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I was roaming around the site, and I ran into an answer which had a substantial negative score. Apparently the answer was deleted before through a review queue. In fact, it was a unanimous vote to delete by all the reviewers. And then the user just... undeleted it.

That doesn't seem like something that should be possible. I mean, what's the point of recommending to delete something if the user can just undelete it and it's off the review queue again?

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  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't this be discussion rather than bug - it might be both; I can't say for sure. $\endgroup$ – user122283 Jun 8 '14 at 22:06
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    $\begingroup$ If anything, support. I certainly don't see what there's to discuss. This is a feature and it works contrary to what is reasonably expected. Users can't singlehandedly undelete when three 20k users delete their answers; they shouldn't be able to delete when six people review their answer and recommend to delete it either. That looks like a bug to me. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 8 '14 at 22:09
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    $\begingroup$ Can you link to the relevant post? Is it possible that it was deleted by the owner before the automatic deletion took place? If I recall, there are processes by which the review can be reset. $\endgroup$ – user61527 Jun 8 '14 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ @user61527: I rather not. But it says in the revision history that "Post Deleted From Review" and not fifteen minutes later "Post Undeleted by <op>". I reckon I know a bit about what information gets written into the revision history, and I wouldn't have posted this thread if I hadn't thought there's a problem afoot. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 8 '14 at 22:27
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    $\begingroup$ @user61527 Here's a random example (not the one Asaf noticed). Notably, two of 6 reviewers cast actual delete votes. If there was one more, the post would not be so easy to undelete. As it happened, the author was able to undelete, effectively clearing those two delete votes from 20K users. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jun 8 '14 at 22:57
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This is by design. An answer deleted by reviewers without the privilege to delete (i.e., below 20K) can be undeleted by the post owner with one click.

However, doing so raises an automatic moderator flag "disputed review". The moderator then makes the call on whether the answer stays or goes.

Source: Answers deleted via Recommend Deletion votes in review should not be undeletable by the answerer

This may be discouraging at first: it takes six recommendations to delete, all of which get overruled with one click by the author. But in reality, such undeletions are rare.

To confirm the above, see the query Undeleted answers that were deleted from review. It returns only 15 answers.


I also wrote a query Negatively scored answers that have been recently undeleted. The word recently is redundant: there are only 127 such answers in total. (This query does not distinguish the causes of deletion and undeletion.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you whip a data.SE query for questions which has been deleted by review, and then undeleted? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 8 '14 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! Let me know if you come up with something. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 8 '14 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting list. Thanks again! $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 8 '14 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ @achillehui Yes, in most of these cases the undeletion was benign: the author fixed the problems with the post, and the new version got upvoted. The very few who undelete without changing anything pay the price in reputation... and they might still get the posts deleted, this time by three 20K users. And the vast majority of deleted answers simply stay deleted. The system works. :) $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jun 9 '14 at 5:22

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