I would expect searching for deleted:1 to return no results here as I don't have the rep to view deleted posts, however I get loads of results returned, none of them appear to be deleted, nor have 'deleted' (the word) within the content.

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What I actually seeing when I search for deleted:1?

  • 4
    Does that even exist as a search option?
    – Bart
    Apr 15, 2013 at 15:25
  • 1
    Well when I search 'deleted:1' on ux.stackexchange (where I am a mod) I get returned all the deleted posts, but the same query here and other SE sites I get returned actual posts.
    – JonW
    Apr 15, 2013 at 15:26
  • 1
    Seems related to Can we have an isdeleted:1 search option/operator? with status-declined.
    – Bo Persson
    Apr 15, 2013 at 15:31
  • 5
    I believe the default behavior of the search is to ignore something that doesn't exist as a criteria, or something you don't have privileges to see. Searching for votes:2q34 returns all questions (effectively ignoring the filter since it doesn't make sense), whereas searching for votes:234 returns 64 questions (everything with more than 234 votes). Just a guess though based on my experiences, so I'm not confident enough to make this an answer. Apr 15, 2013 at 15:31
  • @BoPersson: Yeah, I saw that one and the fact it was status:declined just confused me even more. I am clearly seeing something but whether or not it's related to my search query I'm not convinced.
    – JonW
    Apr 15, 2013 at 15:34
  • as a 16k user i am seeing this i.stack.imgur.com/OEEx1.png Apr 15, 2013 at 15:57
  • @NullPointer: That is... even more confusing.
    – JonW
    Apr 15, 2013 at 16:02
  • Just to follow up my earlier comment, searching for an unrecognized filter such as unicorns:yes will return zero because it is searching for the exact string of "unicorns:yes" rather than treating "unicorns" as a filter and "yes" as the criterion. Apr 15, 2013 at 16:41
  • @Bart - Yes, but I believe it's only enabled for moderators, not even 20k users. At least it was that way when I got elected. Apr 15, 2013 at 17:57
  • @BradLarson Okay, could very well be the case. For me on Meta it does nothing.
    – Bart
    Apr 15, 2013 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


@psubsee2003 is describing what I noticed too: When a option is ignored, and it is the only option used to search, the search returns all the posts. The difference with "deleted:" and other options, is that when other options are ignored you notice that.

For example, if I use "votes:2" the result page shows this.


If I use "votes:q123" the result page doesn't show any option as being used for the search.


With "deleted:1" there isn't any way to know if the option is applied, or not. I can know it from the background shown for the posts.



When I use "deleted:1" or "votes:q123" on this site, I get 135,086 results in both the cases; when I use "user:me votes:q123" or "user:me" on the same site, I get 1,185 results in both the cases.

I am moderator on Drupal Answers, and on that site I am allowed to search for deleted answers.


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