When a moderator deletes a post, nobody except a diamond moderator can undelete that post. There is a pretty good reason for this behaviour, as before this was implemented it happened rather regularly that a user would simply undelete their post after it was deleted by a moderator, without fixing any of the problems that caused the deletion. Undeletion is also pretty silent, so this was an issue that needed to be solved.

But I do think that the actual implementation is missing the goal somewhat and causes some undesirable behaviour in edge cases.

The behaviour that we need to prevent is post owners undeleting their own posts deleted for moderation purposes, which is very different from preventing any regular user from undeleting any post deleted by a moderator, which is the currently implemented behaviour.

The issues caused by the current behaviour compared to what I think is the actually desired behaviour are:

  • The community user is also a moderator, so its deletions are irreversible. But deletions by an automatic script are a pretty good example of decisions that should be reversible by regular users voting to undelete

  • Close votes by moderators are intentionally made reversible by regular users. This is a very good design in my opinion that avoids having to escalate any disagreement between mods and community, and also allows the community to easily fix mistakes made by moderators. Deletion votes should be handled the same way, the community should be able to overturn any moderator deletion unless the moderator intentionally locks the post to prevent this. Sometimes it is necessary to override the community by locking, but in my opinion this should always be an explicit choice by the moderator, and not a side effect.

  • A post deleted for moderation reasons by several regular users should also be protected from the owner simply undeleting it with one click.

So what I propose is to change the whole behaviour to match the desired outcome. Post owners should only be able to undelete with one vote if they themselves deleted the post. If anyone else, moderator or not, deleted the post, the owner would have no special power to undelete.

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    I couldn't agree more with this. Posts deleted by spam/offensive flags are still automatically locked, so there's no risk that they'll be undeleted by a mutinous community. And in the rare case that a moderator does need to delete something and ensure that it is never undeleted, she could always lock the post (right?). – Cody Gray Jun 1 '14 at 10:20
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/77380/… (that is the request leading to this behavior in the first place) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jun 1 '14 at 10:49
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    @CodyGray That is correct. – ɥʇǝS Jun 1 '14 at 14:46
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    I actually posted a previous question related to your first bullet point: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/167500/… -- though I tagged it "bug". And your solution solves that problem and many others, so definitely agree here. – Ben Lee Jun 8 '14 at 17:03
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    The first bullet point isn't a concern any more, as Community deletions don't prevent undeletion any more. :D – Catija Dec 26 '18 at 21:35

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