Recently a user deleted his/her own question regarding the applications of continued fractions (link for 10k+ users), possibly in response to comments (including several of mine) which noted that continued fractions are very useful, but not for the purposes the user seemed interested in. There was nothing intrinsically wrong with the question, and I think it has the potential to generate some very interesting answers. Accordingly, I have voted to undelete the question. But this makes me wonder: what is the community's position on users deleting their own questions? In particular, should this behavior be discouraged, and should such questions be undeleted? A related question was asked here a while ago, but received little attention and does not address the issues here specifically.

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    $\begingroup$ For the record: The question about continued fractions has been undeleted. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented May 27, 2012 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


Users of course have the right to delete their questions. This is generally frowned upon if there are already substantial and/or upvoted answers to the question, since then you are taking reputation away from people who have put time and effort into helping you, but if that isn't the case then I don't see any reason to undelete.

If you think the question has merit, you can always re-ask it yourself.

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    $\begingroup$ Just a small addition/correction: If a question received more than one answer or an answer with positive vote count, then the question can't be deleted by the OP, see meta.stackexchange.com/a/5222. This means that loss of reputation is impossible (as opposed to wasted time and effort for one person). $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Commented May 27, 2012 at 7:46
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    $\begingroup$ If someone hasn't posted an answer yet, doesn't mean the person hasn't spent time and energy trying to find one. Once the answer is found, the question is gone. I do think that is a very unsatisfactory outcome. $\endgroup$ Commented May 27, 2012 at 9:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Michael: I agree, but I don't think we can force users to ask questions. You can use the new feature of question+answer if you want to post an answer. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented May 27, 2012 at 10:30
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    $\begingroup$ There is also the possible case that none of the answers have been upvoted. These answers get taken along with the question as well upon deletion. This is what makes me angry the most. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 8, 2014 at 7:47

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