While browsing SO today I came across this deleted answer: EOFError: end of file reached issue with Net::HTTP

I'm not an expert on the subject, but it seemed like a reasonable answer to me, and it was the highest voted answer on that question (with 21 upvotes) so I'm assuming others thought so too. There were no downvotes, and no comments explaining why there was anything wrong with it.

I've read through 20 or so similar questions regarding deleted answers, but none of the responses seemed applicable in this case. The answer did contain a link to a blog post by the author, but that was essentially supplementary information - it certainly wasn't a link-only answer.

It's worth noting that after the deletion, the author posted a new answer with basically the same information, then edited it to remove the link to the blog post. That suggests that he at least might have thought the link was a factor in the decision to delete, but I can't believe that was the real reason.

It's surely not standard policy to delete answers with useful information just because they also contain a link to a blog post? Is there some other explanation that I've overlooked?

It might be useful in cases like this if the edit history showed the reason for deletion. At least if it was deleted as a result of a flag, it could show which flag was used without requiring any extra effort on the part of the moderators.


From what I see, it wasn't so much a blog post as a post on the user's blog which contained the code; the new version of the answer includes the code here, which is the appropriate way to answer.

I'm not privy to the reasons it was deleted, but I'd suspect it's because the majority of content (the code now included in the new answer) wasn't provided at SO. Answers posted here should be self-sufficient with enough detail to stand on their own, with external links providing additional information. The problem with supplying the actual code elsewhere is that it's lost if the external link is unavailable for some reason in the future.

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    "lost if the external link is unavailable in the future", I agree, also it being here means Stack gets the search engine love – James Aug 27 '13 at 23:48
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    The key point was that you needed to use http.use_ssl = true for https links. That point, along with basic example code, was already in the original answer. The additional code in the blog post and the new answer just provided an expanded example that showed how to handle both http and https cases. While I agree that it is an improvement, the original answer still answered the question perfectly adequately even without the link. And deleting the whole answer hardly improved the situation. – James Holderness Aug 28 '13 at 0:13
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    Without visiting the blog, it's pretty difficult to see that, and the poster actually said (in the original answer) "For complete detailed code, I've posted it on the blog here", which certainly says "the code is elsewhere". I probably would have flagged it as an answer that depended on off-site content based on the author's own statement that indicated so. :-) – Ken White Aug 28 '13 at 0:18
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    But surely the correct response to a situation like that is a comment on the answer suggesting the code be moved inline, or perhaps an edit if you have enough rep. Just indiscriminately deleting the answer seems insane to me. At least in this case the answer has now been restored, but I have to wonder how many valuable answers have been lost because the deletion went unnoticed. – James Holderness Aug 28 '13 at 11:15
  • Perhaps that would be a polite thing to do (and is what I personally try to do first, and give the user a chance to respond), there's no obligation to do so, any more than there's an obligation to explain a downvote (although again, that's what I normally try to do unless the question or answer shows absolutely no effort). I doubt the answer was "indiscriminately deleted", and barring any evidence to indicate that was the case the accusation is pretty irresponsible; mods don't usually delete for fun. Questions and answers should contain sufficient content to stay viable on their own. – Ken White Aug 29 '13 at 22:21

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