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A new user asked a question and I commented to ask for clarification. The question later disappeared from the home page. My comment disappeared from my user page. The question was not listed under deleted questions in the moderation tools. All of that points to the user having deleted the question.

With a link to the page, I could view it and see what happened. But all trace of it vanished. I couldn't find a view or dashboard where user-deleted questions could be listed. Closed and deleted questions are listed on the OP's user page, but I didn't remember who the OP was.

I finally remembered that new questions get reported on the site's main chat page. That message was still there and provided a link to the question (the user had deleted it).

Other than the notification in chat, is there a way to find a link to user-deleted questions?

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    That's a hot tip for searching recently deleted posts. i usually resort to looking at my browser's history page. If you have earned the necessary privilege (>20K) you can view recently deleted posts under review queues/ tools, but that only works for posts that have been deleted within 48 hours (at least I haven't found a way to view deleted posts that are older than that). Apr 9, 2022 at 6:49
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    @Mari-LouAСлаваУкраїні, user-deleted posts aren't listed in the tools. But your browser history idea is brilliant. Why don't you add that as an answer? Oh, too late, Glorfindel already added it. :-)
    – fixer1234
    Apr 9, 2022 at 6:59
  • Glorfindel's answer looks complete to me, but I have to wonder: why does it matter? If the post is self-deleted, you don't need to do anything else. Your job as a moderator is finished. There's no advantage in wasting your time going to look for it. Apr 9, 2022 at 7:07
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    @CodyGray, I hear you. It was more as an active user looking for potential to keep interesting questions alive on the site. Any clues as to why it was deleted might allow fixing a problem that could affect other posts, or indicate that the question might be salvagable or repostable.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 9, 2022 at 7:23
  • @Mari-LouAСлаваУкраїні When I want to find deleted posts which are not shown among the recent deletions (in the 10k tools), I often try using SEDE. (I have posted some queries in a comment to Glorfindel's answer.) Of course, this is more relevant for regular user's - it seems that this question is about a moderator searching for a deleted post.
    – Martin
    Apr 9, 2022 at 9:29

2 Answers 2

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There are several options:

  • You can browse your browser history.

  • When you know when the question was posted, you can look for posts posted around the same time, note down their IDs and try to figure out what the ID of the deleted question must be and just try the URL. For example, this question's URL starts with https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/377827 and the previous post before it (a spam post) is here: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/377826. This only works if you have 10k reputation to view deleted posts. It works well on small and medium-size sites; on large sites you might be in for a long search.

  • As a ♦ moderator, it's much simpler; you can just search for deleted:1 (and perhaps some content from the question). That returns self-deleted posts as well.

  • The chat trick you describe works too, but only for the few sites that have this RSS feed set up.

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  • Thanks. I didn't think of the deleted:1 search (too used to it being limited to your own posts). :-)
    – fixer1234
    Apr 9, 2022 at 6:57
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    For regular users the attempts to try URLs one by one may be simplified by using SEDE - so that one only tries the posts that actually are deleted. (With the usual caveat that SEDE is only updated once a week.) For example, one can try recently deleted posts or posts deleted within some date range. I have posted a few other similar queries on Mathematics Meta: ....
    – Martin
    Apr 9, 2022 at 9:24
  • .... Are there some tools to follow deletions on this site? (When I tried to look among posts tagged deleted-questions+search, I did not find some posts with tips for regular users on searching among deleted posts which aren't their own.)
    – Martin
    Apr 9, 2022 at 9:26
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    Given that @fixer1234 left a comment on the post and is a moderator, they could search through their own comments for the comment they left using the /admin/users/<user ID>/post-comments page for themselves. Obviously, it would help if they remember some of the content of the comment, so they could use the search feature, but they could also just manually look through their comments for the appropriate one. Assuming they posted the comment recently, even looking through them manually shouldn't be that bad.
    – Makyen
    Apr 9, 2022 at 15:52
  • @Makyen, OK, finally figured out how to get to that page. Thanks.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 9, 2022 at 18:43
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I believe there’re some other options:

  • There’s an option to find recently self-deleted posts: /admin/recently-self-deleted

  • if you left an upvote, a downvote or closed the question, it would appear in your activity > votes with a pinkish background:

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  • Thanks. Looks like the direct link is a well kept secret. It appears to be off the moderator tools, but there isn't an obvious way to get to it through the web page.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 9, 2022 at 8:48
  • Well, @fix, maybe it could be reached from /admin? I’m no mod so I can’t check
    – nicael
    Apr 9, 2022 at 9:03
  • /admin is the moderator dashboard. Maybe 10K or 20K users can access the recently-self-deleted page if they know the direct link because they have the privileges.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 9, 2022 at 9:17
  • @fix nope, for example here I can’t see that “recently self deleted” page
    – nicael
    Apr 9, 2022 at 9:18
  • @fixer1234 The Recently Self-Deleted Posts link is the third from the top under "Informative Pages" on the Admin Links page.
    – Makyen
    Apr 9, 2022 at 15:46
  • @Makyen, I totally missed that. Thanks.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 9, 2022 at 17:47

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