I'm a bit concerned by the rapid deletion of certain questions such as this one - it appears that it was deleted only 3 minutes after it was posted, so the original poster of this question didn't even have a chance to improve it before it was gone.

I started writing a post that gave suggestions about how this question could have been improved by the user who posted it. Unfortunately, this question's deletion prevented me from offering any advice to the OP that could have been used to improve it - I would have attempted to improve this question (in order to make it more easily answerable) if it hadn't been deleted so quickly.

Should there be some kind of "grace period" before the deletion of questions like this one, so that the posters of these questions will have a chance to improve them before they are deleted?

  • 8
    Normally deletion takes way too long IMO.
    – juergen d
    Oct 15, 2013 at 17:46
  • 1
    That question was deleted along with the user who posted it. It's not a deletion by 20k+ users or moderators (a mod might have nuked the account though).
    – Mat
    Oct 15, 2013 at 17:46
  • @Mat That seems like too harsh a penalty for a single "low-quality" question. Does this mean that the user was permanently banned from Stack Overflow? :/ Oct 15, 2013 at 17:46
  • No, deleted and banned are different things.
    – Mat
    Oct 15, 2013 at 17:47
  • 17
    The user deleted his account. The question went with it. Nothing more to see here. The user probably was having difficulty with the markup editor; one of the commenters called him lazy. Another user with edit privileges fixed the code formatting, but the OP deleted his account two minutes later (he probably didn't see the edit).
    – user102937
    Oct 15, 2013 at 17:48
  • I'm still not sure whether the question was deleted as a result of the account deletion, or vice-versa - since I lack the necessary privileges, I can't even tell who deleted the question. Oct 15, 2013 at 17:52
  • 6
    I checked the user id. It was deleted by the account holder. The question is deleted when the user account is deleted.
    – user102937
    Oct 15, 2013 at 17:52
  • 2
    @AndersonGreen It is as Robert said. The question was deleted by "Community", and not by users or a mod. The user's account is also marked as deleted. Clearly the question went with the account.
    – Servy
    Oct 15, 2013 at 17:53
  • 5
    You probably want to instead ask for a feature to tell you that the question was self-deleted instead of just deleted and accusing other users of jumping on the delete
    – random
    Oct 15, 2013 at 18:25

4 Answers 4


Should we? We already do. Bad questions go through this process:

  • some people downvote and comment to let the user know the question is bad, and ideally provide some suggestions on improving it
  • some people edit the post to improve it
  • the OP may improve it, directly by editing or indirectly by commenting
  • the post may be put on hold to prevent answers while it needs improvement
  • if sufficiently improved, the question will be reopened

Some questions are never improved and end up closed and deleted (depending on how many downvotes the question has received this can require votes from multiple high-rep users.) Some questions are deleted by the OP, often in an angry response to comments or downvotes. Sadly, some posters think that deleting bad questions will help them avoid a question ban. And sometimes entire accounts get deleted (by the OP or by mods) and when that happens the downvoted questions can go with them.

The answer to your general question is "yes, and we do." The answer as it concerns the particular question that you think was deleted too soon is "stuff happens." The humans involved have free will and may act hastily or angrily. That doesn't mean the system needs to change.


For normal deletions, there's already a grace period; questions can't be deleted by regular users for two days after closure, unless they have a score of -3 or lower (and even then, only 20K+ users can vote to delete them for the first two days).

If the question has reached -3 in less than two days and three 20K+ users decided to vote to delete it instead of trying to salvage it, I highly doubt it was salvageable in the first place.


That question was a good candidate for hasty deletion. There was not going to be any saving the question, because there were no merits to it.


YES, while I'll cast one of the first 2 votes for deletion, I won't cast the third if it hasn't been up for a reasonable period of time.

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