This posts gives detailed rules about deleting questions: How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion? (I will also include link to the current revision.)

In the part about auto-deletion script I read that:

The system will automatically delete closed (not as a duplicate), unlocked questions with zero or negative score having no upvoted or accepted answers or pending reopen votes, that were closed 9 or more days ago and haven't been edited in the past 9 days.

In the part about self-deleting question I read that:

You can’t delete your own question when it:

  • has an upvoted answer, or
  • has an accepted answer, or
  • has multiple answers (even if there are no upvotes)

So in both cases the phrase "upvoted answer" is used. But an experienced user told me that in case of auto-deletion the score rather than number of upvotes is taken in to consideration. In the case of self-deletion the phrase upvoted answer literally means an answer which has no upvotes. (So if this interpreation is correct, you cannot delete your question which has one answer with zero score, if this score was reached by 5 upvotes and 5 downvotes.)

Is this interpretation correct? Does upvoted answer mean answer with no upvotes or answer with score bigger than zero? Should this really be interpreted differently for these two cases?

EDIT: After suggestion in quid's comment I tested on this question that I was not able to delete it when the single answer was at score 0. (Reached from 1 upvote by somebody else and my downvote. Of course, I later retracted the downvote to quid's useful answer.)


1 Answer 1


In the canonical answer describing auto-deletion it says "score" when describing the answers (in the 9-day process) not "upvoted".

That this is different in the deletion FAQ post seems to be a (minor) imprecision that likely should still be corrected.

To sum up: Yes,

  • for self-deletion the answer must not have gotten an upvote at all; even a negatively scored answer that still had an upvoted in the mix does prevent deletion;

  • for the 9-days auto-deletion it is the score that is relevant, as by the linked to answer.

  • Martin: If you see the answer at +1 (not due to you voting) you could test it, by dving and trying to delete.
    – quid
    May 7, 2016 at 11:23
  • It is good to have a reference somewhere even if it can be found out by experimenting. You meant +1 answer on my own question, right?
    – Martin
    May 7, 2016 at 11:31
  • Yes, when you have a question with a +1 answer you could downvote the answer and see if you can then delete the question.
    – quid
    May 7, 2016 at 11:32
  • But also I am really convinced it is as said. The part were it is truly "upvoted" was just confirmed in chat, and for the aut-del I know for a fact that dving a +1 answer to 0 can result in a subsequent autodel.
    – quid
    May 7, 2016 at 11:35
  • There is a chance to try now. (Or maybe not if it was your vote.)
    – quid
    May 7, 2016 at 13:19
  • Tested, added screenshot and then upvoted your answer. I will still wait a bit before accepting to see whether I will get some kind of official answer (from SE dev or SE team). But since you are saying that you have seen auto-delete to work as described in your answer, I am willing to take your word for it and I will consider it experimentally tested, too. (Additionally, this thread can also be considered as an experimental confirmation that it works in that way.)
    – Martin
    May 7, 2016 at 13:29
  • Nice it worked. For the other, yes this entire complex of dv-for-del was the reason I was very sure it is score there. The examples linked in the post you link (I didn't think of that want!), now show it clearly.
    – quid
    May 7, 2016 at 13:43

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