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I know that deleting a question, editing, and undeleting can lead to abuse, which is why the button is disabled. However, I realized I made a core mistake that would have misled those who would answer my question.

Should I post a new question, or undelete my question and risk not editing it in time before people post invalid answers? Or is this what the close button is for?

  • I'd suggest to undelete it, leave a comment to wait until you've improved it, improve the question and then delete the comment. – 3ventic Dec 25 '13 at 1:49
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    Wait, since when are you prevented from editing a self-deleted question? – Martijn Pieters Dec 25 '13 at 1:50
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    @Martijn The button is greyed out. – user231078 Dec 25 '13 at 1:50
  • You can always edit the source in a new window (using the 'ask question' form), then copy, undelete, edit, paste before anyone has a chance to read the undeleted question, I'm sure. – Martijn Pieters Dec 25 '13 at 1:52
  • However, if the deleted question does not have a negative score, and you don't habitually self-delete questions, there is no risk in just creating a new question. – Martijn Pieters Dec 25 '13 at 1:55
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    It's been like this for a while. I remember telling a question-banned user to edit his questions before I undeleted them, but was informed that he couldn't do so because they were deleted. I'm surprised it hasn't been fixed yet, to be honest. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to do that. – animuson Dec 25 '13 at 5:21
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    possible duplicate of Couple of issues with Roomba Turbocharging "...With edit, it is now enabled on deleted questions, unless they are self deletes, as this can open a window to abuse (self delete, edit and later undelete immediately)." – gnat Dec 25 '13 at 7:44
  • @gnat after a second thought (voted to close too and retracted) it's not really a dupe. My question only mention this as a problem, this one here is asking what one can do to bypass this, assuming it's not going to be changed. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Dec 25 '13 at 13:25
  • @gnat - I don't follow how that would be an avenue for abuse. What incentive is there to do that (rather than just edit in place) except in the case here where the question needs fundamentally to be fixed? – Martin Smith Dec 25 '13 at 13:41
  • @ShadowWizard all-right, retracted my dupe vote as well. I'm more interested to find out details on how this could be abused than in closing :) – gnat Dec 25 '13 at 13:58
  • Unless undeleting doesn't bump the question maybe? In that case I see the reason for it. – Martin Smith Dec 25 '13 at 14:03
  • @gnat user post a bad question. He gets downvotes and question about to be closed. User delete the question, wait for a while, edits the post turning it into a totally different question and undelete. He just got "free ticket" to post as many bad questions as he would like until he finally succeeds to post a not-so-bad question that won't be closed. This plus what Martin said, undelete indeed does not bump as I've checked recently with one of my own questions. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Dec 25 '13 at 14:05
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    @ShadowWizard - Regarding the scenario you describe above they can just undelete and edit instantly. If they have the content ready to paste in by the time the question hits the home page it will be the new version and there is no practical difference. – Martin Smith Dec 25 '13 at 14:10
  • @MartinSmith undelete-then-edit bumps the question (edit part does this), making it easier to catch abuse. If opposite sequence, that is, edit-then-undelete doesn't bump then I can see how this can be considered slippery – gnat Dec 25 '13 at 14:29
  • @gnat - Yes. I already said if that was the case I see the reason for it (primarily for spam purposes though as what is the incentive to change a question if no one sees it to upvote/answer?) I was just pointing out that it doesn't prevent the scenario described of questions being radically altered. – Martin Smith Dec 25 '13 at 14:31
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10K users and moderators can still edit your question so my two cents are:

  1. If the change is trivial, flag your own question and choose "Other", explaining what needs changing and that you did it by honest mistake and will undelete after the edit. Moderator of course might reject the flag but in my opinion it's a valid request.

  2. If the change is more complex or you want opinions on it, you can post link to the deleted question here on Meta plus what you want to edit. There are enough 10K+ Stack Overflow users roaming the place so they can do it for you, of course only if they find it fitting.

Don't take my word for granted on both, it's just what I personally consider proper course of action. Leaving a bad question deleted when it can be improved and undeleted is the worst thing in my opinion.

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