Right now this is what happens when your post gets closed and deleted:

  • If the deleter also left a comment,
  • If the deleter is a moderator, or
  • If the deleter is a 10k user who used a canned message,
  • then you will be notified about it in the inbox, and
  • then you can follow the link to the post, where you can read the comment in full.

The problem is that the intended workflow breaks at the last point when the post is a question. A new user who gets his post deleted just gets the inbox comment with the first 100 characters of the comment, unless the comment is longer than 100 characters, then it's 97 characters and three dots for the ellpsis. Following the link gets you a 404 error.

Additionally this leaves no trace in the Responses tab of your profile, which is not awesome.

I find it hard to believe that this is the intended behaviour. There are multiple ways to fix this:

  • Make deleted questions always visible to their owners
  • Handle this corner case specificaly:
    1. Show the comment in the responses tab (this should happen anyway).
    2. Make the inbox link go to the relevant entry in the responses tab, instead of offering a broken link knowingly.
  • Disable the behaviour completely for questions.
  • 12
    The real solution is the first, always let owners see their deleted posts. Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 18:50
  • 1
    @LanceRoberts but they shouldn't be able to undelete them (when they didn't delete it themselves at least)
    – juan
    Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 22:56
  • It used to be that way, and I think it was a good way, but now if a moderator deletes it then no one but another moderator can undelete it. Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


This is the only clean solution here. Fortunately, the original concern - question owners undeleting their crappy questions - has been resolved since that post was status-declined. I don't think deleted questions should be visible in profiles (to anyone other than moderators), but allowing folks to follow the link from the notification back to it makes sense.

That said, we don't currently offer any canned comments for question deletion, and moderators can just as well close and leave a question undeleted if they want the owner to be able to read the comment.

Update: question authors can now view their deleted questions if they happen to have a link (such as the one provided by pre-deletion mod-comments), so I'm marking this completed.

  • I'm okay with having the clean solution so long as some solution is implemented :)
    – badp
    Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 18:55
  • 1
    In the meantime, if you're leaving a comment on a question, give the author time to read it before you delete it. Or, y'know, contact them through a different venue - mods pretty much have it made when it comes to contacting users.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 18:57
  • 3
    eh. A chat superping for this purpose seems overkill, plus 20 rep is required to reply, plus there's the 15 (30?) minutes delay before the inbox notification is visible. Private messages also are overkill. The problem with giving people time to read before you delete is "out of your eyes, out of your mind;" we're having a pretty bad problem with closing speculations questions about unreleased things (we don't delete them when the product is not released and we don't reopen them when the product is released) and I was hoping that "comment + delete immediately" would be the easy way out.
    – badp
    Commented Jan 19, 2013 at 18:59

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