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As we know, 10k+ users can see deleted posts and vote for their undeletion. And, anybody can see his own deleted posts, and over some reputation (s)he also have a vote to un-delete it.

Except posts deleted by a diamond moderator. They can be undeleted only by a mod:

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I have a purely theoretical question from pure curiosity.

What happens, if the deleting mod is later de-modded? Will the posts (s)he deleted become undeletable again?

P.s. the possible dupe is about the other direction (essentially: do the posts deleted by mod before he got the diamond is made un-undeletable retroactively). Although probably both depend on the same - missing or existing - feature of the SE software,

  1. It is clear only from a programmer viewpoint.
  2. We don't know the internals of the SE software, maybe they are handled differently.
  3. I think, this direction is much more important/interesting, because it could make posts public again, which shouldn't be ever publicized.

On these reasons, I don't think the other question would be an answer.

Next to these: The answers there contain only opinions, which are agreeable probably for everybody, but don't contain real information about this possibility.

marked as duplicate by Nathan Tuggy, Ward, hichris123, Glorfindel, Shadow Wizard discussion Aug 28 '16 at 8:31

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • (As always, improvements are welcomed, especially the grammar/spelling ones.) – peterh Aug 26 '16 at 18:59
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    All you need to do is find a mod alumnus (ex mod) and look at their activity, find a post they deleted when they were still a mod, and examine whether you can undelete it. Mods can always undelete posts regardless of who deleted them, so there's no such thing as an undeletable post. – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 19:03
  • My expectation is that the delete is flagged as a special moderator delete so it doesn't matter who did it and whether they were currently a mod. – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 19:05
  • @AdamDavis Not having a 10k+ account, I can do this only with my own posts deleted by an ex-mod, and it is practically impossible to find them. – peterh Aug 26 '16 at 19:06
  • @AdamDavis I agree that it would be logical, but it can be also viewed as an unneeded complexity in the system. It depends on that the writers of the specification, or the implementing programmers were aware of this possibility, and they decided it deserves its price. If not, it can mean also a problematic point in the SE software (mod deletions can have other reasons as well, for example copyright problems, and in this case their un-deletion should be obviously impossible). – peterh Aug 26 '16 at 19:10
  • Hmm. Well, my method won't be easy anyway since delete votes are not visible to other users. I've been looking through Will's history but can't find a quick and easy check. – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 19:12
  • @AdamDavis I think it is also possible, that in the case of the (rare) de-moddings, the CMs post-fix this problem by hand (or, with a tool). – peterh Aug 26 '16 at 19:12
  • @AdamDavis I suspect, you have only a few deleted posts, but having a 10k+ or 3 different sites, you can search for them. Between them, maybe you can find an ex-mod between the deleters... – peterh Aug 26 '16 at 19:14
  • Well, for them to figure out if a vote is "binding" they'd have to run an additional query on the DB. It may be they can optimize it into a query that's already being run, but it makes more sense to have a single column with the question status represented as a number, and have two different numbers for "closed by community" and "closed by moderator". Each one would have different actions available, which is already the case depending on the post status. I don't think they'd want all moderator actions undone when a mod retires, so it would be strange to have it set up that way. – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 19:14
  • I recall a question about this saying that undeletion was not possible even after the moderator gave back the diamond. I'm having trouble finding it, though. There are cases where leaving the post marked as mod-deleted is definitely a good idea. – Josh Caswell Aug 26 '16 at 19:15
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    Nope, I was wrong: the current status of the deleting account is what's checked. (Also.) – Josh Caswell Aug 26 '16 at 19:20
  • Here's an example, but the post is from 2010 and the system as changed since then. It was closed and deleted by then mods, and now regular people: stackoverflow.com/questions/1081293/… – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 19:20
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    @JoshCaswell That's surprising. So all previous activities by a user become binding during their term, then unbinding once they retire? – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 19:21
  • @AdamDavis Unfortunately, to me it gives 404. Can you explain, what is there? – peterh Aug 26 '16 at 19:21
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    @Won't Well they don't make it easy these days. I had to cut'n'paste the ?tab=activity part of the URL since they don't provide a nice link on everyone else's profile! BTW, I'm totally not peeking through your blinds right now, but you might want to check your fly. – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 20:04
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Here's a question where this is demonstrated. It was closed by a mod, then years later deleted by a mod. Neither are mods now, but I'm able to cast reopen and undelete votes.

Bill the Lizard cast a binding close vote, Will a binding delete vote, neither are mods now, so options to reopen and undelete are shown to me, even though I'm not a mod


Per these questions:

It's obvious that this is how the system works - the bindingness of votes is determined when the question or answer is displayed, and not some intrinsic vote type.

Once someone becomes a moderator all their previous votes are treated as moderator votes, and once someone retires all their previous votes are treated as regular votes.

This won't reopen or undelete questions, though, even though they normally require 5 votes to close, for instance. The status of the question remains the same, but the actions available to other users in reversing moderator decisions is changed.


None of the questions posed above provide insight as to why Stack Exchange has chosen this method. It's possible it's simply due to the way moderator powers were an extension of reputation powers, which are checked each time, and since a reduction in reputation reduces powers then it would follow that the same happens to moderators.

However I don't think that's necessarily a good design - it may simply be an accident of development inertia.

A decision made by a moderator isn't meant to represent that moderator - it's meant to represent the moderator team, and shouldn't necessarily go away just because the person moved on.

Alas, no one from Stack Exchange has chimed in so we don't really know if this is by design, or simply how it was implemented at the time and never revisited once moderators started resigning.

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    Yes, you can vote to undelete. I did and the counter is on 1 now. Please stop testing now or this question will get undeleted :) – Patrick Hofman Aug 26 '16 at 19:56
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    @PatrickHofman Ha! – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 20:02
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    Now I just need to wait until Animuson retires so I can unlock my best post ever. – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 20:06
  • @AdamDavis So you can lose more reputation? =) – Nathaniel Aug 26 '16 at 20:14
  • No, @Nathaniel. You should see the irony. It would have my vote :) – Patrick Hofman Aug 26 '16 at 20:15
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    @Nathaniel Oh that's just one of many benefits! For instance, it's still the lowest voted but still open question on meta. The only reluctance I have, though, is that it has exactly 42 upvotes, which is a nice round number. – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 20:16
  • @PatrickHofman True, it is pretty funny. I'm a big fan of the migrate to Yahoo! answers idea. – Nathaniel Aug 26 '16 at 20:18
  • Looks like it won't work anyway. My other popular locked post was locked by a mod who is no longer a mod, but I can't unlock it: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41976/… – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 20:20
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    @AdamDavis I think locks are independent entities from the locking user, thus the locked-ness of a question is checked if you want to vote for it. While, the question is, that in the case of the undelete votes, what is checked: 1) Is somebody a mod between the delete voters? 2) Was somebody a mod between the closers at time of the closure? – peterh Aug 26 '16 at 20:25
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    @peterh Yes, Locks are a mod only power, so even ence they lose their mod privileges lock and unlock don't become available to others they wouldn't normally be available to. Guess the 42 upvotes is going to have to stay! – Adam Davis Aug 26 '16 at 20:38

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