I've seen this kind of statement multiple times on meta:

If a question has been vandalized, independently from who did it, it should be rolled back

I assume the same is valid for answers. But what about deleted answers? I've seen users post a wrong answer, delete it and replace its contents with some placeholder. Sometimes that's done during the grace period, so there's no way to even know what the answer was. In this case, they become totally useless, just taking space there.

Should I do something about those answers? Should I rollback when possible? Should I flag when rolling back is not possible? Or should I just ignore them?

  • If an answer is deleted anyway, we don't care about the front-facing content, and we can always check the edit history if the answer lived longer than 5 minutes. Questions are treated differently. – user102937 Jan 11 '13 at 22:53

Wait, so the answer was wrong, is now deleted, and was edited to take up less space?

Uh, why do anything? Sounds like kind of an ideal outcome to me...

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  • Maybe those that have no edit history could be hard deleted from the db? – bfavaretto Jan 11 '13 at 23:29
  • I hate that idea on principle. Why? – Shog9 Jan 11 '13 at 23:33
  • Because thy don't add anything (for the 10k users who can see them). But I agree it's not a big deal to just leave them alone. – bfavaretto Jan 12 '13 at 0:10
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    How does it take up less space? – tchrist Sep 28 '15 at 0:31
  • Assuming the placeholder is shorter than the answer, the rendered deleted answer consumes less vertical space for readers privileged to view deleted answers, @tchrist. – Shog9 Sep 28 '15 at 2:37

In this case, they become totally useless, just taking space there.

If the answer was deleted, it was probably useless in the first place. Just ignore it, only 10k users can see them anyways and they're pushed to the bottom. Why does anything else need to be done?

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    It somehow bothers me to see non-content just floating around. I guess I'm becoming a cleanup addict. – bfavaretto Jan 12 '13 at 0:13

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