I can understand why answers with a low score have a button to vote for deletion on normal SE sites, but I don't think that's appropriate on Meta sites.

Answers and votes on Meta sites don't have the same meaning as on normal sites. They're clearly more opinion based, and a negative number there simply implies that a number of people disagree.

I'll take this example on Meta.SO. It currently has +7 votes and -15 votes, adding up to a score of -8. It also currently has 2 deletion votes (1 vote away from deletion).

Firstly, I don't think it's right that answers with a negative score should have their text made harder to read on Meta. It's not because 2/3 of people who've read this answer so far disagree with it that the points made in such an answer should be harder to read. (Being at the bottom of the list when order by score should be punishment enough.)

More importantly, does any of this warrant deletion? This answer isn't offensive. It simply represents an opinion that something between 15 and 17 people (the 15 who've downvoted it and possibly another 2 who've voted for deletion) don't agree with, as part of a wider discussion (7 people see to rather agree, since it was upvoted).

Deletion of low scoring answers on normal SE sites generally make sense because these answers are generally misleading or of poor quality.

Doing so on Meta is just rude towards the answerer who took some time to consider the question and suggest an approach to solve the problem. It's just censorship, at this stage.

Could we please have all answers with the normal font colour and remove that "delete" button, on Meta?

  • 3
    This feature exists to reduce burden on moderators. High rep users should be able to delete really bad posts by themselves, and downvotes are way to signal such bad posts. High rep users are expected to know the difference between real bad post that shouldn't exist in the first place and just a post with lots of disagreement, which does have a place. When post is deleted you see who deleted it, so if you see specific user who seems to abuse the power, feel free to flag one of his posts, choose "other" and explain. Or invite him to chat first. Apr 30, 2014 at 17:52
  • 2
    @ShadowWizard, I'm talking very specifically about answers on META sites (here Meta.SO). Users will only be able to see deleted posts if they have enough rep to see them, it makes it harder to see who's abusing power. If you look at that question, the top answer has +38/-8=+30, yet if you read the comments if was based on flawed calculations, so it's getting unfair initial attention.
    – Bruno
    Apr 30, 2014 at 17:56
  • "Firstly, I don't think it's right that answers with a negative score should have their text made harder to read on Meta." ... This was recently changed to a more reasonable -8 score. meta.stackexchange.com/a/230657/161198
    – Bart
    Apr 30, 2014 at 19:27
  • As for the deletion, there are plenty of occasions where it is absolutely warranted. That you have identified a case where it is misused does not change that. Identify and handle the case, but don't take away a useful tool.
    – Bart
    Apr 30, 2014 at 19:29
  • @Bruno this is still a site like any other SE site which might have its share of crappy/bad answers. Apr 30, 2014 at 19:54
  • @ShadowWizard it may have its share of crappy/bad answers, but I'd like to be able to read them equally well (unless it's so bad it needs moderator attention). A good reason to make negative answers paler on main sites is that some of these answers could be completely misleading (or even with security flaws on SO, for example). There isn't such a risk on the Meta sites: this is mainly about expressing opinions and ideas.
    – Bruno
    Apr 30, 2014 at 22:30
  • Well, Shog's answer is the same as what I think, he worded it better. :) May 1, 2014 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


Actually, I think that answer has more issues than just expressing an "unpopular opinion". Indeed, he probably would have done better to just state his opinion.

Instead, he offered an example that fails to back up what he claims. He talks about low-rep users, and then links to a question from a high-rep user. He claims the only possible problem with the question is that too many people are unfamiliar with the subject matter, but the first comment states that the reader found the problem statement unclear - indeed, the title remains bereft of a clear problem statement.

In short, I believe that the answer you feel is damned for simply being unpopular is in fact the sort of lazy attempt to answer a question without actually doing any research that plagues both Meta and the main site.

I could be persuaded that the threshold for deletion is too high, but I'm a big fan of providing a clear, visual indicator for answers that aren't worth my time to read. I often sort answers by those with the most recent activity, particularly on meta sites, and this indicator is most useful.

Post a separate request for the delete thing if you want to push for it. Oh, and use search to get good examples to back up your arguments for this.

  • To me, the question we're talking about isn't a bad question. It's just one of those problems for which it's hard to find a good title, simply because of the complexity of the environment. The content of the question describes what has been tried and what was expected. The fact that it has a good and helpful answer (incl. its comments) indicates that it's overall a positive contribution to SO. This being said, I'd be willing to admit that it's a rare false positive (compare to many other downvoted questions).
    – Bruno
    Apr 30, 2014 at 23:28
  • Somehow, this particular question also illustrates another problem: the fact that not everyone can see the detail of upvotes and downvotes. I guess this sort of number (+22/-29) is unusual. Perhaps the fact that there is a rather large number of upvotes (despite the higher number of downvotes) could indicate such a question isn't actually as bad as it seems.
    – Bruno
    Apr 30, 2014 at 23:32
  • I can understand why you'd want to sort the answers on Meta (or other) by recent activity, but surely you can work out at a glance when scrolling whether the answer is worth reading by looking at the score on the left. In addition, perhaps being able to read such answers more clearly would give you the opportunity to read a different point of view indeed (if once in a while you feel like granting attention to such an answer).
    – Bruno
    Apr 30, 2014 at 23:35
  • 2
    Let's also not forget that until recently all answers at -3 or lower were greyed out, and now it takes a score of -8 to get the same treatment.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Apr 30, 2014 at 23:44
  • @AnnaLear, I still don't think this should be the case. Nevertheless, the emphasis in this question was clearly more about the "delete" option. Not sure why and whether I should re-ask the question (without mentioning the greying out at all).
    – Bruno
    Apr 30, 2014 at 23:53
  • If you want that suggestion taken seriously, you should break it out, @Bruno.
    – Shog9
    May 1, 2014 at 1:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .