Suppose I know about or find out about a deleted question. I might remember visiting it before it got deleted, or found a reference to it. It may have been deleted for being low quality or having content issues, or maybe the author self-deleted their question.

However, based on what I know, the gist of the question seems on-topic to the site. Should I repost it, if I can format it as a proper question? Or is this advised against?

  • 3
    I think this is a valid question. There was a long-standing feature request I agreed with here on this site, but after the...events that happened last year, the author of that request left this site and deleted all the posts they weren't blocked from deleting. I'm wondering if it's OK to repost that request. Dec 16, 2020 at 22:31
  • @SonictheK-DayHedgehog That's a good example Dec 16, 2020 at 22:31
  • This is the feature request in question. Dec 16, 2020 at 22:32
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    if it's on topic, and not a duplicate, the fact that it was asked and deleted prior doesn't all of a sudden make it invalid.
    – Kevin B
    Dec 16, 2020 at 22:32
  • @SonictheK-DayHedgehog Based on the URL, does it have to do with 10k users seeing the history pages of deleted questions? Dec 16, 2020 at 22:33
  • I was about to make that request myself until I found it in my search. I decided instead to copy-edit and bump that existing request so as to avoid posting a duplicate question, and immediately afterwards, the author (whose name relates to the events of fall 2019) deleted their question. In hindsight, perhaps I should have posted the duplicate, so the author would have been blocked from doing so, but... Dec 16, 2020 at 22:35
  • @BlockofDiamond It has to do with <10k users seeing history pages of deleted questions they've answered. Such users are able to see questions they've answered that were later deleted, but can't view the history of those questions. Dec 16, 2020 at 22:36

3 Answers 3


You're specifically mentioning posting an improved version of the question. I think that could be mostly okay if there is no sign the original asker is still working on improving it.

The only problem I can see is that on some sites, reposting someone else's question might make it more of a 'hypothetical' question, when you aren't having the same/a very similar problem. In that case, it might become hard to clarify the question sufficiently and add details if they are requested, and you might consider waiting with reposting it and instead just hope someone else one day comes along with a similar question.

Note: Sonic, in the comments, mentions wanting to repost a self-deleted feature request. There's no mention of that post needing serious editing or the original being off-topic. I do not think posts should be reposted without significant changes or improvements. Instead, users with sufficient privileges can vote to undelete such posts. Additionally, it sounds like the deletion of this post was part of a self-destructive vandalism spree, in which case a flag should've been raised so that moderators can contact the user, stop the vandalism, and repair any vandalism done.

  • Hard, but probably doable in many circumstances Dec 17, 2020 at 18:40
  • Yeah, as I posted in another comment, there's no need for that to be edited, as I had actually fully copy-edited it right before it was deleted. Dec 17, 2020 at 22:47
  • Re: to the recently closed question as a duplicate of this. Would it be possible to post a link in a new post, and invite users to undelete the 2018 question? This is a simple course of action that has been done several times on EL&U. Aug 15, 2022 at 10:40
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    "The only problem I can see is that on some sites, reposting someone else's question might make it more of a 'hypothetical' question, when you aren't having the same/a very similar problem." Reposting someone else's code is explicitly outlawed on Code Review. For licensing, moral, and procedural reasons, we cannot review code written by other programmers. We expect you, as the author, to understand why the code is written the way that it is.
    – Mast
    Aug 15, 2022 at 18:52
  • @Mast that's indeed a good example of what the answer is trying to explain! I'm thinking most sites don't have codified rules like that, but the thought process can be applied everywhere.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Aug 15, 2022 at 19:10

I would say a critical thing would be the ability to validate the answer.

So - I'd think of the following things, can I somehow attribute the original question or make it my own?

If deleted for quality or content, and your answer is substantially or completely your own and has good quality and content, go for it!

If you have the same problem, and are able to write your own question, and test the validate the answer, there's no reason you can't.

If there are other issues in play - and there's nothing actually wrong with the question...

Would undeletion via flag be viable? - in which case one could fix the original question, and rely on voting to float up the correct answer. If the question is perfectly good, but deleted because of other reasons, it might get messier. I'd suggest asking on local meta for advice if you have a link. Otherwise, just go for your own question.

If the person asking the question is active, and the question was roombaed, undeletion would definitely be the answer

So largely - yes, go ahead and ask your own question on the problem and no one ought to particularly mind.

  • If the question is deleted, how can I flag or request it to be undeleted, if there's no flag menu in the 404 page? Dec 18, 2020 at 2:08
  • In which case its probably fine. If you're 10K+ you can see deleted posts if you have the link. I would say a undeletion request would be something that's a matter of reasonable effort rather than a must. If you can, its nice, else, meh Dec 18, 2020 at 2:10
  • 10k users can view deleted posts, as in they won't see the 404 page, but by if you have the link do you mean that 10k users can't just browse deleted questions? Dec 18, 2020 at 2:11
  • I see, but I'm not a 10k user, so if I find such a question, I should just repost it? Dec 18, 2020 at 2:12
  • If there's a deleted question you can't see, you can't repost it, only your memory of it. Smells a bit like the question is yours now. Dec 18, 2020 at 2:17
  • So what if I post my memory of someone's deleted question that I agreed with or found helpful? Dec 18, 2020 at 2:22
  • This answer mentions "answer" when the OP is focused only on the possibility of reposting/posting a fresh version of a deleted "question" if I can format it as a proper question?. They never mention posting or seeing an answer on the deleted page. Could you edit and clarify, please? Aug 15, 2022 at 10:31
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    Its been 2 years - but if memory serves, the problem with resurrecting a deleted post with a user who's gone is we have no way of telling if their problem was solved. Everything else flows from there. As such starting by talking about the answer(s) was quite intentional. What option (of many!) you go depends on that. Aug 15, 2022 at 10:35
  • The OP speaks about a deleted question, supposedly on a different site from this one, then the answer is surely to post a question on that site's meta and ask for the community's opinions: 1. Post a better and more watertight Q–inspired by the deleted Q (which can only be self-deleted when no answers have been posted or upvoted) 2. Edit/improve the older question and ask the community to undelete it. Aug 15, 2022 at 11:20

Assuming the self-deleted question was posted on a Stack Exchange website but hadn't received any answers, or if it had, none had been upvoted by the community. A user can do several things:

  1. Via chat or in a comment, a user may ask the original poster to undelete their question. If they respond they either agree or disagree. If the user does not reply, we may presume they are not active and/or uninterested.

  2. If the user has in the meantime deleted their account or is no longer an active member, the self-deleted question can be edited and/or significantly improved. The editor may then post a request on the site's meta inviting users to cast their votes to undelete the newly-improved question.

Which is something I have done on EL&U in the past, here and here. This request, posted by a different and hi-rep user, was successful. By the way, not all similar requests succeed.

  1. The user chooses to post the deleted-post anew. By making sure it is on-topic and fits comfortably within the community's standards there ought not to be any obstacles.

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