For background, see here and here.

In short, under the "executive privilege undelete rule", the OP is allowed to undelete their own post using a single vote, if some combination of upvotes and answers is present on the question.

I am in favor of this rule. It is a sensible protection; if a question has proven itself to be a popular question, this rule serves as a safety valve against it being bludgeoned to death by the Exclusionists.

However, this question (Revision History)(deleted, requires 10K rep to view) turned into a tennis match, as three users and the OP repeatedly deleted and undeleted the question.

To avoid this problem, I propose the following changes. I know that not everyone will agree with some or all of these changes; I just wanted to offer them up here for discussion.

Here are the proposed changes:

  1. Under the executive privilege rule described above, the OP is allowed to undelete their own post using their single vote once, but only once. If the community still thinks it should be deleted, it should stay deleted.

  2. Users may cast a delete vote only once on the same question. This is already how close votes work. It makes no sense to have an executive privilege undelete, only for it to be cancelled by the same delete votes from the same users.

  3. Community Wiki posts do not get executive undelete privileges, since the post is owned by the community.

  • 1
    +1: I didn't even realize this was an issue, but given that it is, sounds like a reasonable solution.
    – Pops
    May 8, 2010 at 19:48
  • See also Gaming the System with Spam Flags, which details the conclusion to the tennis match.
    – user102937
    May 9, 2010 at 3:33

2 Answers 2


I fully agree with my this proposal. The Community Wiki bit makes perfect sense; if the author asserts that the post should be community owned, then he should have no more say in its deletion/undeletion than anybody else.

Yo-yo deletions/undeletions are obviously rarer than yo-yo close/reopens because they're limited to high-rep users, but they're still a problem when they happen, and this was precisely the reason the close system was changed to one vote per user, and presently the ability of the original author to unilaterally reopen his/her question an unlimited number of times exacerbates the problem significantly.

The other thing I like about the Community Wiki addition is that it might give people more of an incentive to think about whether their question is really appropriate instead of just marking it CW and hoping for the best. If they mark it CW, it might be less likely to be closed, but it would also be more difficult for them to undelete if it gets deleted.

  • Credit goes to Aarobot for these proposals, since they were Aarobot's ideas. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/49159/…
    – user102937
    May 8, 2010 at 20:18
  • Haha thanks... wasn't trying to assert exclusive ownership of the idea with that first sentence, it was meant as tongue-in-cheek, sort of like telling somebody they've got a nice shirt when it's the same one you're wearing. ;)
    – Aarobot
    May 8, 2010 at 22:30

Just for the record, I think that 'exclusionist' misses what seems to be the point of the current tomato-tossing contest.

I would propose the two terms, 'subjectivist' and 'anti-subjectivist'. Obviously, 'objectivist' is taken.

  • Personally, I don't think that inclusionists/exclusionists/subjectivists/anti-subjectivists really exist at all as such. An inclusionist/subjectivist is anybody who has gained rep/badges/upvotes for the question/answer or spent a lot of time crafting a response. Does anyone ever complain about the closure/deletion of questions that they weren't involved in somehow?
    – Aarobot
    May 8, 2010 at 23:06
  • I wasn't involved at all in this question, but I thought it was a good one and I've wondered about it myself. It was attracting some pretty good, well-thought-out answers until it got sledge-hammered.
    – user102937
    May 9, 2010 at 3:05

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