This question is intended to help me and others that experience this behavior to understand these action and (hopefully) therefore be a better members to this valuable mathematics community. I wish to understand best practices and moral values of our site.
Recently I came across a question that had a potentially valuable answer, however, the original answerer decided to delete the answer. I'd like to understand when and why this kind of behavior happens and understand what are the best recommendation on how one should react.
Recently I came across the following question and wrote a few follow up questions/comments and then the answer got deleted. I was trying to understand why this happened and how to avoid it from happening. I've never experienced this behavior from the (not very long) 2 years or so I've been on the site.
- Would it be advised in general to not post many follow up questions?
- or is the best practice just to use the "chat option" immediately (since that is what its there for?). Or would that make the problem worse?
- Maybe after two (or k sufficiently large) follow ups, one would be advised to post the follow up as actual questions (if phrased appropriately)? Maybe linking to the original post? Is explaining that one wants to avoid multiple follow ups on the original something one should mention in the new question or does that just pollute the new question with extraneous information that should be somewhere else?
- If the answer is truly useful but is in-comprehensive to the OP, is it recommended for the OP to repost the answer as his own later? Or is that considered stealing? I'd guess that the OP should only post the old answer if he truly understands it, because otherwise there is the risk that he is posting an answer that was wrong (possible reason it was deleted) and then further propagating that error.
- Actually, one thing that I found to be useful is to post what part of the answer that was deleted to confusing as an edit to the OP (without any reference to the person that deleted the answer). Maybe this isn't the best way to act, but if done well and carefully, the original question can become unharmed, without drifting to a tangent and provide a useful answer!
I've seen that some users do have contact info on their pages and one could use them to contact them about deleted answers, but personally, even if I really wanted an answer, I find that to be rather invasive and would recommend against it.
Anyway, the main question is why do people delete answers that are (potentially) useful and if OPs (and other users) should do anything at all to if these actions happen? (obviously, they should only do things constructive things)