This question has just been deleted. Although it was possibly not the best question ever, it was specific, answerable and was showing a code snippet.

The OP later edited his question to remove the code example which turned his valid question into an invalid one. I suppose the deletion decision was made based on the latest (invalid) version of the question.

For what it's worth, the same user has done the same on several posts, deleting all the code from his questions and making them useless for the community.

Is the proper action to delete those questions, as has just been done, or is it to rollback the changes to a valid version?

  • 17
    I would call this vandalism and rollback. Doesn't matter that this is the OP who vandalized their own post.
    – Oded
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 10:27
  • 3
    This particular user has done this more often if I recall correctly. Rollback. It's not acceptable. I believe I have at some point even flagged the behavior.
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 10:35
  • 1
    @Bart I flagged some of his invalid edits a few days ago - not sure if action was subsequently taken.
    – assylias
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 10:37
  • 3
    I have now rolled back the two instances listed above. Either he should delete the question (or flag for deletion), but leaving the question in a mangled state is just inappropriate IMO.
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 10:38
  • 1
    Interesting edit clash, @Bart. Too bad the old warnings have never been restored after inline editing was introduced...
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 10:45
  • 1
    The community cannot vote to undelete this question (as it was deleted by a moderator), so I flagged it after rolling the code back in. Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 10:46
  • @Arjan Yeah, I noticed that. Ah well, at least they were not conflicting.
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 10:47
  • Interesting, the user actually wrote "i did not remove the code!! not sure what happened to it?..OMG i will post it again.." — and then nothing changed. Still then, the user is now suspended for 7 days "to cool down", which I guess is just a precaution (including the possibility that someone is playing tricks on this user?) as they have last been seen two days ago.
    – Arjan
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 19:04
  • 1
    @Arjan - it looked like all the vandalism took place back in August, almost an entire month ago, all on August 28th, and we're just now fixing it. Perhaps it is possible he didn't know. Although the way he wrote that comment seems a bit suspect. Anyway, it's good we have people paying attention :) :)
    – jmort253
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 19:30
  • 1
    He's been banned. Maybe he was deleting his code to try to stop it showing up in an online plagiarism checker.
    – AndrewC
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 20:34
  • @jmort253 - Perhaps his reason for hiding the code was even more dubious? ;)
    – JDB
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


The main focus of StackOverflow should be about the quality of questions and answers.

If an answer has been made worse or vandalized by an edit, rollbacking it is an appropriate action, regardless of the author of the edit.

  • 4
    It's not that simple. This question was defaced by the original poster because it had private information in it. Rolling it back can violate someone's privacy. In this case it took the work of a super-helpful moderator to fix the problem.
    – dcaswell
    Commented Oct 23, 2013 at 20:47

There is not a yes/no answer to this question. It should be flagged by users, and the decision should be made by moderators.

The major considerations as I see it:

  • Is it vandalism or not? Some good posts are managed incorrectly, and become invalid, something that can be better understood and potentially even still fixed by the user.

  • Quality, usability and ranking of the answers.


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