Please see this question for additional background.

A feature request for granting users the ability to see their own deleted questions and answers was filed in 2009, and was denied, which enraged the vast majority of the community. Another feature, to notify users when their question was deleted, has been requested several times over the past two years, albeit in vain.

If there's no way ("at least without an assassination") to let users see their own deleted questions, I'd like to suggest that authors of deleted questions and answers get notified when the ax comes, for two reasons:

  1. To send them a copy of the content they wrote, as a basic courtesy
  2. To help them learn how to properly use SE sites

Wikipedia has a related similar policy - moderators can place deleted article pages in a user's personal space, where the user can access the content and improve the article until it meets Wikipedia's guidelines.

To answer a possible counter-argument, that spammers/violators would fight back when receiving the deletion notification, then either,

  1. have a checkbox, checked by default, allowing the moderators to control notification
  2. notify only users above X rep.
  • You don't need to duplicate the preamble from your other question here. Link to it if you feel it's relevant.
    – user200500
    Mar 21, 2013 at 7:57
  • 1
    @ShaWizDowArd I think this is slightly different, in that it suggests the authors be given access to a copy of the deleted content in some form.
    – user200500
    Mar 21, 2013 at 7:58
  • 2
    @Asad: I don't want to force the reader to go to a different page in order to understand the justification for my question. Mar 21, 2013 at 8:21
  • @DanDascalescu Your question is pretty justified in and of itself. The only sane way to refer to context from other questions is to link to them, otherwise all questions that are follow ups to related requests would be ridiculously long. Don't worry though, users here do follow links and look at the background before they make up their minds about a request.
    – user200500
    Mar 21, 2013 at 8:24
  • @Asad: OK, thanks. Can you please add this question to the list of possible duplicates in the gray box? (I don't know/have the rep to do this). And/or mark both "Notice of deletion" and the second one as duplicates. Mar 21, 2013 at 8:27
  • @Dan only you see that box. Do you agree with Asad that your question should be left open though? I'm still not sure about that. Mar 21, 2013 at 8:28
  • @DanDascalescu Your question hasn't actually been closed yet, so that would involve me casting a close vote. If you think a question is related, again, link to it in the body of the question. EDIT: It was pretty obvious the question was going to be closed, so I added the question you mentioned to the list of duplicates.
    – user200500
    Mar 21, 2013 at 8:31
  • 3
    I had found several apparent duplicates, but what I'm suggesting is specifically sending a courtesy copy of the content. in the meantime however, my question was closed. @ShaWizDowArd: with the last edit I made, I do believe it is a distinct proposal. Mar 21, 2013 at 8:39
  • 3
    Of course the easiest way of getting a courtesy copy to users would be to simply allow them to easily see and access their deleted content. Mar 21, 2013 at 8:55
  • 1
    OK, fair enough. voting to reopen. Mar 21, 2013 at 8:56
  • 1
    About "notify only users above X rep": I think that would be counterproductive, if goal is to "help them learn how to properly use SE sites" and avoid the 'WTF, where did my question go' moments.
    – hyde
    Mar 21, 2013 at 9:05
  • 1
    One reason given for not showing deleted questions to the OP is that it would be too easy to just cut-and-paste it into a new question. That would increase the risk of the OP getting question banned. Mailing the text doesn't solve this. (Not necessarily my opinion - just restating the reasoning).
    – Bo Persson
    Mar 21, 2013 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


I don't think this is the right solution. Notifying people when their post is deleted is shoving the deletion in their face. I share the fears that it would lead to a lot of complaints.

(Closure, on the other hand, should lead to a notification, because closure is a prompt for improvement. When it comes for deletion, improvement has been deemed unlikely.)

Furthermore not everyone has an email address configured on their account (and even if they do it may not be an address they check regularly). If I want to see something I've posted, I'm not going to check my mail, I'm going to check my profile.

Deletion should be handled passively. Don't tell anyone. But do leave people's content accessible in some passive way, from their profile (which is the place they'd look naturally). There's a “show removed posts” button on the reputation tab (and it hasn't “lead to unbelievable amounts of whining”), there should be one on the questions and answers tabs as well.

I don't see a need to exclude spam or other posts from this mechanism. Random spammers aren't going to complain anyway, and astroturfers are going to complain anyway.

This should apply to all users regardless of reputation. It's necessary for new, 1-rep users just like for more established users (more, even, as new users are more likely to post content that may be deleted but that they may salvage on or outside SE).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .