When something of yours is deleted (answers, comments, questions, Area 51 proposals) it would be nice to get some kind of notice other than just not being able to find it anymore. You receive notices for everything else that can be done to something of yours, and often relating to something of yours, so why not this?

I've never had anything moved that I know of, but if that doesn't send you a notice I'd say it should too.

If you don't know that this has happened, then one might be tempted to think there was some user or software errors and just post again.

  • 2
    It happened to me today. I published a question and afterwards discovered a bug. My question got deleted. I don't know what happened after my last edit. I totally agree with you that SE should notify that a post is being deleted and why. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/95705/…
    – GUI Junkie
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 22:40
  • 2
    Same happened with me at stackoverflow.com. A notification would surely be beneficial.
    – Vivek
    Commented Dec 15, 2011 at 9:32
  • This is now more important, mostly to get a reason for the deletion, now that deleted posts are listed in your rep history.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 1:45
  • It would at least be nice to receive such a notification when a question I've answered is deleted. Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 16:51
  • 48h grace period for deleted posts (proposed and explained here) seems to strike a tempting balance between keeping things as is ("not notified") for posters who don't care and providing an unobtrusive opportunity to learn / recover for those who seriously want it
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 8:30
  • Ive posted a question, Someone answered (commented) & I answered theior comment. now, my original query is there, but NO comments. i've received no notifications of anything. How would people know what i've replied to their comments ?
    – sarah
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 7:15
  • 1
    i asked a question at 2018apr5 in physics se. it has received -2 votes on same day. only today i have discovered that it is deleted. so, i think there is a factor to consider: users do not expect deletion, while, maybe, admins and moderators think it as natural. for me, -2 votes did not mean that my question was going to be deleted.
    – qdinar
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 21:39
  • if i received a notification, i think i would immediately press undelete or post the question on quora. now, i feel angry towards se.
    – qdinar
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 21:44

4 Answers 4


I'm in favor of this.

However, note that most deletions will be either done by you or a moderator. If a mod deleted your question or answer, you likely are a help vampire or a 1 rep user posting a "Me too! Send mee teh codez!". One could counter argue that those users would serve no purpose and would be a waste of CPU cycles.

I think the counter argument is that even with silly me-too-as-an-answer responses, the votes are valid representations of the sentiment that the given question is worthy of attention.

  • 2
    Or you started an onslaught of comments that "disturbed the community" :p Believe it or not, that can happen to reasonable answers. Moving though should give notice. I have a feeling it doesn't but I don't actually know.
    – anon
    Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 17:21
  • 4
    I don’t know… there’s been at least two times that I went to look at an old question on SU I had asked and could not find it. The first one I managed to find (it had a different title that I recalled), but the other one seems to have completely vanished. I have looked in my question list and used the search box, and even used Ask a question, then typed the title in and looked at the similar-questions list. Nothing. Some sort of tracking (ie an email or something) would be good, especially for the ones that aren’t violations since it is even more confusing when it goes missing.
    – Synetech
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 17:46
  • Oops, never mind; the other question was on SF. (Maybe there should be a “master profile”; the one on SE only shows top questions and answers.)
    – Synetech
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 17:56
  • 4
    This problem can be avoided by only providing the notice to users with more than X answers and/or a min of Y rep.
    – eykanal
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 19:21
  • "in mods we trust" ?
    – ripper234
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 7:26
  • 5
    -1 You're basically saying "Good idea.. but let's not do it."
    – bobobobo
    Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 13:27
  • 2
    The problem can also be avoided by adding a checkbox where moderators deleting a question can choose whether or not to inform the poster. If obvious spam, do not inform; if there is a remote possibility that the question may be asked in good faith or the user has non-zero reputation, inform.
    – gerrit
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 8:00
  • @bobobobo Yea, in retrospect, that's what this answer was. I've revised it a little to be more clear.
    – Moshe
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 4:19
  • I support notifications for auto-deletions!
    – clickbait
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 0:23

A deletion notice with the whole question thread would be nice.

Sometimes you would like to refer to your own answer, and if it's been deleted, it'd be nice to still be able to access the text.


I agree a notice should arrive some days before deletion at least for questions that have been opened for some time (let's say more than 30 days)

In this way if you want to save the asnwer to your question on your local environment you can do it.

I don't think new questions should receive an alert prior deletion, cause too many people posts wrong/duplicate questions.

One of my questions was deleted. It has been opened for 1 year!!! And it was deleted with no notice!!! I wasted 30 minutes to search for it in my own questions, once I couldn't find it I started to suspect it could have been deleted. I had to come here on meta to discover the sad truth, questions are deleted with NO prior notice, No alert, NOTHING!

This is disrespectful to the community, to the guy who asks a question and even more to the poor guys that took time to write good answers.

I don't argue about the reason it was deleted, probably not useful, but it was very useful to me, I liked the answers I received and I liked to read them again once in a while. Now I can't do this anymore, and I don't even have a copy of it on my local environment since it was deleted without even sending me an alert.


I'm in favour of this.

While there exists cases where it is a waste of CPU and bandwidth to inform (see answer by Moshe for examples), this can be solved.

As a rule, inform all principal authors affected (by mail, for questions the whole thread,for answers the answer only).

However, don't inform if:

  • question/answer is deleted within two hours of being posted (will eliminate 99 % of the spam),
  • the poster has a rep of 1 (will eliminate the rest of the spam, and a lot of help vampires),
  • the question/answer that is deleted has less then 140 characters of text (will eliminate most of the "me too" posts and other fluff).

(The numbers in the ruleset suggested above can obviously be tweaked if experience shows that other numbers should be used).

AFAIK, deletion don't happen very frequently on the SE sites, so informing about deletion and make sure the contributors have access to their own content will not but undue strain on resources.

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