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 Mar 12 '11 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. – Bill the Lizard Mar 12 '11 at 18:10
  • So we're limited to 5 per day and we raise a flag? – Henk Holterman Mar 12 '11 at 18:15
  • @Henk: You can only delete 5 of your own posts a day? – Bill the Lizard Mar 12 '11 at 18:18
  • Bill: Yes, "You have already deleted 5 of your own posts today; further deletes are blocked" – Henk Holterman Mar 12 '11 at 18:20
  • @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. :) – Bill the Lizard Mar 12 '11 at 18:23
  • @Henk -- good to know. – tvanfosson Mar 12 '11 at 18:40
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    @Bill: and @Henk still currently trips a flag... No news on this issue? – Joris Meys Jun 9 '11 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. – Bill the Lizard Jun 9 '11 at 23:56
  • @Bill OK thx. Just wondering. – Joris Meys Jun 10 '11 at 8:20

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 May 11 '12 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 May 11 '12 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. – Bill the Lizard May 11 '12 at 15:20
  • @BilltheLizard Some of us do our duties and don't just blow flags away that might actually mean something =P – casperOne May 11 '12 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 May 11 '12 at 15:21
  • @casperOne Clarification: I do still look at the flagged posts before dismissing the flag. :) – Bill the Lizard May 11 '12 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 May 11 '12 at 15:29

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. – Bill the Lizard May 11 '12 at 15:22

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