Something I've noticed on a lot of SE sites outside the largest ones is that often moderators comment on NAAs without actually deleting them straight away. This is an example I flagged five hours ago and I've redacted the site / moderator because it doesn't really relate to any particular site or moderator:


I can understand why say for a link-only answer a moderator may wish to give them time to improve the answer, but for a total non-answer from my understanding once a moderator deletes a post and leaves a comment the OP can still see that comment and still gets a ping message related to the comment?

Perhaps a moderator can clarify if my assumptions are correct and if so this might be a useful reference post for new moderators on handling total non-answers.

  • 3
    Any reason to not post this on the site this answer was on, so that the moderator there can give you the specific reasons they didn't? You're probably more likely to reach them on their site meta anyways, as not every moderator watches this meta... If you want general reasons I can give you some, but they'd be my reasons and they might not be applicable to this specific example...
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Oct 12, 2020 at 12:10
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    @Tinkeringbell Mainly because I've seen this across maybe a dozen or so sites, so a general reason would be fine I wasn't after a specific reason for this one.
    – PeterJ
    Oct 12, 2020 at 12:16
  • Okay! I gave you some generic reasons :)
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Oct 12, 2020 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


Well, the main general reasons I may do this:

  • I'm flagging a post and putting up a comment, then leaving it up to the community to do the actual deleting through the queue because doing so encourages participation and possibly allows people some easy points towards review badges.
  • Putting something that should obviously be deleted can be used to filter out bad reviewers, if you keep track of the review tasks.
  • It prevents complaints about overbearing moderators deleting everything. If I don't see any pressing reason to outright delete it myself (like it having a positive score), leaving deleting to the community will give me the argument that 'it wasn't me who deleted it, it was three or six others all agreeing this should be gone'.

And one that's a bit less applicable to total non-answers like the one you screenshotted, but perhaps applicable to things that may one day be salvaged:

  • I want to leave open the option of it being undeleted by someone other than a moderator. Deleting things as a moderator will prevent the community or an OP from voting to undelete their own posts.

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