13

A long time ago, I asked a question about the behaviour of a basic Java function in a particular environment to ensure that my code was going to behave as I intended.
The answers led me to believe that it would work, but some time later, it turned out that the particular environment was indeed a source of problems.
I made an Edit to my question to warn people that may find my question that it doesn't work as intended.
A bunch of months later, somebody commented on the question saying that I should move my Edit to the answer section, which didn't cross my mind in the first place, so I did.
And then today I realized that a moderator deleted my answer, with not much info except that link.


I read the link, but I'm sure how it applies to my answer. I searched a bit around, but I don't see any way to request information about why it was deleted, and Stackexchange doesn't seem to provide a way to contact other users so that I could ask the moderator.
Why isn't there a deletion reason ? How can I know why my answer got deleted ?


My other question is about the proper policy to follow in such events :

  • was answering myself the correct thing to do in the first place ?

  • now that my answer has been deleted, am I supposed to make a new answer, or am I supposed to edit the deleted answer and somehow ask the moderator to review it for restoring ?

  • 4
    As this seems to be about a specific answer of yours (I believe this one) I think this is better asked at the Meta of Stack Overflow. If you want this to be about deleted answers in general and how the policies should work across all sites in the SE network, your question is fine here. – rene Jul 4 '18 at 14:37
  • 3
    @gnat note that the answer we're talking about here doesn't have downvotes. as a matter of fact it has an upvote ... and it is mod-deleted. So even if the OP edits to improve it, they would still need a mod to undelete it, hoping the reason for deletion is resolved by then. – rene Jul 4 '18 at 14:45
  • @rene Oh, I didn't realize that there was different meta sites, I saw Meta-Stackexchange a bunch of times, but never Meta-Stackoverflow, so I thought it was the good place. I guess my Meta-Stackoverflow would b better to get the deletion reason, but my other questions are still valid here if I'm not mistaken ? – Alef Jul 4 '18 at 15:03
  • 1
    @Alef: IMO your question is valid here; this highlights a cross-site issue. – Bathsheba Jul 4 '18 at 15:32
  • 5
    It seemed like a NAA to me with the large "No, it is not working properly" atop the post. I was handling a bunch of them, some 100~120 which were self answers where the OP added more information as an answer. Your answer looked the same, therefore I deleted it. The entire answer made it sound like a NAA. I undeleted it now. – Bhargav Rao Jul 4 '18 at 15:32
  • 3
    @BhargavRao You and the Stack Overflow moderating team do an excellent (and often thankless) job. Thank you, and keep it up. – Bathsheba Jul 4 '18 at 16:28
  • 2
    @BhargavRao I guess "NAA" stands for "Not An Answer" ? I will edit that sentence then. I didn't realize that you would have to deal with hundreds of stuff to moderate at once, I can imagine that after a lot of similar posts it can get confused. – Alef Jul 4 '18 at 16:36
  • 3
    Congratulations, by the way, for the very unusual achievement of posting an nicely-upvoted question on Meta SE that is closed as off-topic and has a single heavily-downvoted answer… we get so many questions that have the opposite voting pattern it's a little tiresome! – Nathan Tuggy Jul 4 '18 at 17:42
  • 1
    @NathanTuggy: Yes, refreshing indeed. Strange things happen on Meta. Should be a badge. A sort of Reversal Reversal. – Bathsheba Jul 4 '18 at 18:45
  • 1
    @Bathsheba Black Reversal perhaps. :-) – Shadow Jul 5 '18 at 8:34
12

You did nothing wrong, this is what happened:

You self answered with a bold title

No, it is not working properly.

A random user at Stack Overflow, thought that it was not an answer but instead that you were posting to clarify your own question, hence you should not answer but instead edit the original question. That user raised an NAA (Not an answer) flag on your post.

Moderator responded to flag, they read your answer a bit to quick and clicked to validate the flag which deleted your post.

Bad, bad moderator you need to be more careful. True but they handle hundreds of flags each day, which adds up to a ridiculous amount of work all for free, so let's forgive this mistake and instead continue with what you can do to help them out.

now that my answer has been deleted, am I supposed to make a new answer, or am I supposed to edit the deleted answer and somehow ask the moderator to review it for restoring ?

1. Edit your answer

As you did make clear that your answer is an actually answer, the common "answers" that are deleted correctly are answers that are merely a link. Common answers that are deleted incorrectly are rhetorical questions posted as answer. In all cases since someone is not understanding that you are answering a good edit is a perfect option to clarify your answer.

2. Raise a custom moderator flag

On the answer or on any of your own posts, click flag under the post and then select in need of moderator intervention

enter image description here

Moderators will respond to the flag, be patient remember there are thousand of flags in the queue, you can track the state of your flag, visiting your own profile, tab activity, box impact, clicking the helpful flag count, it will direct you to https://stackoverflow.com/users/flag-summary/[userId].

Once the flag is handled you will see the result (helpful, declined, disputed) and a text indicating what the moderator decision was. In your case the outcome should be "helpful" and your post would have been un-delete.

I'm not happy with the outcome, the moderators are still bad!

3. Ask the community, post on meta

This is what you did and it also works as long the community agrees with you, however I would prefer site specific meta that in your case would have been meta.stackoverflow.com, since your answer is on Stack Overflow.

But the moderators have deleted my account/suspended me I can't flag nor post on meta?

4. Contact Stack Overflow

At the end of each page on Stack Exchange there is a contact link, you can use this, but odds are running out that you actually are correct.


was answering myself the correct thing to do in the first place ?

Yes, great work!

  • That sums it up well ! I didn't realize that moderators would have so much flags to process per person, so I don't hold grudge for the false positive now that I know. I guess my biggest problem was to not know about the way the flags work, this should be explained in the link about "why are some answers deleted". I also wasn't aware of meta being site-specific, I thought there was only one. – Alef Jul 5 '18 at 9:22
  • In fact the upvotes on your question shows that this was not expect from you, you already showed in your question that you had studied deleted-answers. Whether or not "why are some answers deleted" should be modified, you need to raise another specific meta related to this, maybe instead we could add some information about this in the community-faq – Petter Friberg Jul 5 '18 at 9:37
  • I also checked the link to the community-faq, but didn't read it fully, because it seemed really focused on how deletion happens, and not on "what should I do now that I got deleted ?". Is the page help/deleted-answers shared across all of Stackexchange, or is it site-specific ? (to know in which meta I should post) – Alef Jul 5 '18 at 9:50
  • I will ask for some advice, since I'm mostly a Stack Overflow user. – Petter Friberg Jul 5 '18 at 10:14
  • 1
    @Alef help/deleted-answers is network-wide. Also, the community FAQ has already included "How can I undelete one of my posts?". – Meta Andrew T. Jul 5 '18 at 10:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .