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A few minutes ago I put a comment on a question by https://math.stackexchange.com/users/50707/kalima asking where he found his problem. The problem was something along the lines of Diophantine $4 a^2 (b^2 + c^2) = 5 b^2 c^2$ in some arrangement of symbols. Within a couple of minutes of my request, the question was self-deleted. If I had taken the trouble to write down the question number I could see the thing just by clicking on any question and replacing the number.

Part 2, on MO I can click on a sequence of things and view all deletions back to the beginning of the site. I did this once. There was someone trying to use MO to resolve a question for him. He would post a version of the question for a short time, delete, repost. Eventually I collected some 55 occurrences of this as screen capture jpegs. The later MO Meta post on this is http://tea.mathoverflow.net/discussion/1187/extending-from-a-plane-in-r3-again-and-again-and-again

So, you see, I get suspicious when someone is pretty demanding about the nature of the answers but then self-deletes when asked for the source of the problem. Lately I have been asking nearly everyone for the sources of their questions; if a question is legitimate as I personally view the term, this should elicit a source and some context. If, as seems to happen a fair amount, the source is an IMO from 1977, at least I know that someone responsible believed the problem statement to be correct at that time.

So, to repeat, at 15K, do I have some way to view a list of items deleted (recently?).

EDDDITTT: Old John pointed out that the user had been discussing this on Chat, which I have never figured out. However, I was just able to search, and found https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/249317/generating-valid-integer-solutions-to-4a2b2-c2-5b2c2 which is a start.

EEEEDIIIIIT: the chat transcript for the relevant two hours is http://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/36/2012/12/2/18-20 where the first item in those two hours is the question, while the final one says something about giving up. In the next two hour slot Old John asks the reason for the deletion. Life goes on.

EDDD333DDITTTT: note that this is the same obliging fellow as Generating Pythagorean triples for $a^2+b^2=5c^2$? My request for the source of these questions was unsuccessful and I have deleted it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Won't your browser history have the question number? $\endgroup$ – Noah Snyder Dec 3 '12 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ math.stackexchange.com/questions/250170/… (in case you wish to gather more...) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 3 '12 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila, thanks. After this idiocy: math.stackexchange.com/questions/249735/… I am satisfied that this OP lacks basic competence in our discipline. A person well worth ignoring. On a similar note, I just got email from the 16-year-old who asked mathoverflow.net/questions/115193 and did not understand my answer, and I'm wondering what to do. One option is to suggest he re-post on MSE with a link to the original. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Dec 3 '12 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ @NoahSnyder, you are correct, sir. Next to the word bookmarks was the word history. That showed only ten items, then I specified show all history, then 7 days. It showed everything in backwards order. Good to know. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Dec 3 '12 at 20:08
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There is a list of recently deleted posts on the /tools page, but that doesn't include self-deleted posts. It only contains posts deleted by the community and moderators, and doesn't go back very far.

Moderators can view all deleted posts of a specific user in their profile, but there is no way for regular users to see recent self-deleted posts.

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  • $\begingroup$ That fits what little I have been able to get to through clicking madly. Old John says (we email) that if KaliMa returns to chat he will ask about the deletion. In any case, one question is not 55. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Dec 2 '12 at 21:05
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That ability was removed in 2011. There is a feature request to bring it back: Restore the 10k ability to see all closed/deleted posts in a list.

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    $\begingroup$ Ah. So it is across the stackexchange sites, and MO is different precisely because it was begun separately. Well, for me the purpose is fairly simple, the ability to document things. The guy I mention with the 55 questions used a dozen different ID's. I think he only stopped because we were setting up a blog with a selection of the 55 screen captures, with explanation by an expert. He posted on MSE under many names, I have some of those saved, meaning I have the question numbers. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Dec 3 '12 at 2:43
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, I remember that there were signs that the idiot was finishing his Ph.D. So he may have stopped only because he finished something else as a dissertation. Certainly he was never really afraid of punishment. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Dec 3 '12 at 2:46

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