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After spending time on writing an answer to a question and having the decency to edit my post to answer a follow-up question that was asked in the comments, I now see that the the author has deleted her question. I am sure that my answer was correct or at least helpful, so this seems to my like a hit-and-run situation: get the answer, and remove all evidence that the question was asked in the first place (link to old question: C++ and writing enum values into Windows registry).

Removing a question also means that similar questions will be asked in the future, meaning that more time will be spent by people writing the answers and people waiting for questions to get answered. My question to you is what you think about this situation. Should it be so easy to remove questions? Isn't disowning a better idea?

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    Well, I voted to undelete; we only need two more votes. – Ernest Friedman-Hill Aug 14 '12 at 15:23
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I agree it shouldn't be so easy for the author to remove a question when so much discussion has occurred. There are many comments, and a detailed answer; it should be up to the community to decide whether to keep it.

That said, questions can can be undeleted. I just voted to undelete, and I suspect more of us here will as well.

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    There are some checks in place to prevent askers from deleting questions with valuable answers. Specifically, if this answer had an upvote or if there were multiple answers, the asker would've been unable to delete. – Adam Lear Aug 14 '12 at 15:28
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Questions can be undeleted, but somebody needs to have a handle to the question in order to vote, flag, or appeal on meta. It would be better to add a little friction to the deletion instead of cleaning up after a subset of these abuses.

A delay on delete votes after a new answer is posted would allow time for the community to vote. If the answer is good, one vote stops deletion. If the answer is not good, there's no harm in a little delay -- unless you're trying to hide your tracks from your professor, in which case that's your problem not ours.

How long should the delay be? Good question. Somewhere between a couple hours to a day or two, probably. The ideal answer might depend on the site, but even a fixed limit across the network is probably better than the loss of goodwill from people who contributed valuable content only to have it wiped out unilaterally. New users in particular won't know how to get it reversed, or even what happened.

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