When a question fails to load, for network issues, phone issues, app issues, the question was deleted (for moderation or the user did), or the question really doesn't exist, we get this generic "Loading the question failed" dialog with a retry button. If the question has been deleted or doesn't exist, retrying to load the question will never work.

Is it possible to make this experience a little nicer, maybe providing why the app can't load the requested question? And if it retrying will never load the question, hide the retry button?

  • 7
    Yup; definitely a good idea. First time I saw that message, I wondered if it was my connectivity. Aug 30, 2013 at 13:32
  • I wonder if there's any traction with this. The app not handling deleted questions or comments makes it...interesting...to use.
    – Makoto
    Dec 10, 2013 at 6:10
  • 1
    This was just fixed on the iOS side: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/238533/… Not sure of the status on Android.
    – AllInOne
    Sep 24, 2014 at 22:23

2 Answers 2


I finally went and tinkered with the Stack Exchange API. Seems like all deleted questions return the same blank response with no 'status' message to indicate why the question was unable to be found via the API.

Since the Android app is using the the API, I think a change to the Stack Exchange API would be needed. Probably as things stand today. But I'd still love to see this implemented to improve user experiences across all platforms using the API.

  • 6
    If loading the question failed due to network issues, then that sort of error is detectable through Android/iOS. Perhaps this "blank response" should be interpreted in one way, and any network error should be interpreted in another. Feb 27, 2014 at 15:51

This has been vaguely fixed in the android app. Currently, if you try to load a deleted question or answer you're met with a dialog that reads "The question is not available, it may have been deleted", which is sort of vaguely OK.

What really needs to be fixed, on the other hand, is that this needs to show the deleted question, in some form, when the user is entitled to see it (10k+ or, particularly, the owner of the post). This is core Q&A functionality, because it's holding back the ability for users to delete their own posts (instead of e.g. editing out the content and putting in 'why cant i delete this'), which is certainly core functionality for smooth running of the site, as I've argued here.

That said, if the user has no permissions to view a deleted question, then a failure-to-load message is pretty reasonable; after all, on the main site what you get in that situation is a 404.

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