The new follow feature for questions is great.
I changed my workflow for questions without enough information to:

  • Leave a comment about what information I am missing.
  • Vote to close for "requires more focus".
  • If it is a bad question, downvote.
  • Follow the question

Following the question allows me to give fast feedback when the asker edits the question, retract my downvote, and if the question has been closed in the meantime, vote to reopen it. Wish it would only notify me for things the asker do, but that's a small nitpick.

But sometimes op doesn't listen, and edit a question that can not reproduced with just an other "but it's not working for me" Example (deleted, SO)

Now I still receive notifications on that question. It was deleted 6 hours ago, and edited by the asker 5 hours ago, for which I received a notification.
And I don't see a point following that question any longer - the asker doesn't listen to what others and I have said, and instead opted to make minuscule edits to game the system get attention.

But I don't see an Unfollow button on the deleted question. So: How do I unfollow that question?

No unfollow here


Now there is a tab on my profile, showing me the posts I follow, including deleted ones. Which is nice I guess.

Deleted Posts have even a "unfollow" button that displays the following error message when I click it:

This post has been deleted; deleted posts can't be voted on

  • 1
    Apparently, when the next phase is implemented it is claimed that you will be able to unfollow using a Tab on your Profile - how you would see a deleted question is something to be addressed in the status-review on this Bug report; as one might still wish to follow a deleted question because some people can see them, they can be undeleted, and moderators can comment on them regardless. – Rob Apr 13 '20 at 16:15
  • Yeah, I did not suggest that it would mean that the system would unfollow me automatically when the question is deleted - in fact, for my use case, this would be counter-productive. But there needs to be a way to opt out at some point. And in my use case, I don't really need the tab. I tried a similar workflow with favorite questions before. But that did not work out, as I would have to manually check if something changed. My use case might not be exactly what they imagined when developing that feature, that's why I did go into that much details. And it works for me™. – Johannes Kuhn Apr 13 '20 at 16:21
  • My comment caused the link in it to make this question linked to the announcement. Yaakov has not favored auto-follow, so perhaps auto-unfollow is also not planned; in any event The Follow Tab™ is coming. Favs are blue-highlighted on Profile, probably Follow too – Rob Apr 13 '20 at 16:46
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    Regardless of being automatic or not, if you've followed something, there's no reason to prevent you from unfollowing it, even if deleted. – Catija Apr 13 '20 at 17:14
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    @Rob Just FYI: When you can see deleted posts the "following" text is visible, clickable, and the message indicating the user wants to change the status is sent to the backend. However, SE's backend rejects the "vote" (following a post is implemented as a type of vote). So, even if you can see deleted posts, you can't actually unfollow them. – Makyen Apr 13 '20 at 21:55
  • @Makyen You mean if you had, by any chance, the window open before the post is deleted? – Johannes Kuhn Apr 13 '20 at 22:33
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    I have > 10k rep, and I don't see it. See screenshot above. - Ok, button "follow" appears on deleted answers, but not on deleted questions (Take any deleted question with answers. Each answer has a follow button) – Johannes Kuhn Apr 13 '20 at 22:40
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    Weirdly I realised I likely want the opposite of this - I want to be able to follow deleted posts. Sometimes I only load a post after it was just deleted. I'd want to know if it gets undeleted. – VLAZ Apr 14 '20 at 9:52
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    Faced with the similar issue when attempt to unfollow deletd post from "Following" tab. @Catija Totally agree with your point, we should have an ability to unfollow any post – Pavel Anikhouski Jun 13 '20 at 11:11
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    Ha ha I saw the buttons but they don't work on deleted posts. I should have tried it before commenting. – philipxy Jun 13 '20 at 11:24
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    It seems the unfollow button now works for the deleted posts present in the "following" tab in the profile. Interestingly, there still no unfollow button on the deleted posts which is fine by the way. – Kulfy Jun 27 '20 at 21:24
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    @Kulfy "which is fine" Well, now that I unfollowed a deleted post to test, I can't follow it again. – philipxy Jun 28 '20 at 0:42
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    @Kulfy Deleted posts can be edited & can be undeleted. Eg by the poster. A poster might delete to avoid downvotes, then edit, then undelete. Deleted answers show a follow/unfollow button that seems to work. But questions don't have a button. – philipxy Jun 28 '20 at 8:11
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    Turns out that deleted answers had the follow/unfollow by mistake. But, no matter. We're adding it to deleted questions as well. I'll post an answer here when the change goes in. In the meantime, unfollowing is possible from the user profile as noted in previous comments. – Adam Lear Aug 5 '20 at 22:33
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    Regression? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/354289/… – tripleee Sep 21 '20 at 8:07

Turned out that the "follow" link showing up on deleted answers was an accident, but... let's call it a happy accident because now we're also showing it on deleted questions. :)

Going forward, you should be able to unfollow deleted posts from both the question page itself and from the "Following" tab on your user profile.

Thanks for the report!

  • Thanks. Any intention to allow following deleted posts as well? A use case for that is content moderation - undo your delete vote for example. – Johannes Kuhn Aug 10 '20 at 18:52
  • @JohannesKuhn You can, so long as you can see the post in the first place. We don't send notifications for posts being deleted or undeleted at the moment, but I believe that's somewhere on the backlog. – Adam Lear Aug 10 '20 at 18:58

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