In the new rules, every 20 upvotes to a question or its answers increases the barrier against deletion by one vote. So if a question has an accumulated score of say 60 points, it needs 6 votes to delete - 3 to start and 3 for the 60 points.

Suppose the question only got 5 delete votes. Then, some user sees the question, and thinks one of the answers is potentially harmful. So he gives it a downvote, which brings the accumulated score to 59 points, and the barrier down to 5.

At this point, the question now has sufficient votes to be deleted. But does it actually get deleted? Is the trigger point the casting of a delete vote (thereby still requiring a sixth vote), or are downvotes able to directly delete popular questions?

Intuitively, since it has 5 delete votes and that is all that is required, it would become deleted. But being ISFP, I'm not one for intuition. Furthermore, there are questions that got more than 30 answers through migration but were not reverted to CW. That question will turn CW once a new answer is provided... which parallels the casting of a 6th delete vote when only 5 are now required. So which way does this work?

  • 2
    I'm assuming deletion would always be triggered only by a vote to delete, but this is a really good question!
    – Jon Seigel
    Jun 18, 2010 at 12:55
  • @Jon I personally hope that is the case, but I can't trust my hopes anymore than I can trust my intuition.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 18, 2010 at 13:31
  • You ask, "is a downvote from someone with 1/100th the reputation enough to take down the question?" But don't forget that an upvote from someone with 1/100th the reputation was all that was keeping it alive in the first place.
    – Aarobot
    Jun 18, 2010 at 14:33
  • @Aarobot Actually, the upvotes need only 15 reputation. In any case, there's a wide gap between "making the executive decision harder" and "making the executive decision". A sister question to mine would be if 10k users could upvote on deleted questions to directly undelete them. Nevertheless, I'm not here to spark some needless reputation debate... so I'll remove the offending content.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 18, 2010 at 15:02
  • Yes, "downvotes are enough to take down popular questions", answer is on this question's timeline (which can't see now), someone downvoted all the answers, got deleted with total 10 delete votes, which originally needed 12 delete votes, IIRC.
    – YOU
    Jun 18, 2010 at 15:30
  • 1
    @S.Mark I can't see that question. If you're certain that the act that caused the deletion was a downvote, please post that as an answer.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 18, 2010 at 15:32
  • @ccomet, I can't see the timeline too (so don't have enough proof to post as an answer), there is detail info about up/downvotes
    – YOU
    Jun 18, 2010 at 15:53
  • @S.Mark I meant I can't see the question at all, I have about 1/4 as much reputation at SO. Second, timeline doesn't tell you when the specific upvotes and downvotes happen, only the day, so it wouldn't be sufficient for determining whether it was a downvote that caused the deletion, or someone casting the 10th vote-to-delete after downvotes reduced the barrier low enough.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jun 18, 2010 at 15:57
  • @ccomet, Imm..., deleted questions cannot be voted on, so can assume that downvotes are done before vote-to-delete.
    – YOU
    Jun 18, 2010 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


According to the scenario that happened here and the linked MSO answer, if the vote score changes such that the current amount of votes are enough to delete a question that previously required an additional vote to delete it, it will not be immediately deleted. Instead, one more vote will be required to delete it.

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