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This isn’t something I’m that bothered about, but there’s been a couple of times I’ve responded to a question recently only to find it deleted (“page not found”) some time later.

Have I just hit on cases where users have simply decided to delete their questions, or were these deleted by moderators for some reason?

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3 Answers 3

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In the last 30 days, the moderators deleted one question directly, the one you referred to. The post, in comparison to user information we cannot share, looked too much like trolling.

We also had two spam questions that were obvious spam and should not be answered. Obvious as in "selling this (link)" or "buy here (link)". Those were nuked directly by moderators, too.

A lot of other questions were deleted (I don't feel like counting, but I would guess twenty to thirty), but those were previously closed by normal user close votes and later deleted by the community bot, because they were heavily downvoted and had no upvoted answers. Since they were closed at least a week before deletion, nobody could have responded right before deletion.

Once you have 10.000 reputation, you gain access to the tools. You can see all this information in there.

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Questions can be deleted in a few different ways. These are discussed in the site "Help center > Asking" topic Why and how are some questions deleted?

Generally, the user who asked the question can delete it under the right circumstances. The user can delete it for any reason, and there is no way to know why they did so.

Also, other users (including the site Moderators) can vote for questions to be deleted.

There is also an automatic mechanism which deletes questions ("roomba").

If you gain enough reputation, you will have the privilege of seeing deleted questions and the reasons they were deleted.

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  • I can understand this for contentious questions, but these ones weren’t particularly out there.
    – Boots
    Dec 20, 2022 at 20:46
  • @Boots: I updated the answer.
    – toolic
    Dec 20, 2022 at 20:56
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    @Boots the OP can always* chose to delete their question. It's not so rare to see someone asking a Q, getting one or two answers, and then deleting the Q for whatsoever reason... as Mods we are also on the watch for Trollish posts and Spam, so those are definitely going to be nuked. As toolic said, there are several reasons and when you get enough rep you'll be able to see deleted posts
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Dec 20, 2022 at 20:59
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In general, it is worth keeping in mind that you (and any registered user, even with low reputation) can indeed see deleted questions they answered. This is a part (or you may call it side effect) of a feature allowing all registered users see all of their own deleted questions and answers.

This feature is implemented in such a way that along with your deleted answer system also shows you the question you answered, even if it is deleted (which makes pretty good sense if you think of it).

I just checked this with my own deleted answers here at TWP meta and system indeed works as described above. I got to answers tab in my profile, clicked the link "Deleted answers" and got to one of my answers in a deleted question. I could see the question, along with details on who and when deleted it.

Worth noting that if you have less than 10K reputation, system will only show you the question and your answer - it won't show answers from other users (which also makes sense if you think of it).


Seeing deleted question you answered can be enough to find out reason for deletion in many simple cases.

For example, if it was deleted by votes from high rep users, system will show you who voted. Or if the question was automatically removed by automated cleanup process (aka "roomba") it will be labeled as deleted by Comminity bot. In simpler cases of trolling you can find out by more carefully re-reading the question or comments.

As explained in other answers though, sometimes this may be not enough and you may need to ask for further explanation at meta providing link to specific question that confused you. Moderators and 10K users will be able to see this deleted question and provide more insight.

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