Users have the ability to self-delete their questions, as long as no upvoted answer exists. There are two major patterns of misuse of the ability to delete your own questions:
- Deleting a question immediately after it was answered, the answer has not enough time to receive an upvote and prevent deletion.
- Deleting closed or heavily downvoted questions and reasking them mostly unchanged.
These patterns are harmful to the community as they can delete useful content or hide that a user is reasking a bad question multiple times. The only mechanisms against these currently are the automatic question ban and manual intervention of users that observe these patterns.
I'm proposing some new methods or adjustments of existing ones to prevent these harmful self-deletion patterns:
To prevent the immediate deletion of questions after they are answered, there are two possible solutions:
- Only allow deletion after a specific delay from the creation time of the answer, so that the answer has enough time to receive some votes and the associated protection from deletion.
- Prohibit deletion of questions with answers of a non-negative score. This would immediately protect questions that were just answered and still allow deletion if the answer is downvoted. Could be gamed by the asker downvoting themselves, if they have the privilege.
To prevent the misuse of self-deletion to reask the same bad question I propose a new automatic community flag "Consecutive self-deleted posts", similar to the consecutive closed questions. I don't have any hard data, but I would suspect that benign self-deletion of two questions in a row is very rare, and there wouldn't be too much noise caused by this flag.