Just a moment ago I answered a basic question that involved finding the derivative of $\sin(1/x)$. A comment hinted at the chain rule, the likely best way of going about it. I took my time to spell things out and write up what I thought was a good answer. I posted this answer, and I saw that the OP obtained the end result (he posted the result in the comment thread on his question just 1 minute before I posted my answer). After posting my question, I checked out other questions on MSE and came back to the one I just answered about 3-5 minutes later to see if there were other answers or the like--the post was deleted.

My question: Is there a way to address people like this who delete a post after a user has taken his/her time to answer it (and provided the correct answer too)? The bothersome thing in this particular instance is that the OP seems to be a repeat offender, having been a member of MSE for almost 3 years and yet no question, answer, etc., history at all. It seems like the person just gets his answer(s) and then deletes the question(s). I think this is pretty messed up and harmful to the MSE community--what can be done about this?

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    $\begingroup$ If you have enough points, you can vote to undelete. If you don't have enough points for that, you can go to the meta thread about reopening and undeleting, and post a request there. $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 4:55
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson Which thread exactly? There seem to be numerous duplicates--I do not have enough points to cast an undelete vote. $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 4:59
  • $\begingroup$ meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/19042/… $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 5:00
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson Thanks. I mean it's a rather trivial problem, but that kind of behavior is problematic IMO. Made a request. Thanks again for the link. $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 5:08
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    $\begingroup$ I'd suggest flagging for moderator attention. You have a reason to be suspicious, and the moderators have the tools to investigate (and handle) such behaviors - there's good reason to make them aware, even if you're not sure. (Although, unless you can, by some miracle, see their deleted question, I'm not sure what content of theirs you could flag, as they have none visible; you could try the mod's office chat or flagging an arbitrary post (of yours) - meta's not quite ideal, but it's not wholly inappropriate in the current case) $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 5:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Meelo Yes, I thought about flagging something else of the OP's but ran into that problem of zero history. The idea of flagging something of mine is interesting. I might have to try that. $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 5:22
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    $\begingroup$ You say they determined the result as well and signified through comment. I doubt it is anything suspicious. They may have realized it was a trivial question and thought best to delete it since they were able to answer it. $\endgroup$
    – dustin
    Feb 24, 2015 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ @dustin Did you see the OP's profile? Member for ~3 years and no history of questions of any kind. I think that is suspicious. $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 5:45
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, but have you read this. If you delete too many or your post, you will be on a question ban. If they have deleted 100% of their (numerous) posts for 3 years, I would think that would cause the questions ban. We can delete a few without cause but if say they deleted 100 questions in 3 years, that may be noticed. $\endgroup$
    – dustin
    Feb 24, 2015 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ @dustin Interesting. Thanks for the link. Maybe it is not as suspicious as I thought it was, but it still seems odd to me, especially the barren nature of OP's profile. $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 5:49
  • $\begingroup$ Their SO account is has 23 questions. I don't know if that is any consolation, but I would think if that is their nature, they would do it there as well. $\endgroup$
    – dustin
    Feb 24, 2015 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ @dustin I would concur with that assessment. I'm not worried about being "consoled"--I can just imagine someone posting a much more difficult question and then someone tediously typesetting an answer only to have the post deleted. Hopefully this is just a "false alarm" $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 5:52
  • $\begingroup$ The answer given here says that such things should be brought to the attention of moderators. $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 7:07
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe the profile should show number of deleted questions, comments, etc? $\endgroup$
    – copper.hat
    Feb 24, 2015 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ There is one trick: when a suspicious user posts another question, simply click on the upper left to make it one of your "favorite" questions. If deleted, you will no longer be able to see it in your favorites list, but moderators and any 10K user will be able to see it, thus quickly locating the post. $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Feb 24, 2015 at 18:34


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