Recently, this question was deleted by the asker after I wrote an answer and added further clarification when the asker expressed some confusion about my answer. To be fair, I didn't have to think a lot about it, but it still took me a bit of effort to write everything up and add a reference for the statements I used.
I found the question reasonably interesting and from the comments of the asker, it seems to me that my answer has been at least somewhat helpful, so I don't think that deletion is the right reaction in this case. I'm really confused as to why the asker chose to delete the question.

Update: The Question is now undeleted by three 20k+ users.

Of course, everyone has the right to delete their question if no answer has been upvoted, but do you think that the deletion was justified/acceptable in this case?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ We don't know why but this is not an acceptable behavior. I've voted to undelete. $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 20:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Me too, voted to undelete. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 20:25
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ It's worth not only undeleting, but also flagging the post, to make it possible for the moderators to know if the user has a history of doing this sort of thing. $\endgroup$
    – user14972
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ Incidentally, while a user has the ability to delete their question, that alone doesn't imply they have the right to. $\endgroup$
    – user14972
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 21:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Hurkyl An interesting approach. While I agree with you in the spirit of things, do you have a source to back up this claim? $\endgroup$
    – SK19
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 9:43

2 Answers 2


From my experience on Math Help Boards as an admin, I'd say that such behavior is often indicative of cheating. They get help real quick, then delete the post so that their professor doesn't catch them at it (if the prof is even on the ball here).


I think some people might sometimes realise the answer should have been obvious from the outset, and then don't want to look less capable than they are.

Other people, learning the answer is trivial might think their question is not worthy of the site.

I have deleted a question when I realise I have made an error in it - so other users don't waste their time trying to help me on an erroneous question. Then when fixed; I undelete it. I'm not sure if this is a correct use of the feature or whether it's what was going on here but it's the best workaround I have for being considerate to other users when I've made a mistake.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What you describe makes less sense once there has been an Answer posted (as in the above case). If such an Answer addresses (possibly in a trivial way) a misstatement or omission in the original Question, noting the error in a Comment gives more notice and will generally be graciously accepted by the Readers. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 14:23
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @hardmath agreed. Previously when I made a mistake and used comment to say "hang on I've made an error", I was hit with downvotes. Which is understandable as people may well have clicked through on a title that interested them only to be disappointed. So I prefer that it vanishes from the site altogether until fixed. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 16:31

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