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When an old question gets a new spam answer, that answer gets deleted quickly and the question gets bumped to the home page. Only users with 10,000 reputation can tell why that question is listed as "recently active."

  • There is no indication on the page that there are deleted answers unless you have 10k rep
  • There is no indication in the timeline that there are deleted answers unless you have 10k rep

To users with less than 10k reputation, it looks like something's wrong with the system. One user recently asked about it in the Webmasters meta: What triggers “active today” with no apparent activity?

To solve this, I'd propose one of the following:

  • The question page has public messaging below the non-deleted answers: "An answer was deleted 10 hours ago." Maybe with a link to documentation that gives a list of reasons that answers might be deleted.
  • The question timeline shows answer deletions publicly, not just to 10k users. The public doesn't need to see which user posted the answer or who deleted it, just that an answer was deleted.
  • The home page only show such questions to users with 10k rep.
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  • 1
    Well there is a give away. Take for example this question which is currenlty in the active list on MSE. 22 hours ago, modified by community. This is the giveaway that an answer was deleted.
    – Luuklag
    Sep 28 '20 at 9:54
  • unless the answer was self deleted ofcourse.
    – Luuklag
    Sep 28 '20 at 9:56
  • 3
    "modified by community" can mean several things. In addition to an answer deleted, it might mean that an anonymous edit was accepted, or that the question was bumped by community. Yes there are clues as to which of those it actually was, but unless you know the system quite well it isn't going to be easy to figure out. Sep 28 '20 at 10:49
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    There is also another clue. If I click on "active today" in the question that Luukiag linked, I get taken to /questions/96440/what-stack-exchange-site-is-appropriate-to-ask-questions-about-virus-removal/354648#354648 via /questions/96440/what-stack-exchange-site-is-appropriate-to-ask-questions-about-virus-removal/354648?lastactivity even as a user with less than 10k rep. The ?lastactivity URL must be doing some user agent sniffing because get a 404 error from it with curl on the command line unless I also spoof the user agent. Sep 28 '20 at 11:00
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    If it said: "X answers and Y deleted answers Z minutes ago" that would certainly tell you more - and there's room on the line. --- Why we do: meta.stackexchange.com/a/120352/282094 and meta.stackexchange.com/a/43550/282094
    – Rob
    Sep 29 '20 at 2:35
  • @Rob feel free to edit your proposal into my list in the question. That sounds like a good solution too. Just say where you think it should go in the page. Are you saying near the top? Sep 29 '20 at 9:30

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