I just had the only question I've ever asked on SO deleted. I can only assume this is because it was both reasonably old, and negatively scored.
The problem I have with this, is that until a few days ago it was not negatively scored. It got down-voted out of the blue, along with another unrelated post, apparently as a deliberate retaliation when I dared make what I felt was a helpful comment that a certain user didn't like.
It had attracted no answers, so perhaps there was really just no interest and it's best left deleted. Perhaps it was due for deletion even before getting the down-vote. However I certainly don't feel it was a bad question, and was intending getting around to posting an answer myself, or possibly expanding on the question and adding a bounty to get a bit of interest.
Now I can't even view my own question as I don't have enough rep.
It leaves a bit a of a sour taste in my mouth because it feels like it was deliberately done out of childishness, and quite possibly by a fairly high-rep'd user who knows how to game the system, but ultimately should also just know better.
I didn't pursue what I saw as an abuse of the voting system at the time because I guessed that it had been done in such a way as to not be too blatant, and there seems to be little recourse unless things are blatant. But I wasn't aware that I basically had a few days at most to save my post.
There are a few things I think might help in situations like this, though I'm not quite confident enough to suggest them as features just yet:
Firstly, is there any scope for indicating posts that are primed for deletion, to allow the author (or another user) to improve the post, get it up-voted, or at least copy the content such that it isn't lost? If the rules for deletion are consistent (which I believe they are) I can't see why it wouldn't be possible to highlight posts that will be deleted, in advance of them being so.
Secondly, could/should the auto-delete system take into account how long a post has been negative for? It seems a bit quick on the trigger to delete something that has only had a negative score for a couple of days, and even then only a single vote. The rules at the moment do not make it obvious that a post can be auto-deleted within days if someone decides to have a down-vote tantrum.
It leaves a bit a of a sour taste in my mouth because it feels like it was deliberately done out of childishness, and quite possibly by a fairly high-rep'd user who knows how to game the system, but ultimately should also just know better.I'm completely sympathetic about your question, but I don't think this speculation is helpful.