I have asked a question (on math.SE) that has not received any upvotes, answers, or comments. I have just discovered that, as per this post, the question may be automatically deleted after 1 year.

The problem is, although it seems that the question didn't attract much interest, it took me some documentation and effort to write it. I have been referring back to my own question regularly since then, and I may do so in the future. I have also pointed colleagues to that question (they have no account on the site, so they cannot upvote). It would annoy me greatly if I couldn't find the question next time I need to refer to it. (Of course it's not just that question -- I have other questions in a similar situation, e.g., on TCS.SE.)

Now, of course I understand SE has no duty towards me to host material which appears to be useful only to me :) but it would be quite tedious for me to have to check periodically which questions may be silently deleted by the roomba, so that I can make my own backup copy. Of course, I suppose I could always dig up these questions from the dumps, but that's quite a lot of effort.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to see my own questions that were deleted as abandoned questions. Alternatively, I'd like to be notified in advance about questions that will be deleted soon, get a copy of them emailed to me when deletion happens, or indicate that I'm still an active user and still care about a question... Is there anything like this that I could do?

  • 1
    As per the auto-delete post (assuming nothing has changed), it will only be deleted if the question "has 1 or 0 comments"... so post 2 or more comments.
    – Cai
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 23:19
  • @Cai: Thanks! I know I can do that, but (1.) is it good practice, won't it be frowned upon? and (2.) it looks like it may not be future-proof, see e.g., this ongoing discussion.
    – a3nm
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 23:21
  • I doubt it would be frowned upon, especially since the question by definition wouldn't be getting much attention—but you're right it's not exactly future-proof.
    – Cai
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 23:26
  • I took a look at what I suspect is your question on Math.SE. One of the Community values there is to provide some context for Questions. You ask essentially "what is this kind of thing called?" It would improve the Question if you added some material to motivate those kind of things as a subject worth of study and thus, of naming.
    – hardmath
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 5:18
  • @hardmath: Thanks for the feedback! I edited the Math.SE question accordingly. (I didn't link the actual question here because I didn't want the discussion to be about the specific question, and I didn't want it to look like I was fishing for upvotes on that specific question.)
    – a3nm
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


One way that I think might future proof your question, assuming that it does not attract more downvotes than upvotes, is to write a self-answer that represents your best efforts to answer your own question.

  • 1
    Good idea! I had something like this as an edit to the question, I'll move it to an answer then. This does not cover all possible cases (e.g., I'm interested in a question but I don't even have the slightest direction for a partial answer), but it's not so unreasonable, I suppose, that if you're still interested in a question after one year you may have some sort of status report to post...
    – a3nm
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 9:34

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