7

Consider these questions (I'm sure there's way more examples, but I was a firsthand witness to these two; feel free to edit if you have more):

In both, the asker (a different person in each) posted the question, got an answer, and then quickly deleted the question once they were satisfied with the answer (presumably because it was for a take-home exam or something else that they didn't want their teachers to know they'd asked about, especially given this other question that's an exact duplicate of the second). Being reasonable questions with useful answers, they were then undeleted (one by a moderator, and the other by the community). However, in both cases, the asker then deleted the question again, requiring the community or a moderator to undelete it a second time.

Should we prevent this behavior? I think it would be reasonable to make users' delete-hammers only work once per question (refunded if they choose to undelete their question themself). Users agree that they release whatever they post under an irrevocable free license, so they shouldn't get to remove content after the community decides that they'd like to keep it.

6

If the author re-deletes their question after receiving an answer and having their question undeleted by the community or moderators, flag it for a moderator, and they can lock the question, which will prevent the author from deleting it again, and issue a suspension if the user continues to do it.

Alternatively, if you end up being a first-hand witness to it, you can go ahead and upvote the answer, which will prevent the author from deleting the question.

I don't think that this is a widespread issue that requires an explicit technical measure against, and I can think of a few legitimate cases where it should be allowed (e.g. with answers, as well as on Meta, etc.)

You might be interested in this feature request: Disallow deletion of questions for 24 hours after last answer was posted

  • 4
    Wouldn't locking the question be really heavy-handed? Doesn't that prevent a lot more than just self-deletion, such as any new answers? – Joseph Sible-Reinstate Monica Nov 29 at 2:14
  • @JosephSible-ReinstateMonica Yes. But considering this is basically an edit-war, a lock is the appropriate action. – Mast Nov 29 at 11:26

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