I refer to:

Flatten an iterable of iterables

How to handle these situations? Myself and one other user, have posted an answer on his question and instead of upvoting or accepting an answer, I have a comment on my answer saying "Thanks, that's all I needed" and then they delete the question.

I voted to undelete it, and I think it got undeleted once, but then OP deleted it again immediately.

I'm not able to comment on the question explaining how it's not how the site is intended to be used, because I get an error about comments on deleted questions can't be submitted or something like that.

  • 4
    Well, normally, flag for moderator attention - but don't do that now; you've definitely grabbed their attention. That, or let them keep deleting their questions - they'll be banned if they keep deleting them.
    – user206222
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 3:39
  • 14
    I upvoted your answer so the OP can't delete it again. But if the OP continues to do this, he'll get question-banned. So it's a self-correcting issue.
    – Mysticial
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 3:40
  • I've done the same, but it's not exactly a stellar question within the bounds of the FAQ.
    – nickhar
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 3:47
  • 1
    Checking it out on mobile. Hopefully @Mysticial's friendly warning worked. Commented May 1, 2013 at 4:14
  • I am afraid by saying this, I think if there is +1 for the question on each upvote on the answers. Then no one will delete his question, unless he gets downvotes on it. Commented May 1, 2013 at 4:39
  • 4
    In hindsight it looks more like a "shame delete" because some people were digging around and found out that it was a homework question
    – wim
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 4:44
  • 1
    Yes, and probably didn't want the teacher to find out! Commented May 1, 2013 at 5:01
  • See also: People deleting their own questions once they have an answer
    – ale
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 13:11

2 Answers 2


What the system should do here, IMHO, is to disallow the insta-deletion of questions with non-negative-scored answers.

Our primary goal is not to help the OP. It is to create a repository of useful Q&As. Helping OPs is the channel through which we achieve this, no more. If the question is a bad one (of the type that will just help the OP and not many others), just let it get deleted -- you shouldn't have answered in the first place (instead you can flag as "too localized"). If the question seems like a good one, just flag the post for moderator attention.

  • 6
    And if this was implemented it should probably discount downvotes from the OP as otherwise they could just DV then delete. Commented May 1, 2013 at 7:40
  • 1
    I think OP's downvotes shouldn't be counted as OP can downvote answer and then delete question. Commented May 7, 2013 at 8:52

The goal of Stack Exchange is not only to help the asker, but also to help the many future visitors that are searching for answers to the same problem. By posting a question, taking the valuable time of you and others, and finally deleting the question, the asker is abusing the system.

The people who "give back" to the community aren't just those who answer questions. People who ask well-researched questions are also giving back by posting material that helps others find answers more quickly.

If someone is posting questions and immediately deleting their post, and the post was a good question, flag it for moderator attention and explain the situation.

However, if the user is simply asking a lot of junk "debug my code" type questions, don't waste your time even answering them. They would likely be closed and deleted anyway. If this is the case, I'd suggest not flagging. As Mysticial says, the op will simply get question banned and the problem will work itself out in the end. The question ban is a nice safeguard to help prevent this type of abuse from continuing.

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