By pure chance, I was reading this thread at the same time someone was being downvoted heavily and their answer was deleted.

I could still see their answer and even copy/paste the text of their answer.

Given that the answer changed colors and faded, that means it can be adjusted live - presumably by AJAX but that's not important. What is important is that it presumably could have been actually rendered invisible.

My question is, "Is that the desired behavior?"

Notably, should I be able to still view that answer? I do not have 10k+ points, so I shouldn't be able to see deleted posts. In this case, I could see the deleted post.

See? I can see the "answer".

It clearly states that the post is no longer viewable, except I quite clearly can see the post. It had faded a couple of times as it accrued more down votes, but it remained visible.

Also, I use Stylus with a dark style for these sites. That's why it's dark and not the colors you're probably expecting. If I'd disabled the style and refreshed, I'd have not been able to capture the behavior in a screenshot.

I searched and read the various threads about deleted answers and none of them (that I found) answered this question. I'm also not sure what to tag this as. It may be a bug. It may be the intended behavior.

  • 2
    Is it really a problem that it's technically hidden but still visible (until you refresh)? If you managed to read the answer before it was deleted, then you'd still be able to remember it even after the deletion. Not much different from slightly obscuring it. Also, it's trivial to prevent a post from disappearing on the client-side. Moreover, if you subscribe to the RSS feed for questions, for the most part, you'd be able to preserve them even after deletion. With all this available, is there really much benefit from directly deleting answers as you look at them?
    – VLAZ
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 17:56
  • 4
    As I stated in my post, I want to know if that's the expected behavior. It says it's not viewable, but it clearly is. I'm indifferent if it's invisible or not. I don't mind seeing deleted posts. Though someone may want to change the verbiage.
    – KGIII
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 18:02
  • 2
    The AJAX "This post has been deleted" is a relatively new feature. In the past, this used to not show, and only upon manual reload would it be gone. This created confusion because some people would navigate away from a page and come back and wonder why the answer they were viewing was suddenly gone without notification. So they added this feature to make it clear what happened. Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 20:23

1 Answer 1


No, it's not a bug.

You can copy any answer you encounter, paste and save locally on your disk. Then the answer can be accessible to you forever, even if it's deleted from the site. So the concern of "I can see content I should not see" is not relevant, as you already saw it and could have saved it.

Stack Exchange policy, so far, is to not perform reload without the user interaction. That's why new comments don't just auto pop, but rather you see "X new comments, click to load", and same with Active questions page where you see banner telling you there are questions with new activity and only when clicking it they will load into existence.

  • 2
    "Stack Exchange policy, so far, is to not perform reload without the user interaction." That's the answer. Thanks! That is all the explanation needed, though it may be worth looking at a different way to express it, but I can't think of a concise way to replace that text. Maybe someone else can, or maybe it's just not that important.
    – KGIII
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 18:04
  • Also, I thought about this some more. IF they do end up changing the verbiage, it'd be easy to just remove the last part of it. Simply, "This post has been deleted." It has less ambiguity and is a factual statement. However, at the end of the day, it's probably not all that important.
    – KGIII
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 0:29

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