I recently viewed a question that was nearly identical to a question I have (requesting AppleScript solutions), and there were at least three helpful responses.

My question is essentially the same--except I need one line added to the previously posted solutions. So I posted a reply, asking if anyone knew how to modify the previous solutions in that small way. But my question was deleted.

How does deleting a subsequent question help anyone? Whom does it benefit? Conversely, how would leaving a question like mine in place hurt anyone?

Like anyone else, I'm just looking for a solution to a problem. I find an existing thread that contains 99% of the solution I seek, and I'm simply seeking the last 1%. But that's not a valid question?

This frankly seems like a ridiculous, illogical system, and I'd like to know in what ways this practice benefits readers or seekers of information.

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    Welcome to Meta Stack Exchange! As this question is about a situation on one specific site in the Stack Exchange network, unfortunately, we have to mark this question as "off-topic" for this site. Each site has a per-site meta where you can ask questions about that site, which can be accessed through the site switcher on the top right corner. Questions on this site, Meta Stack Exchange, are expected to relate to the entire SE network as a whole, not just one specific site. Sep 26, 2019 at 20:05
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    Did you post your question as an answer to the previous question? It sounds like you did and as your question was not an answer it was, correctly, removed from the space for answers. I highly suggest that you take the time to understand how the sites work, this is NOT a forum where you reply to posts, it is a question and answer site. You can find the help link in the top right of any site, there is even a nice guided tour you can take.
    – Mark Kirby
    Sep 26, 2019 at 20:23
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    The practice ensures that answers are answers. They solve the problem. The network was created as an answer to the classical sprawling forum threads where you didn't know whether you'd find an answer, someone else chiming in, "Me, too!", or just random cruft not at all related to the issue.
    – fbueckert
    Sep 26, 2019 at 20:31
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    Possible duplicate of What should each flag be used for? Sep 26, 2019 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


There's nothing stopping you from asking a question and referencing the original question in it while describing how your question differs from that. That's not only a valid question but it shows research. One of the reasons to downvote is asking a question that shows no research and so you're already on track to avoid that fate. In fact better than that, the upvote tooltip says "this question shows research".

Doing things that way you will result in getting answers that go with your question. With your way there's no real place to put answers, or reward those people that might write answers if they have to do so via comments under your answer. If they add extra answers that answer your "question in an answer" how will anyone know which answers go with the original question and which go with your question?

Fundamentally this is a Q&A site and this is one of the crucial ways that such a site differs from a forum.


How does deleting a subsequent question help anyone? Whom does it benefit? Conversely, how would leaving a question like mine in place hurt anyone?

Stack Exchange is a network of Question & Answer sites. If you have a question no one asked before, you can ask it and hopefully get answers to it. If someone asked it before and received good answers, you already have the solution right there and needn't ask a new one.

This benefits everyone looking for solutions to their problems, or answers to their questions if you will. Answers to questions are answers, not other questions. Imagine you had a question and found an identical one, but the "answers" wouldn't be answers but new questions. That's not so helpful. And that's not what SE is optimized for (rating posts according to their usefulness, for example. Take the tour to find out more).

But that's not a valid question?

It may very well be a valid question, but it's in the wrong place. Questions should be questions, and answers answers. If you have a new question, post it as a question. This way, SE stays organized and useful to most people.

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