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I was under the impression that accepted answers could not be deleted (except by diamond mods). However, on RPG.SE we had a question in which it seems like the answer was deleted by the community after it had been accepted.

Neither the FAQ on deleting answers nor the CW on deleting detail this. In fact, the CW straight-up says:

You can't delete answers that have been accepted.

So, when and how can accepted answers be deleted?

  • 2
    That quote is specifically in the section titled "When can't I delete my own post?". That means the OP can't do it but not that the community can't. :) – Catija May 10 '18 at 15:46
  • @Catija Yeah I saw that, but it still seems a bit misleading since (apparently) you can in fact delete it, but you apparently just have to vote to do so (assuming you have enough rep). – Rubiksmoose May 10 '18 at 15:48
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    I don't know that's accurate... It's possible that the system doesn't allow high rep users to vote to delete their own answers in addition to not being able to just delete it themselves. I think your question is good, I just think it's worth noting that your quote is about a specific case, not about the general case. – Catija May 10 '18 at 15:50
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As the FAQ notes, moderators and 20K "trusted" users can delete accepted answers. 20K users can only vote when the answer score drops below 0.

Authors, however, cannot delete their own answers if accepted:

When can't I delete my own post?

You can't delete answers that have been accepted.

...the heading on that section is key to understanding it. Note that even if you are a trusted "20K" user, you cannot delete your own answer if it is accepted.

  • If a 20k user downvotes an accepted answer at zero score, can they then vote to delete it? Or is that sequence blocked? – Paul White May 10 '18 at 15:55
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    Ah ok, so my assumption that there was an overarching rule against deleting accepted answer was incorrect, and accepted answers are treated just like any other answer for the purposes of deletion (except for the person that posted it)? – Rubiksmoose May 10 '18 at 15:56
  • @PaulWhite yes, I've done that. I can't remember if it required a page reload. – Monica Cellio May 10 '18 at 15:57
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    @MonicaCellio in general it does. If I put a question here at -3, I have to refresh for the delete button to show up. – Catija May 10 '18 at 15:59
  • That's a common pattern, @Paul. – Shog9 May 10 '18 at 16:00
  • @Shog9 IIRC the score has to be below 0 and someone other than yourself has to have cast a downvote -- I can't vote to delete as a 20k+ user if it's -1 and I'm the only one who cast a downvote. – doppelgreener May 10 '18 at 16:03
  • Naw, there's no check for that @doppelgreener. However, the check runs on page load - so as Catija notes, you'd have to refresh the page after voting to get the delete option. – Shog9 May 10 '18 at 16:18
  • If an accepted answer is negatively voted, will it be deleted automatically if the owner's account is deleted? – Sonic the Anonymous WizHog May 12 '18 at 4:21

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