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Several times in the past few days I've seen the Community user on SO flag a user with the following message:

Possible vandalism of own posts; multiple deletions in a short time

Each time that I've seen it, it's been a user who is deleting their own redundant zero-upvote answers. Can you tweak the algorithm slightly so answers with less than one upvote don't count towards tripping this flag?

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    +1 if no one finds them useful, why care if they're deleted. Is it possible to delete a 0-voted accepted answer? If so, you'd want to account for that and not omit that from the algorithm.
    – tvanfosson
    Commented Mar 12, 2011 at 18:06
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    @tvanfosson: Good point, accepted answers should definitely count. "Anything someone else found useful" should be the rule of thumb. Commented Mar 12, 2011 at 18:10
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    So we're limited to 5 per day and we raise a flag? Commented Mar 12, 2011 at 18:15
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    @Henk: You can only delete 5 of your own posts a day? Commented Mar 12, 2011 at 18:18
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    Bill: Yes, "You have already deleted 5 of your own posts today; further deletes are blocked" Commented Mar 12, 2011 at 18:20
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    @Henk: Ah, I didn't know about that. I can see from your profile that it's not because you have low rep either. To answer your question, yes you do currently trip a flag when you do that. ...and in this case, coincidentally, I do mean you. :) Commented Mar 12, 2011 at 18:23
  • @Henk -- good to know.
    – tvanfosson
    Commented Mar 12, 2011 at 18:40
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    @Bill: and @Henk still currently trips a flag... No news on this issue?
    – Joris Meys
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 22:57
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    @Joris: No news yet. We get several of these flags a day on SO, and most of those are the kind that I'd like to filter out. It is a tiny percentage of overall flags each day though. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 23:56
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    @Bill OK thx. Just wondering.
    – Joris Meys
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 8:20

2 Answers 2

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With my own experiences with this flag, this is the algorithm I'd like to see.

Assuming that the current algorithm detects a possible deletion of answers vandalism case, it should perform the following checks. If they all pass, then the flag should be put in the queue:

  • None of the answers are marked as accepted (this should not be tripped as accepted answers should only be able to be deleted by a moderator)
  • None of the answers have a positive vote tally (meaning total votes are 0 or less, this could be turned into a zero or negative-only vote if that makes sense)
  • The answers are not the only answer on a question

More often than not, this flag has wasted my time, as the conditions above are almost always fulfilled and the user is not taking anything of quality from the system.

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    This makes a lot more sense than the other answer on this question.
    – Flexo
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:17
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    @awoodland I've flagged it for moderator attention, since it's actually more than a rant and offers no real solution.
    – casperOne
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:20
  • Those all sound like good criteria. I'd guess that about 99% of the time I dismiss this flag while taking no action. They're still a small proportion of the flags we get on SO, but I have noticed that it's on the rise. Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:20
  • @BilltheLizard Some of us do our duties and don't just blow flags away that might actually mean something =P
    – casperOne
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:21
  • Would it be worth adding some kind of criteria that reflected how many times they'd done max deletes recently too? So that deleting 50% of your answers in 5 days still gets flagged up.
    – Flexo
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:21
  • @casperOne Clarification: I do still look at the flagged posts before dismissing the flag. :) Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:24
  • @yoda Yep, fixed again, thank you. I wish they'd just give me the code already so I could code it in, since we're doing all the heavy lifting for them.
    – casperOne
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:29
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Being the slowest gun of the mid-west, this new quota is a major annoyance to me. Ignored and un-upvoted answers suck. I'll put up with the ridiculously low number of badges, no problem. Hundreds of zero vote answer marks, that bites. But dammit, allow me to put that answer in my back pocket for another time that intersects better with the attention span at SO. It doesn't do anybody any good trailing at the bottom of question number million and one.

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    This probably should be a separate feature request post. I do think the system should let users delete as many of their own 0-voted posts as they want, which is separate from the Community flag issue that moderators are seeing. Commented May 11, 2012 at 15:22

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