I'd like to know what's reason for only 10k+ rep users can see all the deleted questions/answers.

I'm quite sure that the admins of SE had something in their mind when set this level.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The real question would probably be "Why can posts be deleted?", because if everyone can see them then it's not really "deleted" in any sense, and if some of them are deleted, then it makes sense that the users trusted to moderate the site in some way or the other should be able to see them. $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2016 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi Do you mean that the 10k+ rep users gain some moderator privileges and this should be reason for they are allowed to see the deleted questions/answers? $\endgroup$
    – user26857
    Apr 22, 2016 at 11:33
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    $\begingroup$ Well yes, 10k+ users gain the ability to delete and undelete posts. They cannot do that effectively if they're not able to see previously deleted posts, I think. $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2016 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi I see. Thanks. (If you post an answer I'd be glad to upvote/accept it.) $\endgroup$
    – user26857
    Apr 22, 2016 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ I'd rather wait to see if someone has a counterpoint to that, maybe I didn't think it through. $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2016 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


The site is community moderated and most tasks can be performed by users with enough points. One of these tasks is to (soft) delete posts, to review these deletions and to undo them if needed.

To this end it is useful not to say necessary for those users to be able to see the deleted content, as explained in comments.

It thus makes sense to give access to deleted content to those users, and only to those users, that can (un-)delete the content. This is basically what is the case. One could argue that then one could distinguish between questions and answers, 10k/20k, yet this might be just too much effort for not much in return. Moreover, 10k was for quite some time the topmost level.

Actually, this last point might be relevant: deletion, and viewing deleted content, as the most invasive action then was given last.

Why it is 10k that used to be the last level, this is sure a bit arbitrary, but maybe not that surprising a choice for a number either.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I guess that underlying the OP's qustion is another, deeper one: why are deleted posts not really deleted (possibly after some grace period, say 1 month, to allow for posible undeletion)? $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Apr 24, 2016 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt that. What'd be the point of the "only" in the question? But to answer your question: deleted posts are "hidden," and rather hard to locate even to 10k+. Indeed, this was a source of repeated complaints. To remove them entirely could cause various issues. This could be seen with comments where deletion used to be "definite" (at least for most practical purposes). In brief, little gain, for not much in return. For the rare case of things that really need to be deleted SE can intervene. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Apr 24, 2016 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ As a moderator I do have limited access to hard delete material, but it is heavily reviewed by CMs and should only be done in extreme circumstances. Don't forget, the material that's posted doesn't belong to Stack Exchange, it's CC licensed. There might actually be legal reasons for only hiding it instead of hard deleting. $\endgroup$
    – corsiKa
    Apr 26, 2016 at 4:26
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    $\begingroup$ @corsiKa I highly doubt there is a legal reason along the lines you suggest. The license grants SE a right to disseminate some content, it places SE under no obligation to do so. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Apr 26, 2016 at 9:48

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