The most irritating and pointless thing just happened to me and some other users. We were helping someone track down his bug. The OP had put the exception message in the question header and some lazy ass had flagged it as a duplicate without bothering to read the question (it wasn't about the exception, that was just the result). We were really active and making progress, with only minutes in between comments. And all of a sudden the entire post was deleted.

Obviously, while people are still resonding there is something worth while going on. So please don't do this, if there has been activity in the last x hours, respect that and let people at least finish their conversation.

  • 2
    This case is too question specific. On what site did this happen? Please ask this question on the per-site meta. – Patrick Hofman Mar 28 '16 at 19:52
  • 3
    People could just as easily be arguing over whether it's a dupe or not. Recent comment history doesn't really mean that the question shouldn't be closed. – Catija Mar 28 '16 at 20:10
  • Wait a second... deleted or closed? If it's a dupe, it'd be closed as a dupe, not deleted... – Catija Mar 28 '16 at 20:11
  • If it is "gone" I guess it was deleted @cat – Patrick Hofman Mar 28 '16 at 20:12
  • 3
    Without knowing the specific question he's talking about, I'd guess the asker deleted it, @Catija - this is a reasonably common response when a dup is pointed out. – Shog9 Mar 28 '16 at 20:12
  • I might add that I do not know for sure who/what deleted the question and why. I find it unlikely the OP deleted it himself since he was putting in effort and trying suggestions. It was on stackoverflow by the way. I would argue it doesn't matter what people are talking about, they are talking. In the end the post may be assessed as not useful to others and deleted, I do not see harm in waiting till things quiet down. – Martin Maat Mar 28 '16 at 21:36
  • Stop using comments in that capacity. Duplicate, 5 people, thought it was a duplicate – Ramhound Mar 29 '16 at 0:29

As a general rule, this just doesn't work; there are really good reasons to delete some posts with recent activity (spam, trolling, arguments spiraling out of control, even blatantly off-topic posts in some cases are too much of a negative distraction to leave visible). Even benign posts might be voluntarily deleted by their authors if it's pointed out that they're asking the wrong question...

There are certainly more specific cases where preventing deletion of an active question is desirable, but I don't think we can do this as a blanket restriction.

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