Just recently, a user asked a question that I ventured to answer. I spent a bit of time cobbling together the logic and posted what I thought was a correct answer.

Today, I think I'm having deja vu as I see the same question as last night. I search for my answer and it is nowhere to be found. I conclude that the OP deleted their question with my zero vote answer and asked again as pandas: expanding mean based on conditions & excluding current row.

My question to the community is, Is this acceptable behavior?

I understand that my answer may not have answered the question. But wouldn't it have been better to ask a follow-up question?

Either, OP is acting appropriately and I need to get over it (which I will). Or, they aren't. If they aren't, what should I do? Anything? Should I ignore it? Or should I try to politely educate them on etiquette?

  • 1
    Can you send us the link to the "new" question? Also, what site was this on?
    – Möoz
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 1:31
  • @Mooz stackoverflow.com/q/41667546/2336654 on SO
    – piRSquared
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 1:32
  • 1
    How did you "search" your answers? Did you look at your profile to see where the answer is?
    – Möoz
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 1:35
  • 1
    Apparently the user did delete his original post
    – Möoz
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 1:37
  • I note that the user has apologized at stackoverflow.com/questions/41667546/…
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 1:38
  • 2
    Yes, OP gave a very humble apology which was nice. I'm still not sure what the appropriate action should be. If that were to happen again.
    – piRSquared
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 2:01

1 Answer 1


Asking, getting an answer, deleting, and then asking the same question again is a waste of everybody's time, both the answerer's and the community's (e.g. people who reviewed that post). Speaking generally and not about your particular case, it could be user error or it could be something more questionable.

There are a few things you can do:

  • You can comment on the second version asking what happened. If it was a mistake or a misunderstanding, this will probably get the OP to take action. Alternatively, you might find out that there was a legitimate reason for the deletion and the new question is actually different in some important way. (Hey, it could happen.)

  • You can ask, in chat or on meta, for 10k users to review what happened. This works best if you can supply a link. High-rep users can vote to undelete a post deleted by its author.

  • You can flag the new question and explain what happened, so a moderator can investigate.

  • 1
    The proper action, the author of the question undeletes their original question, and flags their new question as a duplicate of the original. IMO
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 8:32
  • @Ramhound or deletes the second one if it has no answers yet. But this question asked what somebody else could do, not what the OP should do. Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 15:16

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