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When a new user, through ignorance, posts a question as an answer, it will get deleted, and possibly downvoted, often with comments from regular users coaching them to ask a new question instead.

Instead of regular users posting their own version of this (and thanks to them for being nice), can a nice message be automatically generated on deletion, something like

Welcome to StackOverflow! Your answer was deleted because it was actually a question. Instead, please ask a question

This would be handy for mods to select this when deleting such questions, but ideally this would be available to all users if a deletion reason was given, perhaps by carving off a reason from "not an answer" creating "this is a new question".

Doing something like this will help make the site more welcoming to new users. Without such a message, they may feel put out - we can ameliorate that.

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  • Great idea. Can a user gets too see her own post that has been deleted by a mod? (I'm asking so because I wasn't able to see my answer on one of the sites when the question was deleted by the OP.)
    – devnull
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:20
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    When I vote to delete in low quality queue, I already can select comment like that. Why to effectively repeat it when post finally gets deleted?
    – Mołot
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:24
  • @Mołot well, if the feature existed, folks wouldn't post such messages. Anyway, worst case they get two msgs
    – Bohemian
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:27
  • @devnull yes. deleted posts and their comments are visible to their owners after deletion, even if the user is low rep
    – Bohemian
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:28
  • @Bohemian That is what I thought. But I wasn't able to view my post (answer) when the question was deleted (by the OP).
    – devnull
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:29
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    @devnull in that case comment would not be directed at you anyway.
    – Mołot
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:30
  • @Mołot I wasn't talking of a comment. I was talking about my post (answer) not being visible to me after the question was deleted.
    – devnull
    Feb 27, 2014 at 14:55
  • @devnull and I was talking that this situation is irrelevant to Bohemian's question.
    – Mołot
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:01
  • @devnull Although interesting, that's not relevant to this question. The important thing is that users can see their own posts (including any comments on those posts) after they have been deleted.
    – Bohemian
    Feb 27, 2014 at 15:01
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    +1 for the idea, -1 for the implementation. Should be an automatic footer displayed to the user, similar to what is displayed when a question is placed on hold. Should cover most all bases, with links to the help center, and hits for what to do next.
    – user1228
    Feb 27, 2014 at 18:39

2 Answers 2

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Posting it on deletion is too late; on some sites it can take hours or days (or even weeks or months!) for the community to delete an answer, and all that time, if nobody comments because "it will happen automatically", the poster is left hanging.

If you do this it should be tied to the first delete vote, not the ultimate deletion. (Change past tense as needed -- "may be deleted", "is" a question.)

But even without that, there's a template that many people use for that already, so if you can get your 20k users (the only ones who have delete votes on answers) to buy in, that'll also work.

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I agree that this would be useful both for the moderators to save time, but I would leave to the moderator the possibility of choosing one standard answer when deleting a post or putting a normal comment like he is already doing at the moment.

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