Users should not be able to undelete answers that are deleted by Moderators. I unknowingly undeleted my answer to a question that had been deleted by a moderator.

For instance, this answer was deleted by Rebecca, and I wanted to 'vote' to undelete it, not knowing that as the answer owner, I'm able to undelete it even if a moderator deletes it.

This behavior seems counter-intuitive.

If a moderator deletes an answer, it should only be undelete-able in two cases:

  • Community overrules moderator (x number of people vote to undelete it)
  • A moderator undeletes the post.

This is a feature request to remove the ability of a user to undelete a post that was deleted by a moderator. The other was just a question.

  • 1
    See also Lock posts by default, when deleted by a moderator? But: I think that is NOT what is being asked above. Above, a stricter voting to undelete is suggested when a post has been deleted by a moderator?
    – Arjan
    Feb 1, 2011 at 16:46
  • 2
    @Arjan correct, I'm saying something different. I think there should be community involvement in overreaching moderators (right now that happens if a moderator closes a question and 5 people vote to re-open it, so it's 'expected' behavior), and that's why I suggested what I did above. In either case, while the OP can vote to undelete their post (also current system behavior) but they cannot unilaterally undelete something deleted by another. Feb 1, 2011 at 16:48
  • 1
    As Grace pointed out, there isn't a mechanism for community voting on answer deletion, so maybe we should defer this discussion until that's implemented? (Not sure if that's an 'if' or a 'when' feature.)
    – Jon Seigel
    Feb 1, 2011 at 17:36
  • @Jon Seigel I've clarified what I'm actually requesting as a feature request. I wasn't actually asking for the SO crowd to implement community voting for moderator. Feb 1, 2011 at 17:44
  • Okay, let me rephrase: in the context of this feature request, I think it makes a big difference if the community is able to override a moderator's decision. That being said, I don't necessarily disagree. Maybe if a post can't be unilaterally undeleted twice by the owner. I'm not sure how big of a problem this is, though.
    – Jon Seigel
    Feb 1, 2011 at 17:48
  • @Jon Contextually speaking, that problem is rare if not nonexistent for answers because the first improper undeletion will typically result in locking and talking.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 1, 2011 at 17:49

3 Answers 3


This has been implemented.


There was actually a short discussion on chat about this recently. It should be noted that 10k users can't actually vote to undelete answers in the first place, so the first case scenario would actually have to be implemented.

Perhaps it is trusting of me, but I find that the current behavior is acceptable. In most cases that I have observed, users seem more comfortable confronting the deletion by a Meta post than to engage in an effective delete-undelete war. Most users are responsible enough and don't really abuse this avenue.

And if things do turn south, we do maintain the ability to lock a deleted answer if there is actually a risk. Since only moderators can delete and undelete other users' answers in the first place, we'll always have the option to lock and stop any war of reversal. It's not something that will stagnate without getting proper attention.


I find the current behavior great, actually.

Moderator deletes an answer. In rare cases where it's not obvious why it was deleted, they sometimes leave a comment.

Only rarely will a user undelete it - but if they see that it's deleted, and they read the comment, they now have the opportunity to fix it and undelete it.

If users are repeatedly undeleting stuff that should have remained deleted, then a lock should be used.

Though I'm curious how bad a problem this is - how many bad answers are moderators deleting daily, and how many of them are being undeleted by their owners with no modification?

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