Well, this is the feature request out of this situation. Apparently people closed this post with some duplicates pointing to it and Community ♦ deleted it. There should be some checks in place that would follow the linked questions that are flagged as duplicates of the master before trying to delete it to raise awareness of this and vote to reopen the dupes or delete them too.

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  • Not allowing them to be deleted seems like the wrong approach to me. Better signalling of the consequences would be a good idea.
    – Bart
    Mar 23, 2014 at 16:59
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    Being able to see what questions were closed as a duplicate of this one -- generally, not just as part of a delete action -- would be handy. Mar 23, 2014 at 17:00
  • @Bart well, in the case of Community ♦ it shouldn't, no?
    – Braiam
    Mar 23, 2014 at 17:05
  • @MonicaCellio they appear in the "Linked" section, just that... mm... well... linked can be a comment referencing or really a duplicated
    – Braiam
    Mar 23, 2014 at 17:53
  • But other things can apply in the "linked" section too; it's not immediately obvious which of those are dupes. Mar 23, 2014 at 17:54
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    AFAICT this still happens - here are some SEDE queries which show such posts deleted in 2022: Mathematics, Stack Overflow, Meta Stack Exchange.
    – Martin
    Oct 26, 2022 at 10:29
  • @Martin not really. It does not happen as result of Roomba or ordinary users voting to delete. All cases from SEDE are either mass deletions triggered by SE staff (e.g. mass deletion of any book recommendation questions) or manually by a moderator. (e.g. the "what is flag weight", deleted by Glorfindel.) Oct 26, 2022 at 11:34
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    @ShadowTheKidWizard If the notice on the deleted posts explicitly links to /help/roomba and the timeline says "RemoveAbandonedClosed", that seems to me as deletion by Roomba. For example, in the case of this deleted question on math.SE. It was deleted on Oct 8 at 3:00 by Community Bot. BTW I see that I have included a wrong link when I wanted to include the query for Mathematics.
    – Martin
    Oct 26, 2022 at 12:41
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    Not everybody can actually check what happened to the questions listed in those queries. (Since you need 10k+ to see deleted questions.) Screenshots from one question on Mathematics are included in this conversation in chat.
    – Martin
    Oct 26, 2022 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


I'm for this, though there are several points for which this needs to be touched on:

  1. Deletion while dup vote in process
  2. Deletion by roomba scripts
    • In particular, the 9 day script (has no answers with score > 0)
  3. Poor quality question dups (user asks poor quality question A, gets closed, user asks poor quality question A', gets closed as dup of A)
    • Merges don't appear to get deleted if the question they are merged to gets deleted.
  4. Rejected migrations
    • Question A is asked on day 1 on SO, migrated to P.SE on day 2, question B duped to question A, question A closed and deleted
  5. Accepted migrations
    • Question A is asked on day 1 on SO, question B is asked on day 2 on SO, question A is migrated to P.SE, 30 day roomba script deletes question A
  6. That 'only question asked by a user who deletes' cleanup that I can't quite put my finger on that deletes the question(s) asked too
  7. User self deleting own question
  8. Deletion by human mod
  9. Deletion by 10k votes

The last two are probably the easiest to deal with as they are 'vote to delete' type processes.

  • The bullet point under 2 is not an issue, because duplicate votes can't use a question with no upvoted or accepted answer as the target. Number 3 is definitely a problem; I seem to run into this at least once a week lately.
    – jscs
    Mar 23, 2014 at 18:18
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    Duplicates certainly can target questions with no up voted or accepted answers - trivial example: stackoverflow.com/questions/14261349 -> stackoverflow.com/questions/5858545 though stackoverflow.com/questions/14366336 -> stackoverflow.com/questions/12903232 is an even better example (these do exist). Even if they couldn't, the answers on a question can be changed after the duplicate was established (in particular, down votes on answers).
    – user213963
    Mar 23, 2014 at 18:29
  • Those were both closed before the rule was changed. Trivial example: Screenshot just now of trying to target a question with one 0-score answer. You're certainly right about votes changing that state while closevoting is taking place, though.
    – jscs
    Mar 23, 2014 at 18:36
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    Yep. But that doesn't stop the roomba from eating them if they get closed. The one with no answers, if it got two down votes would also get eaten even without getting closed (abandoned question 365 day script).
    – user213963
    Mar 23, 2014 at 18:39
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    @JoshCaswell also, duplicates by the same poster don't seems to get deleted
    – Braiam
    Mar 23, 2014 at 19:07
  • Also note that diamond mods can mark as duplicate a post without answers at all! Oct 26, 2022 at 15:46

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