Apologies if this question has already been asked, but I was unable to find it. Please don't ban me.

I've been banned from posting new answers. This article says to fix my posts. But it also says my deleted posts are not visible to me. So, if I've been banned due to the contents of the deleted posts, then this is a catch 22 - there's no way to fix the problem posts.

  • 1
    The linked post is recommending that you edit your existing undeleted questions or answers. You can't edit deleted posts (well, you can, but you can't then undelete any post that was deleted by a mod, as yours were). Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 19:06
  • 9
    @MichaelPetrotta: But if he manages to fix an answer, he can flag for moderator attention to request undeletion.
    – Dennis
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 19:15
  • @Dennis: true, and good point. Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 19:16
  • 13
    Just the other day, I was trying to help someone who had self-deleted a few questions by telling them to edit the questions into shape and flag them for undeletion. I was then reminded that they couldn't even see these, so they couldn't do what I suggested. That was unfortunate. Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 19:31
  • 6
    I think that it can be extended so that deleted posts have their own section in any user profile (at least visible to the user - not sure if it should be visible to public). And deleted questions and answers should be visible to the initiating user (in case of answers in deleted questions - they can stay invisible). Currently only deleted answer is visible to the initiating user.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 19:49
  • This has been asked before meta.stackexchange.com/questions/32675/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2645/… . Not sure if it's non-negotiable but it sorta looks like it
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 20:38
  • I think this is one of the times when TPTB saying "if it was deleted, if it was obviously so bad it can't be seen again" is like saying "you'll never improve, so we won't even give you that chance". I think people should be able to at least try to improve.
    – user176326
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 20:52
  • 1
    @simchona part of the banning is that it's multiple questions/answers. So they've had a chance to improve. More than one. And they haven't.
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 21:19
  • @BenBrocka but if they can't see why the answers were deleted they its unlikely they are going to improve. Letting them see the deleted posts along with a reason why they were deleted will at least give them the information that they would need to try to improve (before reaching the point of a ban).
    – FoamyGuy
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 0:12
  • 2
    Is it possible to let any user see their deleted posts, not just banned users?? Still, +1 on this feature request! Letting banned users see their deleted posts will help reduce a lot of noise in meta and give the user the feedback and opportunity to correct the problem behaviors.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 0:58
  • I just did a Google search for my deleted post and it came up on their search engine so I was able to find the link that way. Hurrah.
    – user222834
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 16:45

3 Answers 3


There is a slightly convoluted workaround for finding most of your deleted posts, which doesn't require the 10,000 reputation necessary for using the deleted:1 search operator (of course, those users aren't likely to be post banned). It depends on the post being up- or downvoted, which creates reputation events, and those are visible even if they're long ago and have been reverted by deletion of the post.

Go to the reputation tab on your profile, check the 'show removed posts' option and use the pagination buttons at the bottom to navigate to the time around which you posted the question. Instead of having to open all date records manually, you can execute a small jQuery snippet in your browser console:


If the post was voted on, it will show at least twice in the reputation history (maybe on different dates if the deletion, e.g. by Roomba, was later than the votes). Look for the word 'removed' and a non-clickable question title (it's only clickable if you have 10k reputation, in which case you don't need this workaround).

enter image description here

If the post received mostly downvotes, the reputation event will be positive (but a +1/-2 question will show -1 on the 'removed' event). If you downvoted an answer which was deleted, it'll show a +1 as well; if a user who downvoted your post was deleted, it'll show a +2 as well but with 'User was removed' instead of the question title.

There should be another event which the 'removed' event is cancelling; in the screenshot above, it's the "-2 19:33 downvote" one. That one is clickable, and you can navigate to it to determine if this was your deleted question you were looking for.


You can see recent, deleted answers by clicking through to the "answers" tab on your profile. Recent, deleted questions are similarly visible. See: What is the 'deleted recent questions' page in the user profile?

If you get this message and see nothing that can be improved on your profile, use the "contact us" link at the bottom of every page to request a review: we can provide you with links to your answers, undelete answers, etc.

This also helps us keep track of false positives.

FWIW, you're not current answer-banned, although you do have rather a lot of deleted answers on your account. The algorithm is exceedingly conservative.

  • 9
    So is this a free ticket for everyone to e-mail the SE team to get links to their own deleted questions? Isn't this something every user could just have? What's the problem with seeing your own deleted content if it can be undeleted and it's actually encouraged to improve it? Or do you believe that there's no real use case for that?
    – slhck
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 1:17
  • It's an offer I've made many times. But I can count the number of times it's actually made any difference on the fingers of one hand. Usually posts are deleted for a reason.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 22, 2012 at 2:16
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    @Shog9 No one is contending that the posts shouldn't be deleted, but it's usually a lot of busywork for everyone involved when a user can't see what they've authored that's been deleted. It would just be easier if they could see it. Not sure what hiding it gains us (or if we have metric to support what we think it gains us).
    – casperOne
    Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 15:46

Some people take more time to learn than others. Some users will understand how the site works right away. Others will do something wrong once or twice and receive a guiding comment from a member of the community with suggestions on how to right their wrongs. Some users will of course never ever learn, no matter what.

But there are also some users who might not totally get the concepts of how the site works right away. These users might not understand that the rules here are not like the speed limit on the highway, where you can get away with going 5-10mph over the limit and still pass a cop, in many cases, without incident. For them, it will take actually facing a consequence of his or her actions before understanding the site's boundaries.

These users will get "pulled over" in the form of being question/answer banned. I see this as sort of a last ditch effort to get a user to conform, but if a temporary ban (similar to the warning issued by the cop) can help that person turn it around and become a productive user, then so be it! I'm for letting banned users see their deleted questions and answers. Why bother the community team or moderators for something that can be answered or provided as part of the ban.

  • 3
    If you're going to go with this anology (which I don't actually thinks parallels well, but I'll bite), then I'd say a ban is more akin to an arrest than being pulled over. A deleted question/answer is more akin to being pulled over. The difference is, in reality, a cop might say "you were going 10mph over the limit" or "your left taillight is broken". They won't pull you over and say, "here's a $50 ticket, but I won't tell you why you're getting it". By not showing banned users their deleted answers, SO is essentially saying, "you're banned, but we're not telling you why".
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 19:37
  • 1
    @BenLee - I'm not sure I get where you're coming from. Do you disagree then that a user shouldn't be able to see his/her deleted questions? The point I was trying to make was that people are more likely to correct their behavior if those people have feedback that tells them what they need to do to correct that behavior. Hope this helps!
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 19:44
  • We are in agreement. I think you are mis-reading my comment. I wasn't disagreeing with you, I was expanding upon the analogy in a way that made more sense to me personally.
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 19:53
  • @BenLee - Makes sense ;) Thank you.
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 20:00
  • and some questions are unfairly voted down or removed. I don't agree with your assumption that the community members are always fair or intelligent.
    – JohnyWhy
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 16:24
  • @BenLee There getting pulled over, getting a ticket, getting arrested, and getting convicted. A user-ban is like getting convicted. A downvote is like getting pulled over, maybe. A removed post is.... not sure
    – JohnyWhy
    Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 16:27

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