I just had the experience where a question was deleted while I was in the middle of answering it: while I was typing an answer into the textbox. I got a notification saying "This question has been deleted - no more answers will be accepted."

It's a bit annoying to have thought carefully about a question, typed a long detailed answer (or much of one), and have the answer not be accepted. Is there anything sensible that should be done to avoid this situation, or is this the best we can do given other constraints?

If it matters: in this case the question was a reasonable one, had garnered one upvote and three comments, and had been asked 3 hours ago, then was deleted by the owner while I was typing my answer in.

I fully understand there are good reasons to allow an author to delete their own question. On the other hand, once a question is asked and garnered upvotes and comments, it feels like there's also a little bit of community ownership in the question. If I had managed to get my answer in before the author deleted it and my answer had gotten one upvote, I'm guessing the author would not have been able to delete the question, but I didn't have time to do that. I'm not sure what to do about this situation, without making life worse for authors who have legitimate reasons to delete their question. Perhaps if someone is typing an answer in, when the author clicks delete, then delay the deletion for a few hours? I do appreciate this is not a clear-cut case and it's possible the best answer might be "that sucks, but that's the way it is", but I thought I'd check to see if others have thoughts.

Related (but different): Question closed while composing an answer

  • 9
    It happens. If there had been a single answer with an upvote, the deletion wouldn't be allowed. As it stands, this is rare enough to not warrant doing anything.
    – Oded
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


If you think the question, or some form of the question, would be helpful for the community, then you're encouraged to ask the question (or some generalized form) yourself and answer it.

  • 1
    Not to mention, if you have enough reputation (+10k) you can vote to reopen.
    – Oded
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 19:30
  • Even in the case of owner-deleted questions?
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 19:30
  • Yes. There is nothing to stop you doing that.
    – Oded
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 19:38

Is there anything sensible that should be done to avoid this situation, or is this the best we can do given other constraints?

Yes of course. But unfortunately for you, you did it already.

Check the content of the question, make sure it follows all the guidelines. Make sure it's not too localized or even a duplicate by looking at the related section. Also, make sure that in the comments nothing makes you believe the user is going to delete the question.

Once all of this is done, your good to go. There is no magic trick you can't predict if the user will keep is post or not. Yes it's very annoying when it happens but I don't see a perfect solution here.

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