This question was closed, without answers, and no activity for at least a week, thus it was automatically deleted. Then, it came up on our Meta, and I decided to undelete it, to give more people the chance to evaluate the closure.

However, Community ♦ didn't really like that, and after a few hours it deleted it again. I guess the script didn't count me undeleting as "activity", and since the question fulfilled the auto-deletion criteria, it just killed it again.

That's... not right. Auto-deleted questions can only be undeleted by moderators, and we rarely do something without good reason. The script should either completely ignore questions that have been undeleted, or at the very least recognize the undeletion as significant activity and restart the autodeletion counter.

PS. The last entry in the revision history is a bit... strange.

As Mysticial points out this has been discussed before. Anna thinks this isn't a bug, and:

If the question is worth keeping around, it's worth reopening. I'm not sure why that didn't happen in this case. Judging by the comments, I suspect Double AA was expecting or waiting on some additional community discussion that just didn't happen.

I don't necessarily disagree with that, but at the same time I don't think 17 hours are enough to generate (and conclude) community discussion (on the medium/low traffic sites of the network). A week (i.e resetting the counter) would make a bit more sense, imho.

  • Related: The Double AA deletion bug.
    – Mysticial
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 20:35
  • 1
    It looks like if anyone ever's going to undelete a question you should do it at 3.01am UTC to give you the most time! Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 20:48
  • 1
    @Mysticial Thanks, completely missed that when I search for dupes.
    – yannis
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 20:49
  • Reset the timer, fine, ignore, no. In general I agree with Anna at the question Mysticial just linked: if it's worth keeping, it should be reopened.
    – jscs
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 20:50
  • 2
    @JoshCaswell Sure, if it's worth keeping around, it should be re-opened. That said, if I had undeleted it at 2:59am UTC, it would have been deleted in a minute.
    – yannis
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 20:50
  • 5
    Can't you just delete the irritating Community user? I know it will rise again, but maybe this will buy you some time. ;) Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 20:51
  • @ShaWizDowArd That's... not a bad idea.
    – yannis
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 20:51
  • I assume you didn't want to reopen it unilaterally because you want it to be a small-c community decision, but a) how many more people do you think are going to look at it and care in the next week that didn't in the first, and b) the same people whose reopen review you want are also capable of close review. Again, I think resetting the timer makes sense, but I also think it would be reasonable for you to reopen and leave a comment explaining your intentions.
    – jscs
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 20:55
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    @JoshCaswell - keep in mind this was on Programmers and we don't have as many 10k+ users there as compared to SO. We also don't have the interaction / volume that SO does by any means. To get community review, the question really needs to stay undeleted for a bit longer.
    – user194162
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 21:03
  • @GlenH7: The feature request will affect all sites, so we have to take into account its effect everywhere.
    – jscs
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 21:05
  • @JoshCaswell - that's a valid point. I didn't see it that way at first, but I understand what you're saying. That does generate a bit of an issue given the volume that SO sustains versus the much lower volume on the other sites. Smaller sites need that additional time for a reasonable review, but that's the equivalent of a few lifespans on SO.
    – user194162
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 21:08
  • @GlenH7: Yup; maybe a per-site value for the auto-deletion window makes sense (or just a special lower value for SO).
    – jscs
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 21:11

1 Answer 1


I fully agree with everything you said except for one item.

Auto-deleted questions can only be undeleted by moderators, and we rarely do something without good reason.

Where in the world did you get that last bit?!?

That quibble aside, I think a mod's undeletion of a question ought to count as activity against the question.

You could add a link to the meta discussion involved, but there may already be a link so you would end up with a weird routine of deleting the link and then putting it back.

  • 9
    brb, suspending your account on ProgSE. For good reason.
    – yannis
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 21:17
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    It need not just be a mod's undeletion that counts as activity. Consider the case where a question gets 3x delete votes followed by 3x undelete votes the day before the script runs. It shouldn't be deleted the next day. Why that would happen? Dunno... but I've seen some amusing activity histories.
    – user213963
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 21:28

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