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I'm a mod on Game Development and today, in chat, a user has asked me to delete something they mistakenly posted as an answer instead of a comment. And so I went ahead and deleted the answer.

But then keeping chatting with them, I realized that they thought that deleting the post themselves would have it go into a queue of some sort until it was "deleted for real" since they still saw the post; they thought that asking a mod to do it instead would "delete it right away". Their confusion seemed to come from the fact that the red background of the deleted post, and red text saying it's deleted did not appear red enough for them, as they were color blind.

Here is an example of what a deleted post looks like on our site:

deleted post example

And running this example through a "colour blind filter" gives something like this:

enter image description here

The rendered output is not the greatest thing ever, but we still can see that the red text is not really red, and depending on the monitor and the surrounding lighting conditions, the now "greyer" background could be harder to distinguish.

I don't know much about colour blindness, but I'm wondering if there is something to be done about this. This is one occurrence of this issue, and I don't know how widespread it is otherwise.


Yes, I have used color blind and colour blind. I could also have used colorblind or colourblind. SEO for the win!

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    I highly doubt there's anything further we do. There are plenty of users who aren't color blind that still contact us to have posts deleted even though they are already deleted. I can't imagine it's actually anything more than just not understanding that we only soft-delete things and that the owner can still always see it in that state. – animuson Apr 27 at 3:26
  • Thanks for the reply. Yeah, aside from adding an icon and/or doing major changes to the UI, I guess there isn't much to do about it. I though I'd mention the issue here, just in case future visitors look for something about it. – Alexandre Vaillancourt Apr 27 at 3:54
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    Maybe someone can patch up a userscript adding a "deleted" mention? – Jenayah Apr 27 at 6:28
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    There's already a mention that its deleted though - which apparently was missed, right at the bottom, so that's not really the issue. – Journeyman Geek Apr 27 at 6:39
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    @JourneymanGeek yes, I guess the red colour of the text is there to bring attention to that text, and not seeing the red is why they missed it? – Alexandre Vaillancourt Apr 27 at 11:03
  • It's still clearly grayed-out. I don't think the red color (or lack thereof) is relevant at all. If we displayed deleted posts in purple, it wouldn't make them any less deleted. – Cody Gray Apr 30 at 3:33
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Although this doesn't apply to answers, questions that are on hold have [on hold] appended to their titles.

on hold

I don't see why questions that are deleted should not have [deleted] appended to their titles. (Granted, this would rarely be seen—but it's always seemed odd to me, for consistency if nothing else, that this isn't done.)


As for all posts in general (including answers which have no titles), we could additionally add [deleted] as an initial line at the top of the body of text—or just prepend it to the start of the first line of text.

If this were somehow done programmatically (or via CSS), then it wouldn't affect people who have self-deleted questions or answers, and who want to edit their titles or text before undeleting them.

Although relatively minor changes, I think these would sufficiently address this particular issue.

Note that while we indicate that the posts are deleted at the bottom of these posts, if they are long posts, that's not something that would be seen at first. Making it more immediately obvious by adding it to the top as well couldn't hurt.

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    It's already at the bottom. Not sure how effective a second copy of the line would be. – John Dvorak Apr 27 at 14:36
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    @JohnDvorak The problem with it being at the bottom is that it is at the bottom. If it's a long answer, it may not be read. If it were also at the top, it would be seen right away. – Jason Bassford Apr 27 at 14:43

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