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Meta question:

Why don't moderators say in a comment why they are deleting an answer? (The comment would on the deleted answer, which can be seen by the poster.) Why don't they have to say why? There seems to be little value to the poster to have something deleted with no clue as to why.

Specific question:

Why did @Flexo delete this answer? (Only moderators and 10K+ users will be able to see the deleted answer there.)

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  • 2
    Your answer was a comment. It was "me too", and did not provide anything helpful. Jul 31 '13 at 9:06
  • No, I added the comment after the answer was deleted. And the comment is obviously not deleted so I must not be talking about that! The answer was an answer. Can you not see it grayed out? The previous comment here says that 10K+ users will be able to see it.
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:08
  • 1
    If moderators would have to leave comments explaining why on each and every action, that would significantly increase the workload. You can always come here and ask.
    – Bart
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:08
  • Oded pretty much explained what I meant. Anyway, for <10K users on SO here is a screenshot: i.stack.imgur.com/8CB5K.png Jul 31 '13 at 9:09
  • 2
    @ShaWizDowArd is indicating that your answer should have been a comment. Not an answer.
    – Bart
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:09
  • Also, if you disagree with the deletion you can always flag, choose "Other" and ask to undelete and/or explain why it was deleted in the first place. The mod handling the flag can explain with a custom message. Jul 31 '13 at 9:11
  • How was my answer "me too"?? My answer was complete and correct. In fact the user did have another libtool installed. They reinstalled and the problem was solved.
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:12
  • Thanks @ShaWizDowArd -- I didn't know about the flag thing.
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:13
  • @MarkAdler a formulation such as "The most likely cause would be that you have another libtool installed. Check that...etc." might not have run into such issues.
    – Bart
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:15
  • "You must have another libtool installed." says the same thing, but even stronger. It was not likely, but rather certain.
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:19
  • I'm still missing how my answer says "me too".
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:19
  • "Works for me" is the same as "me too". The only possibly useful part is "You must have another libtool installed", but it's far from being a complete answer. Jul 31 '13 at 9:21
  • 1
    Anyway, from the comments it looks like you did put the OP on the right path. If you can take the comments and edit the answer to explain what exactly was the problem and how the OP solved it, you can flag the answer for undeletion. Jul 31 '13 at 9:24
  • 2
    Oh, I can edit a deleted answer.
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:25
  • 1
    Yes you can. And once done you can flag it for moderator attention, asking for undeletion.
    – Bart
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:26
9

Seriously? That one liner is something that should have been a comment.

It has been flagged by multiple users as such and acted on by the moderator (rightly so, too).

Now, there were lots of useful comments on that answer that should have been rolled into it but have not.

Why don't they have to say why?

With the amount of flags moderators have to deal with on a daily basis on a site the size of Stack Overflow, they would simply never be able to get through them if they had to comment each time they handled a flag. Having said that, we are looking at changes that will include delete reasons - these may or may not end up being user visible if implemented.

Also see these related posts:

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  • The "one liner" was a complete answer, and as was verified, a correct answer. So how is that not an answer?
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:14
  • Where does one see that it was flagged by multiple users?
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:15
  • @Mark only moderators can see that. Jul 31 '13 at 9:20
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    @MarkAdler It wasn't complete at all. The user asked for help on how to solve the problem. Your answer did not suggest a solution. It just suggested a possible cause, but not how to fix it. Installing the right libtool was just implied. As Oded points out, the solution was only found through the comments (which should have been in your answer in the first place).
    – Gordon
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:20
  • And I provided help by identifying the problem. The OP solved the problem in short order after that. Sounds like help to me. As you noted, the solution to having the wrong libtool installed is obvious -- you install the right libtool. Identifying the cause of a problem is usually 90% of the way to fixing it.
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:34
  • @MarkAdler - Sure. But as a high quality, detailed answer it falls short (no pun intended).
    – Oded
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:35
  • In any case I S P E L L E D O U T T H E S O L U T I O N in the edited answer.
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:35
  • 3
    @MarkAdler I undeleted the answer. But for the record: all the questions in the comments asking for clarification and version information and such should have been asked as comments to the question before an answer was given. The answer then should have been "you got the wrong libtool installed. You need XY. Do blah to install it".
    – Gordon
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:36
  • I didn't need the clarification in the comments to know that the problem was the wrong libtool installed. So I didn't need to ask any questions to provide that answer.
    – Mark Adler
    Jul 31 '13 at 9:40

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