# How should I respond to a moderator's comment on a deleted answer?

Arthur Fischer commented on one of my deleted answers asking why it was deleted. I do not know how he expects me to answer, since I seem unable to comment on it and I do not know of a way to PM other users. So, how should I respond to a comment on a deleted answer?

I may as well answer him here now that I am making this question: The OP noticed and fixed an error in their question, which made my answer irrelevant.

• I think you can flag your answer for moderator attention and respond there. Dec 11 '14 at 8:37
• You deleted the answer, I think you can undelete it and then comment (and then redelete it, if you like). Dec 11 '14 at 8:38
• @GerryMyerson That's what I was thinking, but it seemed a bit too hacky to be the preferred solution. In addition, I was not sure if it would have sent a notification to the OP, which would have been undesirable as the answer definitely deserved deletion. Dec 11 '14 at 8:43
• It was pointed out to the moderators that the question was quite closely related to a KöMaL competition problem that closed yesterday, and was wondering if that was the reason you deleted your answer. My comment should have been more descriptive, for which I apologise. (I'm perhaps too used to being able to comment everywhere. #modworldproblems) Dec 11 '14 at 8:57
• @Arthur: Does a flag (on the comment, perhaps) make a reasonable method to reply without undeleting/redeleting? What about comments on deleted posts, do you still get pinged anyway? #hashtags
– Asaf Karagila Mod
Dec 11 '14 at 9:14
• @Asaf: Flags might not be the best way to communicate with mods, but that is a possibility. @-replies do not work in comments on deleted posts (only the author of the post is notified). And I probably shouldn't have left a comment anyway, since the OP shouldn't have been notified. (source) #s-might-exist Dec 11 '14 at 9:28
• @Arthur: Thanks #useless-comment #useless-hashtag
– Asaf Karagila Mod
Dec 11 '14 at 9:31
• @Arthur: Thanks for responding. It might be good if you left an answer here. Dec 11 '14 at 9:36
• Actually, @regret: did you receive a notification of my comment on that deleted post? Dec 11 '14 at 9:56
• @Arthur: I did receive a notification for it, yes. Dec 11 '14 at 9:59

In actual fact, this is entirely my fault. A user had flagged the question indicating that it was quite closely related to a problem in a KöMaL competition that ended yesterday. When I first saw it, the question and the answer were deleted, and I just let it stand. This (my-)morning I undeleted the question since it seemed to have received an answer and appeared to be another see-answer-and-run situation, and was then curious why you had deleted your answer.

What I should have written is something along these lines:

The question above is closely related to a problem in a KöMaL competition. If this is the reason you decided to delete your answer, I just want to let you know that the competition has now finished, so feel free to undelete it.

(I also should have had more coffee this morning; working on that presently.)

In general there is no good way to respond to moderator comments on deleted posts. That regular users cannot comment on deleted posts is certainly . Raising flags in these instances is not really appropriate (though I guess could work in a pinch). You could comment on some other undeleted post of my own (again, slight misuse and I don't want to receive a ton of notifications in this manner, but as a mod I can clear out the off-topic stuff rather quickly). I'm personally an infrequent guest in the main chatroom (though other mods are fairly active, and they can reach me fairly easily if I'm available; maybe I should try to ensure that I'm at least pingable from the main room by popping my head avatar in there every couple days).

Again, my comment was unclear and therefore bad, and I apologise for any confusion.

• No problem, thank you for clearing things up. Dec 11 '14 at 10:30
• If you don't mind explaining, what is a "see-answer-and-run situation"? Dec 11 '14 at 11:11
• @regret: (1) Ask question (usually applies to those from a homework assignment, exam or contest), (2) receive answer, (3) delete question before the answer receives any upvotes to "hide" evidence. Dec 11 '14 at 11:21

In principle, you could undelete, leave a comment, and delete again. But this is somewhat awkward, and it is not even obvious whether the ping will reach the target user under such circumstances.

A better way to reply would be in chat. You don't need to wait for the other party to be there; ping will work as long as the @-mention of the name auto-completes (meaning the user was in the room not too long ago).

Or perhaps you don't need to reply at all.