I asked a question like a year ago. It was pretty detailed. Recently I realized I lost my notes on this so I thought I could just go and look the question. The problem is that I cannot find it.

Is there a mechanism that deletes inactive questions? Or am I going crazy here?

It didn't have any answers, comments or votes whatsoever. Does this matter?

EDIT: Apparently it was deleted due to inactivity.

So could a moderator search for a complex analysis question with "Hadamard product" in it's title (or in the text) please?

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it matters. Questions which receive no input get deleted after some time. Do you have a link? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 12, 2016 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, no. I am not even sure about the title. I don't. Is there any way to retrieve it? $\endgroup$
    – tst
    Aug 12, 2016 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ Was it math.stackexchange.com/questions/1389942/… ? $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2016 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, no. I can still see that. It even was upvoted once. $\endgroup$
    – tst
    Aug 12, 2016 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ It was about complex analysis. I am trying to extend analytically a horrible triple sum. I used Hadamard product to get an integral. So it is a decent guess that "Hadamard product" appears in the title. $\endgroup$
    – tst
    Aug 12, 2016 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ Essentially all deletions on the site are soft-deletions only. Nothing is really gone. It can just be difficult to track down deleted content. (You could see it if it's your own; with 10k you can see all deleted posts.) If it is really important, ask a moderator, they should be able to find it relatively easily, just like if it was not deleted. But try to be specific. Likely a mod will see this here soon. In general you could ask in chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/20352/math-mods-office $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Aug 12, 2016 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ I have added (specific-question) tag, since you seem to be interested about the particular question you mentioned in your post. If the tag is not suitable (see the tag-info for the usage guidance), feel free to remove it. $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2016 at 7:35
  • $\begingroup$ Your only deleted question that you haven't deleted yourself is this. That doesn't really match your description, though. Nor do your self-deleted questions. Have you maybe used another account at some time? $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2016 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I see. I just realized that it could be on mathoverflow that I posted it. Are the moderators of the two sites different? Should I make a new post there? Sorry for all this. $\endgroup$
    – tst
    Aug 13, 2016 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ By the way, it is very ironic that the question was deleted automatically and it has a comment that explains why it was deleted but I could not see it anyway. I don't see the point of that. $\endgroup$
    – tst
    Aug 13, 2016 at 11:09
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the moderators are different (but with nonempty intersection). You could make a post on their meta, or cast a custom flag on one of your posts, if you can explain it within the flag text limit (I don't remember whether that's 400 or 600 characters). $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2016 at 11:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The issue was resolved. My question was undeleted. Thanks for the info. $\endgroup$
    – tst
    Aug 13, 2016 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ Once my question disappeared as well... to this day, I do not know why, but I have my notes from it anyway because I wrote down the answer on paper and stuck it up on my door :) $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Mar 2, 2018 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


The general criterion for automatic question deletion can be found on capital-M Meta.

In particular, if a question is more than one year old, has fewer than about 500 views, and has no answers, comments, or upvotes, then it will be deleted.

You can find more information about post deletion at the Meta FAQ thread.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I understand that now. But is it gone for ever? Can the text be found somehow? $\endgroup$
    – tst
    Aug 12, 2016 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ It would be visible to you and to 10k+ users, but only if they could find it in the first place. This is likely difficult. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Aug 12, 2016 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ How do they appear for 10k users? I mean is there a specific category? Can they search for key words? $\endgroup$
    – tst
    Aug 12, 2016 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ No, it's not searchable except for moderators. One of the privileges gained at 10k reputation is the ability to see all deleted posts; in practice, this is only possible if there is a link to it somewhere. An isolated year-old question that wasn't linked anywhere is extremely difficult to find. Sometimes you can find things in various caches, such as the internet archive. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Aug 12, 2016 at 23:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Strictly speaking, 10k+ users can also search for deleted posts, but only among their own posts. See, for example, this answer. $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2016 at 4:51
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A possible clue to automatically deleted questions is the granting of a Tumbleweed badge. This ordinarily will occur long before the actual deletion, but the details visible to you would identify which Question occasioned the badge. Unfortunately you will only earn the Tumbleweed badge once, so it is of no help if the Tumbleweed badge had been earned previously (as seems to be the case for this user). $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Aug 14, 2016 at 1:03

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