I don't get annoyed often, but this just has. I put time into a question, writing (tested) functions and trying to understand a users question that the user was trying to ask (because I failed to grasp fully the problem when I first wrote my answer).

I wrote a couple of things, came back to it and wrote a better function (the one the user probably wanted) only to find that between the time I started writing the function and finished, the user had deleted the question. Half the annoyance is that I have some better code that would fit the users requirements exactly.

Can we lower the upvotes required to 1 (someone posted a answer that someone else though was worth something) rather than what it is now (~2?).

  • What was the title of the question? I can't find any questions on the 10K tools page that you've answered that were recently deleted. Would be helpful to get some context - I'd post a link to the question if I could find it (though admittedly it'd only be visible to 10kers). Jan 25, 2010 at 15:41
  • @Dominic: I found it - since it was self-deleted, had to look in the old list (stackoverflow.com/tools/recently-deleted?page=3)
    – Shog9
    Jan 25, 2010 at 15:51
  • @Yacoby - fwiw, I've voted to undelete it. Jan 25, 2010 at 16:03
  • 2
    @Yacoby - your question is now undeleted, and has 2 votes, so can't be deleted by the OP. Jan 25, 2010 at 17:21
  • Many Thanks. I have done some tweaking so it reads better as well.
    – HAL 9000
    Jan 25, 2010 at 17:34

3 Answers 3


One possible remedy for your specific situation:

If you already have a well-crafted answer to a deleted question, why don't you repost your own version of the question (and your answer)? You can add a brief disclaimer as to where the question originated, if that makes you feel better.

  • It's a good suggestion (+1), but requires you to notice that the user deleted their question. Jan 25, 2010 at 15:44

I don't understand why users can delete their own questions at all. What about only ever giving users the right to vote to delete their questions, just like is currently possible with close?

If users really want to disassociate themselves from dumb things they've asked, then they should flag the question for moderator attention (at which point perhaps it could become owned by the Community user).

I totally understand why you're annoyed by that question being deleted - I'd be annoyed if I put as much effort into an answer as you clearly did, only to have it purged from the record (and not viewable by you, since you're not - yet - at 10K).

  • that is how it works, once the question has (n) answers and/or (n) upvotes. Jan 25, 2010 at 16:46
  • @Jeff - Edited to clarify what I meant. Jan 25, 2010 at 16:49
  • 1
    I like the idea of a user being able to (or ask a moderator to) disassociate themselves from a question. A lot of things the user may view as dumb, but other people view as a legitimate question. (I have asked a few questions that as soon as someone pointed out the answer I felt stupid)
    – HAL 9000
    Jan 25, 2010 at 17:08
  • What about questions that are not really a question? I am thinking about questions like 'why can I not declare private local variables in Java?' I read that yesterday, guess what you can. Chances are that the person that asked misinterpreted and created a question that makes no sense at all as a question... does it really add value to others? Maybe it does... Jan 26, 2010 at 11:23

It's really easy to get an up-vote. You can write a good-looking answer and get an up-vote. Probably more than one, but there does need to be some sort of compromise between users wanting to delete questions they realize aren't going anywhere and answer authors wishing to preserve their work.

Right now, the question author can override one voter, while answer authors can override any number of voters, opting to remove their answers at any time unless that answer has been accepted. Putting the question deletion threshold at a single up-vote makes this system entirely too harsh on users - especially new users who are still getting used to how SO works - who belatedly realize they've asked a question that they maybe shouldn't have.

If it was easier to disassociate a question from a user, then this might be less of a concern, but as you've seen here, it is still possible to salvage questions that do have some value - rarely is anything ever truly deleted on SO. I think the system should stay as it is.

  • Deleting a answer only messes with my answer. It is not as if I am deleting a load of other answers along with it. For the most part reputation ensures that very few answers with upvotes are deleted. (Not to say I don't delete upvotes answers, but it is rare).
    – HAL 9000
    Jan 27, 2010 at 12:27
  • You are probably right, but I dislike putting a lot of effort into an answer to have the question deleted which was why the strong reaction. I still think having a way to disassociate the question from the asker and having a button to flag to a moderator to delete a post is a better idea. However, it is in my mind a low priority and the are far more important things that need to be done.
    – HAL 9000
    Jan 27, 2010 at 12:27
  • Although it would be nice to have a better way to allow SO to keep to the terms of the CC licence than to have to flag a moderator to do it. (The right to have a users name removed from a work). Sorry about the number of comments. I kept running out of space.
    – HAL 9000
    Jan 27, 2010 at 12:30

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