This idea was initially inspired by deleting April Fools' questions post, where funny (sometimes useful) posts (exempt toaster) are get removed from the sites, so only high-rep users can access them.

This also applies to all questions which were closed for other reason and get removed after some time, but it could be still useful to access the archived version of it (by low-rep users) for the reference.

The proposal is to implement the trigger (either automatic or manual) which would archive the page into Internet Archive Wayback Machine just before the removal. It supports different APIs to make it easier to do that.

I know that different websites or even government institution are already using their API to archive their documents before they get removed and pointing to them when accessing old links.

The idea had some positive feedback at ServerFault, so I thought it's worth to ask.

So the question is, how the community feel about implementing capturing the removed posts which can be accessible for other users via Internet Archive (without having high-rep)?


As initial good example: the questions which were removed by Community after some period of time or popular questions with score >10.

If spam is not meant to be archived, that's fine, as archiving can be conditional based on the closed reason (however it still doesn't guarantee that somebody didn't achieve it already or wrote some script which does that).

See also:

How this is easy?

There are at least 4 methods of archiving the page:

  1. Go to: https://archive.org/web/, paste the url into Save Page Now and submit the form.

  2. Going manually to: http://web.archive.org/save/http://full_url....

  3. Use JavaScript (source):

    javascript:q=(document.location.href);void(open('http://web.archive.org/save/'+location.href.replace(/https?:\/\//i, ""),'_self ','resizable,location,menubar,toolbar,scrollbars,status'));
  4. Use curl command:

    curl -s http://web.archive.org/save/http://... | tail
  • 4
    While some good posts do get deleted, a lot of what gets deleted shouldn't be preserved -- spam, rants, blatantly off-topic posts, etc. Are you proposing that it all be archived? If not, how should the decision be made about what does or doesn't get archived? Apr 21, 2015 at 16:44
  • @MonicaCellio If the policy is to not preserve spam, rants, etc., then the archiving feature could be conditional either triggered manually (by the mod who removes it) or automatically based on the type of closure (not spam). Some posts could be blatantly off-topic on one site, but on-topic on another.
    – kenorb
    Apr 21, 2015 at 16:47
  • 1
    @kenorb Good tip given the amount of user content that gets deleted. May 31, 2015 at 6:17
  • It’d be a whole ton simpler to just make deleted posts viewable with less reputation. Jul 19, 2019 at 3:28

1 Answer 1


This is a great idea IF we just use it for posts that have achieved certain metrics, such as:

  • of upvotes

  • of views

  • of votes on top-rated answer

  • of answers

  • of favorites

Examples of most of these can be seen at the Deleted Meta Questions Archive or the Stack Overflow Deleted Questions Archive.

  • 1
    So that confirms "quality content" is not among the rules as to what's added on those deleted archives
    – random
    Apr 21, 2015 at 18:34
  • @random, I only gave objective measures that could be automated. Subjective rules would require manual intervention. And there have been a few deleted questions I didn't add to the archives. I would welcome help organizing them. Apr 21, 2015 at 18:56

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