I sometimes find myself asking questions that are of the following kind:

  1. I am looking for confirmation because I'm not sure about something
  2. After reading an answer/comment I realise I've overlooked something very very basic/simple

In general these kind of questions serve only me, because they are generated by my own insecurity, hastiness, ignorance or inexperience. They are unlikely to help anybody else and I therefore feel the tendency to delete them. Is this an OK thing to do, a bad thing to do, or do most people feel indifferent?

To clarify: I'm don't want to delete questions which have gotten answers with upvotes. In that case I would deprive people of their reputation points and I don't want to do that. I'm talking about questions where, for example, a simple yes in the comments has sufficed.

  • 10
    $\begingroup$ Inevitably, it depends. Your deletion may come seconds before someone completes a careful answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 21:59
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ To second @André's comment, one of the most frustrating things I've encountered here is to have a question closed or deleted before I had the chance to post a long carefully-crafted answer I was composing. Odds are most every prolific contributor has encountered this many times. Unfortunately the odds of this happening have greatly increased recently due to some users aggressively closing questions for dubious reasons (e.g. "missing context"). $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque Yes I have had that experience, too. I thinks it is not the OP, that deletes the question but others, for some reason I cannot fathom. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Rene The reason for the recent drastic increase in deletions of questions (and all of their answers!) is due to the campaign described here. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ Deleting posts can be quite frustrating for those who are trying to help. A few minutes ago, I was typing up an answer (to an unanswered question about a negative binomial experiment asked by @rannoudanames), and it was deleted as I was about to press send! $\endgroup$
    – Michael R
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


Use your judgment. If all that a question produced was a brief comment, and there is no sensible way to expand that into an answer, then delete. Hopefully this is not going to happen too often, because the software keeps track of self-deleted questions. Users who do it habitually may face a question ban. But if the self-deletions are of the kind you described, this is not likely. In any event, you'd be given a warning sign beforehand:

enter image description here

That would be an indication to cool off on self-deletions.


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