This post (for <10k) has been deleted after Hakre, who is not (yet) a moderator(yet) voted to delete it even though it was just the second vote:

enter image description here

As far as I know, names in the delete message appear sorted by the time of delete vote so Gordon♦ has voted before he is mod and hakre voted just before two minutes.

  • 1
    The system probably checks the "threshold" only when a vote is cast. Seeing a single moderator on the delete-vote list was probably enough to immediately delete it.
    – Mysticial
    Mar 19, 2013 at 8:03
  • 1
    @Mysticial even he voted before he is mod ? Mar 19, 2013 at 8:04
  • 3
    Gordon likely cast his delete vote before becoming moderator, hakre cast another and the bug is the third one is not showing, note the last orphan comma. Will look bit more into it to try and salvage more information.. Mar 19, 2013 at 8:04
  • 2
    No, I was saying that the "check" to see if enough delete votes are cast is done only when a vote is actually cast. When the hasPassedThreshold() function (or whatever it is named) is called, it probably just iterates the users counting them up. If a single one of them is a moderator, the threshold is passed and the post is deleted. The result is that Gordon's binding vote isn't "detected" until the next time the function is called. (which is when hakre cast a vote.)
    – Mysticial
    Mar 19, 2013 at 8:06
  • @Mysticial interesting idea and might be true! So you say that hakre cast ordinary delete vote and it became binding because there was already delete vote from user who in the time of the second vote, is a moderator? In such case it still smells of a bug. Mar 19, 2013 at 8:08
  • 700 more reps to go to view such questions (^ v ^)
    – hjpotter92
    Mar 19, 2013 at 8:16
  • @BackinaFlash here you go i.stack.imgur.com/mYMoA.png Mar 19, 2013 at 8:28
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    @ShaWizDowArd Yeah. Gordon casts the first delete vote before he is made moderator. When hakre casts his, the check finds that one of the delete voters is a moderator and thus deletes the question.
    – Mysticial
    Mar 19, 2013 at 8:30
  • @Mysticial sounds just right, why not posting this as answer and worst case dev will pop by and say otherwise? Mar 19, 2013 at 8:32
  • 8
    I bet the devs will laugh at us when they see our attempts at psychic debugging.
    – Mysticial
    Mar 19, 2013 at 9:09

4 Answers 4


Speculation: this is due to this bug-fix: Moderator name appears twice on deleted post

Order of delete votes cast: Gordon before he was a mod, then hakre, then Gordon♦. The fix worked, but left an unsightly trailing , where it shouldn't be (after hakre's name - this doesn't happen in ordinary circumstances, there is no coma after the last voter's name).

In support of speculation (10k link, probably):

enter image description here

But there might be something else in play too.

  • Looks like my last bug report makes delete thing full of bug Mar 20, 2013 at 3:11

Indeed, the bugfix for Moderator name appears twice on deleted post was causing the issue.

I have ensured we don't add spurious commas - should be with you in the next build.

  • I realize this is an infrequent situation that probably only comes up right after elections, but will the update ensure that the binding voter is always last? So Gordon♦, harke, Gordon♦ would become harke, Gordon♦? Mar 25, 2013 at 14:32
  • @psubsee2003 - Nope, this just ensured the right number of commas.
    – Oded
    Mar 25, 2013 at 14:33
  • Looks its fixed ....:) Mar 25, 2013 at 16:08

Comments to answer:

Here's my hypothesis.

  1. Gordon casts the first delete vote before he is made moderator.
  2. hakre casts the second delete vote.
  3. The check to see if there are enough delete votes finds that a moderator has voted. Therefore the threshold is passed and the post is deleted.

Basically, the system only checks to see if the threshold is passed when a delete vote is cast. So despite Gordon's vote being "upgraded" to binding upon becoming a mod, the post isn't deleted until the next time the check is run - which is after hakre casts a vote.

  • No, I placed the first vote. Today. Then posted into chat cv-ring it, where it got gordons attention.
    – hakre
    Mar 19, 2013 at 8:37
  • How sure are you that it's the first vote? If you had that many questions on the list, could it be possible that you overlooked one of them that Gordon already delete-voted a long time ago?
    – Mysticial
    Mar 19, 2013 at 8:39
  • 2
    I don't have the binary data at hand that would proof my memorization reflect reality properly. Therefore you're obviously asking a question that can not be correctly answered. But from memory, yes, I'm very sure there was no delete vote so far. But as it is from memory, as you can imagine, there always is a chance that something is overlooked.
    – hakre
    Mar 19, 2013 at 8:42
  • 2
    I'm pretty sure it's much more simple than that. The trailing , after @hakre's name smells of three votes with one display suppressed.
    – Mat
    Mar 19, 2013 at 9:05
  • Looks like Mat nailed it, but +1 as your observation makes lots of sense as well. :-) Mar 19, 2013 at 9:39

Programmers. They are so correct ;). They will even tell the computer when it made an error with a timestamp.

Maybe just sorted alphabetically or by user-id?

I bet both delete events were counted and stored (maybe on different servers or due to network latency) and as both have been stored, they are displayed with the deleted message.

I do not think it is very misleading. And I do think I have experienced this before (not often) so it might be some edge-case and probably has something to do with timings.

  • The ordering is never by userid/alphabetical order Mar 19, 2013 at 8:23
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn I don't think so. Gordon voted to close as ordinary user, I believe he cast the delete vote long ago as well. Mar 19, 2013 at 8:23
  • In a race normally one wins - not both. But I get what you mean.
    – hakre
    Mar 19, 2013 at 8:23
  • Scratch that. I'll just ask one question: was Gordon's vote already there when you voted to delete? If so, no need to complicate things, it's the usual "voted before elected", otherwise I dunno. Mar 19, 2013 at 8:26
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn: No, my vote must have been first I think. I was cleaning up PHP-5.3 tagged questions and I placed the first vote today. With all those questions in a row. That's why I assume it has to do something with ordering.
    – hakre
    Mar 19, 2013 at 8:35
  • Can definitely be something with wrong timestamps. I have some time last year cast the final (close or delete, don't remember exactly) vote and appeared first in the list. Funnily, the banner said "Closed/Deleted in 2 minutes by ...". Mar 19, 2013 at 19:39

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