My answer to this question was deleted.

I don't agree with banning a non-homework question showing no effort. What if someone asks a question like the Fermat's last theorem without showing no effort? This is an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Maybe you think that importance of a question is self-evident. How can you be so sure? Edit My point is that you could ban important/interesting/useful questions with the policy.

I checked this link:https://math.stackexchange.com/help/deleted-answers . I believe there's no proper reason to delete this question. I ask you those who voted to delete it or anybody else to vote to undelete it.

• As Jonas Meyer notes in a comment to my (now outdated, and deleted) answer, "3 delete votes by users with more than 20,000 points" triggered the deletion of your answer. – Lord_Farin Aug 19 '13 at 21:26
• Update: the post in question has now been undeleted. (Moreover: apparently one can vote to undelete one's own answers. Oy.) – Pete L. Clark Aug 19 '13 at 21:47
• @Pete: I recall a recent discussion against biased votes on meta. And who's more objective about their own post than the original poster? :-) – Asaf Karagila Aug 19 '13 at 23:27

Although I am not endorsing Makoto Kato's deleted answer [added: in fact, perhaps it will help people to see the spirit of where I am coming from if I disclose that I downvoted that answer before it was deleted], I have to think that deleting an answer on meta -- which is essentially a forum for discussion of math.SE topics -- should be done only in rather extreme circumstances, i.e., for an answer which is clearly:

$\bullet$ off-topic (i.e., not related to math.SE)
$\bullet$ rude/disrespectful/inflammatory

or problematic in some other similarly specific way. I'm not sure what is specifically problematic about Makoto's answer, so I'm not sure why it was deleted. Simply disagreeing with an answer is definitely not good enough reason to delete it, of course. Neither is finding it tiresome and/or unhelpful, I would say.

Is there a thread which discusses conventions on when to delete meta answers?

• I agree with you in general and in principal, but with users who like to troll meta I think it's best to let the moderators do what they think is appropriate and not let a troll bait us into long policy arguments about when exactly their behavior is just over the line versus just before the line. Moderators should have more of a free hand in dealing with known problem users than they would with typical users. – Noah Snyder Aug 19 '13 at 19:31
• @NoahSnyder maybe so, regarding mods, but from Jonas Meyer's comment on Lord_Farin's answer it appears it were 3 users and not a moderator (one of the 3 could still have been a mod but anyway at least two users voted to delete). Also, I tend to believe that had one just left that answer one would have had less "noise" on meta. So while I would accept it as a moderators decission I think it would not be a good one. – quid Aug 19 '13 at 20:07
• I agree with Pete L. Clark's answer in principle. However, in the present case it is very difficult to believe that we are not being trolled. Read all the exchanges (well, many of them are deleted by now). In case it matters, I was not one of the three deleters, but I have voted for some of the closures. – Jyrki Lahtonen Aug 19 '13 at 20:27
• @Noah: After all that have happened a year ago, I think that the moderators are unlikely to take action without a very obvious break of the rules. I think that the main outcome of the previous year events was that the community should be responsible for deleting, not the moderators. (To state my position on the topic, I believe that the moderators should have a slightly freer hand when it comes to people who misbehave, but I'm not sure how exactly to define "misbehave" and whether or not others agree as well.) – Asaf Karagila Aug 19 '13 at 21:34
• @Noah: I too am inclined to trust moderators to do what is necessary. This deletion though was not by moderators; it was by three users. Doesn't it seem strange that it takes five votes to close a question but only three votes to delete an answer posted on a discussion site? I also agree with quid: if you think someone is trolling (in this case it is not so clear to me that I want to weigh in either way), then the best response is simply to ignore. E.g. it's hard to imagine a similar followup question "Why did no one comment on my answer...?" – Pete L. Clark Aug 19 '13 at 21:37
• @AsafKaragila Is this documented anywhere? Are there some guidelines? (This is meant as an honest question.) The current deletion being IMO under every possible way I can look at it simply a bad decission. So, perhaps this policy should be revised if it leads to such results. (Since some mentioned the word 'troll'. So, if you operate under this assupmtion, stop the feeding.) [Not sure if you where actuvely involved even. Maybe I should have notified Jyrki Lahtonen instead.] [Added: I had not seen Pete L. Clark's comment, so this is a bit redundant; I leave it as it is already written.] – quid Aug 19 '13 at 21:40
• Or to put it another way: I think that someone who gets an answer deleted on meta is entitled to a(not necessarily public)n explanation of why this has occurred. A few years ago Jeff Atwood deleted two of my comments on this meta site without any explanation, and it really got me steamed. To have successful discussion one needs to have a certain expectation that their speech/writings will not be simply removed. This extends to alleged/suspected trolls too, I think (if their behavior is truly out of line, moderators should consider a suspension). – Pete L. Clark Aug 19 '13 at 21:43
• @quid: I'm not sure exactly what you mean. I'd send you to read many threads from the past year (especially, I think July to December) and look through the comments. There was a lot of talk about what should moderators do on their own, and what they should do with community "backing", and what should the community do for itself. Deletion of posts which are not "obviously misplaced" fell into the latter category, if my memory serves me right. – Asaf Karagila Aug 19 '13 at 21:44
• @PeteL.Clark: My bad on who did the deletion. I certainly agree with you that the delete threshold is low and invites abuse (e.g. people voting to delete in order to stop reopening) – Noah Snyder Aug 19 '13 at 21:56
• @AsafKaragila thank you for the reply. Mainly I meant guidelines regarding deletion on meta. I tried to read up a bit, and had known this or that before, but it is not very easy to find something specific. This being an important point, this should perhaps be clearer. But it seems the current answer has a lot of support. So perhaps this could be the start for a new or revised guideline on this. (In view of our recent exchange I was somewhat amused to see three MOers being the users deleting this.) – quid Aug 19 '13 at 22:31
• @AsafKaragila yes I knew (one a moderator); actually, that vote surprised me quite a bit. Personally, I see very little reason for much any deletions and closures on meta; except offensive/spam, very clearly off-topic, uncontroversially a duplicate (for support/bug mainly). It serves anyway little purpose. It is not as if it costs much to start a new q. And often it is convenient to have the context at hand later. If there significant problems with some particular user, suspend them. "Rough" treatmeen of individual contributions more likely than not makes the situation worse, in my opinion. – quid Aug 19 '13 at 22:53
• @quid: This particular instant is problematic and has a lot of history, both over and under the surface of meta. I don't know if a suspension would have been very helpful at this point. – Asaf Karagila Aug 19 '13 at 22:56
• @quid: Meh, could have lived without it. I certainly sandboxed answers in my email draft folder and on my hard drive. I fail to see what's the big deal about posting a draft, seeing that the LaTeX compiles okay, and copying it back into the notepad for further editing. When it's ready, post it. – Asaf Karagila Aug 19 '13 at 23:29
• I've upvoted this, but I should note that I do agree with Makoto' s main point, if not with the somewhat hyperbolic justification for it. – Brian M. Scott Aug 20 '13 at 1:07
• @AsafKaragila I mainly wished to show my familiarity with part of this sites history in a positive way. Personally I sometimes (need to) write posts without any preview, and if I am concetrated they came out about alright (if not there might be a minor glitch). So personally I do not need, or ever used, it either. – quid Aug 20 '13 at 12:36

I am also of the opinion that there is no valid reason for Makoto Kato's answer to have been deleted. As per the FAQ, the following are reason an answer might be deleted:

• commentary on the question or other answers