The following meta question was deleted last night by the Community user.

Normally, I wouldn't see an issue with this, but for this particular deletion, I can see three issues:

  • We try not to delete good content
  • There are multiple upvoted answers
  • We often use previous answers on Meta (as well as badly asked questions) to form the precedent (and to use as duplicates) when users ask questions like this in the future

On a personal note, I find it easier to link to one of my previous answers whenever possible.

This seems like a bug with the deletion algorithm, because as far as I know, the deletion algorithm should never delete questions with upvoted answers.

I'm going to go ahead and undelete it, but I'm bringing this up in case there was either:

  1. A policy change
  2. A bug

So is it either of the above or something else?

  • 12
    Or the Community user was having a bad day.
    – H2CO3
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 13:28
  • 9
    By design: "8. The system will automatically delete any question (and its answers) or answer with a score less than 0 when its owner's account is deleted." - it doesn't check the answers in this case. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 13:58
  • @ShaWizDowArd Seems like something to change. Good find. Seems weird, though: We tell users that we won't unilaterily delete questions with upvoted answers, but if they want to get around that, then all they need to do is request their account be deleted. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 14:03
  • 5
    Yeah, this is an auto-deletion of downvoted questions when the main user is deleted. I was surprised when I saw this happen recently, because I thought this only happened on destruction of a user. Someone had to show me the above-linked post. I agree that this auto-deletion for downvoted questions that have upvoted answers is problematic. I'd prefer the system apply the same rules to auto-deletion as it does to whether or not a user can delete their own question (disallow deletion with upvoted or accepted answers, etc.). Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 14:24
  • 4
    @BradLarson If we disassociate a user, then why would we need to delete the content? We should disassociate the user from the question in cases where there are upvoted answers to their questions. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 14:30
  • @GeorgeStocker time for a feature-request asking to change the existing behavior then! :) Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 14:42
  • @ShaWizDowArd Done: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/199860/… Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 19:36
  • @George thought you're going to make this one into feature request as it's not a bug... oh well, more points for you! ;) (hmm... marking your own bug report as status-bydesign would be weird, eh? :)) Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 20:05
  • @ShaWizDowArd Yea, didn't do it for more points, but felt like it would be weird to switch this over to a feature request, since the same number of people may not agree with my proposed solution. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 20:11
  • @George sure, the ;) is there for a reason - anyway both ways are good, cheers and good luck with the feature request! (obviously, it got +1 from me already :)) Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 20:14
  • 5
    The situation that occurred here should no longer occur, as A question should not be deleted by the user deletion algorithm if it has upvoted answers has been implemented. Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


Item 8 from the FAQ How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion? seems to indicate that this is by design:

The system will automatically delete any question (and its answers) or answer with a score less than 0 when its owner's account is deleted.

  • Moved info to an answer from the comments, though I think this could be closed as a dupe, too.
    – jscs
    Commented Oct 20, 2013 at 7:33

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