the message isn't particularly helpful, it (and the now always current rep) is a step in the right direction.
    – yannis
    May 16, 2012 at 3:43

2 Answers 2


The question was closed as too localized. The entire question was centered around a lack of understanding of python, and as written would not be helpful to anyone else. That's why it was closed. It was deleted for the same reason.

To give you some background as to why it is the way it is today:

We used to have a problem where people would post horrific questions. Other people (perhaps well meaning, but at least in part motivated by reputation points) would answer these horrific questions, and get upvoted. Since these were usually easy questions to answer (much like the one you answered), there would be a lot of reputation points conferred. You got 100 points (!) for telling someone they needed to call a function they defined. Mind blown, right?

Because such questions detract from the quality of the site (not to mention that particular question would be answered just by going through the exercises in a learning Python book), they are normally removed.

Seeing as how you're not the OP (and you're not yet a 10K user), I can see where the confusion would come in.

It would be nice to have the ability to see deleted questions that you were involved* in.

*Involved means: answered said question

It would be even nicer if your user activity said,

Removed: Question was closed as too localized and subsequently deleted.

  • 1
    It wasn't my question I can't even fully recall the question :-/ So the question was removed along with all answers and everyone lost points? Sorry, but I find this process really opaque. Wouldn't it be helpful to provide some information to everyone so that they can learn what doesn't meet the standards?
    – Levon
    May 16, 2012 at 1:52
  • 9
    Why should people gain points for asking questions that don't help anyone else? why should we reward any part of that process? The user that asked the question has access to it to read why it was closed. I'm not sure anyone else really needs to see trash on the highway to know what trash on the highway looks like. May 16, 2012 at 1:56
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    "Why should people gain points for asking questions that don't help anyone else?" I totally agree with this. I just think the process could be more transparent. No need to litter, but it would be nice to be able to look up what happened. Once you get to 10K rep I assume this information is available. That's a long time to wait.
    – Levon
    May 16, 2012 at 2:02
  • Thanks .. the background is useful and helpful, I mean this honestly. But why does it take so much effort to find this out? I now remember the question and I can see why it would be removed (though it's not my fault for other users rewarding me for pointing out the obvious) - but I still don't see why this information is just hidden. At least now I know what this specific question was (I didn't even know this because of the process).
    – Levon
    May 16, 2012 at 2:05
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    @Levon: Everything you need to know to use the site effectively can be found in stackoverflow.com/faq, stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-ask, and stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-answer. Also stackoverflow.com/privileges
    – user102937
    May 16, 2012 at 2:09
  • @RobertHarvey Thanks for the links. As a relatively new active SO user, I have looked at the FAQs, and while I can't say with certainty I have read all parts of every single one, will I find the answer as to why minimally the "offending question" isn't identified as such with some basic information about the problem in them? I've probably spent an hour to find the information I was looking for - there has to be a better way that also helps users here. I want to thank everyone for sharing this information with me. Ijust wish it was more widely and easily available.
    – Levon
    May 16, 2012 at 2:17

The question was first closed as "too localized" by five non-moderator votes.

This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. See the FAQ for guidance on how to improve it.

It was then deleted two days later by three non-moderator votes.

As the problem faced by the OP was that they forgot to call the functions they wrote, I agree with the close and delete decisions. I doubt this question is going to help anyone else.

  • thank you, your last paragraph reminded me of the question - that is helpful.
    – Levon
    May 16, 2012 at 2:29

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