Today I was looking at the question of this user. The question was pretty simple, he was looking for the eval function in not knowing of it's existence. He received a comment and while I was finishing reading the question, I saw him commenting

Thanks, eval() is what I was looking for.

and then he deleted his question. In my opinion, such behavior isn't appropriate. So, should I just ignore this or can I do something about it?


The user may generally be acting out of many possible motivations.

  • Honest attempt to delete a subpar question
  • Embarrassment of some kind
  • Misunderstanding of the purpose of the site ("thanks, problem solved")
  • Covering tracks (homework, interviews, contests, trade secrets)
  • Annoyance at a comment or answer
  • Vampire style of doing his job (like this)

You have also multiple way to quash your mild frustration.

  • Ignore the occasional incident
  • Find their question in browser history, post it under your own name and self-answer it.
  • Ever answer only questions by well known posters.
  • Use a comment at some unrelated post by that person to ask them to undelete
  • Use a free form flag at some unrelated post by that person to point moderators to the person or question
  • Fill some kind of a feature request here at meta

There is probably not a single interpretation of this phenomenon. It is relatively common to edit or delete own answers based on comments. Sometimes, a comment in place of an answer is deliberately used to encourage some action on the part of the OP.

  • I'm getting a massive deja vu over this answer... – ben is uǝq backwards Jun 11 '12 at 21:47
  • Hi @Ben, I thought I'd get to understanding your comment with time and SO experience, but I didn't make it so far. Should we improve/close/replace the question/answer in any specific way? – Jirka Hanika Sep 2 '12 at 19:15

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