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This seems to be a phenomenon:

  • Someone posts a question.
  • Others ask them what they've tried / put the question on hold.
  • The OP simply deletes the question, and re-asks it as a new question (and gets an answer).

Example 1: This question asked on 14 at 08:44, put on hold at 12:01, edited at 18:41, deleted on 15 (a day later) at 18:43, and re-asked as this question at 18:43.

Example 2: This question asked on 15 at 06:04, deleted at 07:03, and re-asked as this question at 07:04.

In both cases, the questions are the same (verbatim) before and after.

How should one react to these? Is it even a problem?

(Note that despite 20k reputation it's not easy / possible to look at deleted questions: it's only by coincidence that I happened to have looked at both "before" and "after" versions, and had them in my history.)

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  • $\begingroup$ I have a deja vu. Wasn't there a thread on this topic not long ago on the meta? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 16 '14 at 8:24
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    $\begingroup$ Re: it's not easy / possible to look at deleted questions. It is possible, but definitely not easy. One possibility how to find ids of deleted posts is mentioned in this answer. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Apr 16 '14 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ It is a self-correcting problem: self-deletion of questions, especially closed/downvoted ones, will quickly lead the user to question ban. $\endgroup$ – user127096 Apr 21 '14 at 1:00
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Flag the question, select "it needs moderator attention" and in the field provided explain that you believe the question is a duplicate of one of the user's deleted questions. We'll then use our superpowers to look into it.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you think this is a task for your x-ray vision? I have serious doubts that my ability to manipulate gravity will help at all. On the other hand, this might be just up the alley for robjohn's HULK SMASH! $\endgroup$ – user642796 Apr 16 '14 at 7:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Arthur: Batman's main superpower is a gruff voice and the catchphrase "I'm Batman."; surely you can match that! $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 16 '14 at 7:18

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