So, Christianity.SE suffered a troll attack last week, and rather quickly got rid of some truly offensive posts. (To wit, lets just say they involved the man I believe to be the saviour to be involved in repulsive sexual acts.) As a high-reputation user, sadly, I can still see them.

As they have been deleted, the ability to edit out the material is gone. (Note that Edit is disabled)
enter image description here

Is there any means of just ridding ourselves of truly offensive material? Obviously, the vast majority of deleted material should remain (you don't remove stuff in a database, if for no other reason then to maintain the record) but on those occasions where the vandalism is particularly gross, that moderators or other high rep users have the ability to edit the latest revision?

Alternatively, spam and/or offensive deleted posts could just require a click through.

I just don't want to have to see it at all.

  • 2
    Easiest thing to do is edit it out, then it only exists in the revision history Oct 7, 2013 at 19:05
  • 2
    These can be edited and the revisions be destroyed. But an edit should be enough.
    – Oded
    Oct 7, 2013 at 19:06
  • Doesn't it require undeleting to edit, or can mods edit without removing the deletion?
    – Travis J
    Oct 7, 2013 at 19:07
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    @TravisJ Moderators can edit deleted posts. Oct 7, 2013 at 19:07
  • 2
    Perhaps a feature request to allow other 10K+ users to edit deleted questions is in order for this sort of problem Oct 7, 2013 at 19:09
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/a/131581/169611
    – Mysticial
    Oct 7, 2013 at 19:11
  • @RichardTingle 10k (or maybe it's 20k) users already can edit deleted answers. I know that I've edited deleted answers on a number of occasions. As for questions, I don't think they're the problem here. Deleted questions are only shown if you have a direct link, so they're not really in your way. It's deleted answers that will be shown to users regularly visiting still valuable content.
    – Servy
    Oct 7, 2013 at 19:14
  • 1
    Nice edit to my screenshot. Thank you @TravisJ! Oct 7, 2013 at 19:15
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    The issue with editing these deleted posts is that the poster will be able to see the edits. If you edit them to be 'clean' then it just reinforces to them that their trolling is working and that it's annoying people. A straight delete and move on is just a 'yeah whatever' reaction, not feeding the troll. Feeding trolls is the worst action as it encourages them to continue.
    – JonW
    Oct 7, 2013 at 19:15
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    @JonW Well, presumably in most of these cases the user will be deleted reasonably quickly as well. After that happens they won't even be able to see edits to the answers.
    – Servy
    Oct 7, 2013 at 19:16
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    Just because Spam is annoying in answers since it is visible to 10K users, would it be worth a feature request to automatically edit out the question body if it is deleted as Spam/Offensive? Oct 7, 2013 at 19:37
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    @psubsee2003 If you're going to make a feature change you might as well do it right hide the answer and put something like "deleted answer was here" that you can click to show, rather than using the hack of editing something else into the text, especially given that, as mentioned before, that would notify the user, and allow them to edit it back to something annoying.
    – Servy
    Oct 7, 2013 at 19:42
  • If its offensive to see on the main, its still offensive to the 10K users... Oct 7, 2013 at 19:43
  • Put another way, I know that some who value free speech will call this censorship. You will note, I am not advocating that. But please understand, your right to free speech should not be taken as the power to coerce me to view it. Oct 8, 2013 at 2:43
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    It's generally unnecessary to edit spam posts, and can actually slow moderators down when they arrive to it in the queue, as they have to jump out of their dash board and look at revisions in order to confirm the flag and launch missiles at the spammer's account. Since mods will still see the post (no click through), it's handy if they immediately see what folks were actually flagging.
    – Tim Post
    Oct 8, 2013 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


Going forward, deleted answers that have had any spam or offensive flags raised against them, will not show the answer body but the following text:

This answer was marked as spam or offensive and is therefore not shown - you can see the revision history for details

Where "the revision history" links to the answer revision history.

The vote box (with score) and comments will still appear.

With you in the next build (rev 2013.10.8.1061).


Here's a possible solution, in the spirit of the question you linked.

If a post is deleted because it's marked as offensive or as spam, then the system would redact all links and images within the post, e.g.

![Pi is exactly 3!!!](http://www.example.com)

would be viewed as the text

{Image redacted}


[Visit my webpage for the proof!!!](http://www.example.com)

would be viewed as the text

{Link redacted}

This wouldn't be an edit; the post text would be intact on the database. It's just something done to the display of the deleted post.

If so desired, there could be a link next to the post called "Show redacted links and images" that shows everything as normal for the morbidly curious 10k'er.

To sum it up, if a post is deleted for being offensive or spam, by default no one sees anything or can click anything, until the viewer explicitly enables the links and images by clicking the "show" link. This feature would not affect non-deleted or un-deleted posts at all -- only deleted posts.

  • Problem is the text. Oct 7, 2013 at 20:22
  • 5
    Simplest (and most effective) would be just to redact the whole lot with click to show Oct 7, 2013 at 20:29

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