34

I don't really think that deleting your answers because no-one has reacted to them is the greatest use of your time, to be honest. There's little cost to the site to keep your answers available, and someone may come around later to whom they are helpful and who will provide you with some sort of feedback. And it does take some amount of your effort to ...


24

I deleted your answer. I didn't find it offensive. Rather, it was completely irrelevant to the question at hand.


23

In my opinion, the author of incorrect answers should, when an error is pointed out, delete their answer unless (or until) it is amended. If the author feels that the error is of value to the site, it is acceptable to edit the post to include a prominent notice right at the top that it is erroneous, and explain where the error is, correctly, and preferably ...


21

I'd normally leave a comment under the question, asking the OP if they had read my answer, and if they have any troubles understanding it or need me to elaborate on some parts. If the OP hasn't been very active recently, I might skip that part. Sometimes I try to think what I can add, or some additional point I think is worth repeating, and edit those ...


21

Bad questions beget bad questions. One aspect of not deleting a bad question is that it sends a message to the reader: "MSE accepts these sorts of questions". Also, "This is the kind of way you should ask questions." A bad question with an answer sends an even stronger message: "... and you will receive a an answer". Often times, the answer to a question ...


20

I hesitate to give an answer as I am not (yet) involved in this aspect of the moderation (on this site). Yet, I try to present an argument for a certain way of seeing things, and I would be curious to know what the specific points of disagreement should be in case there are some. The thing below applies mainly to closures of recent questions. There are two ...


19

According to this page, here are some of the questions with the greatest number of deleted answers, and with only $0$ or $1$ answer: Apparently, How does one prove the matrix inequality $\det\left(6(A^3+B^3+C^3)+I_{n}\right)\ge 5^n\det(A^2+B^2+C^2)$? is the winner, and Does there exist a bijection of $\mathbb{R}^n$ with itself such that the forward map is ...


19

You did delete your answer 15 seconds after you posted it, and undeleted it about two and a half minutes thereafter. For some unfathomable reason, the software shows "deleted by owner" and the presence of an undelete vote when the question is later deleted and the author of the answer has deleted and undeleted their answer before the deletion of the ...


19

Sometimes I have posted a wrong answer. (Hard to believe, I know.) But it seemed to me that the wrong method might be considered by others, so I left the wrong answer, and added a boldface This answer is wrong at the top, and an explanation of why it is wrong. You may consider doing that when your wrong answer may still be instructive to others. But it ...


17

Fragmentation of discussion hurts the site Some (many? most?) of the questions that should get deleted are simply exercises, without any specific requests for exposition on a particular point. As such, there is much duplication as the same abstract exercise (and sometimes even the same concrete exercise) gets posted over and over again. Without cleanup, ...


17

There should be some continuity to the content of a post; an edit should be an edit, not a new post in the same box. Thus, if the second answer is completely different from the first I would go for a new post. If there are only major changes, but there is still some continuity an edit seems appropriate. It is not completely clear to me what was the case ...


15

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 ...


15

Moderators and users with sufficiently high reputation can see deleted posts. But the point of deleting a post is for the post to be deleted. Please don't delete a question just so you can repost it later. If you want to change a question, edit it. If you want to get more attention for your question, you can find some pointers here. It also helps to have ...


15

For the current case, the user that had asked the question self-deleted the question. I undid this and told the user that this should not be done. (It was a new user; some believe in error that this is the intended way to use the site or in any case do not see the problem with it.) For the future, you can see your deleted recent answers on your profile ...


15

Irrespective of the correctness or lack thereof of the answer, I came to the conclusion that it didn't really attempt to answer the question. I deleted it.


15

It was flagged as not an answer and I had the impression the flag had merit; being on hold had nothing to do with it. But rethinking the decision, I had made a mistake. The answer is undeleted now.


15

Just to get this question off the unasnwered list, here's the explanation (thanks to YuiTo Cheng, Xander Henderson, jgon and other commenters for the help). It turns out that the poster of the answers had been posting a large number of word-for-word identical answers on similar reference-request questions. The link contains a referral, making it seem quite ...


14

Testing the waters with: I propose that if the answer(s) can be reproduced with a call to Wolfram Alpha, then the Q&A can be deleted without any qualms. So for example standard tricks to reproduce an integral or a solution to a basic congruence or a (system of) equation(s) are at risk. This would leave plenty of room for teaching methods/concepts. ...


13

Users with 10,000 rep or more can see deleted answers (and moderators, although in practice they likely have more than 10,000 rep anyway). One way to make deleted answers less prominent is to edit them to say "This answer was deleted by the user", or something similar. The edit history is also visible to 10,000+ rep users, but the edit hides the old ...


11

The meaning of "not an answer" can be somewhat counter-intuitive and thus sometimes leads to confusions. Text written in the answer box should be flagged as not an answer when "[it] was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question. It should possibly be an edit, a comment, another question, or deleted altogether." Put differently, ...


9

(This is my first active contribution to meta (as far as I remember), although I've been watching for a while. I'm not sure if this should be a comment, but I think it's too long. I don't think it directly addresses the question, but as I understand it this is meant to be a discussion). My instinct would be to take something of a different approach (which I ...


9

From the help-center (my emphasis): Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are: commentary on the question or other answers asking another, different question “thanks!” or “me too!” responses exact duplicates of other answers barely more than a link to an external site not even a ...


9

Yes, this is correct. Votes cast earlier on deleted content do not influence your reputation down the road; roughly speaking, the reputation is determined based on non-deleted content only. (There are some exceptions to this, for example, reputation from well-received posts that are only deleted after a considerable period of time is preserved.) Note though ...


8

The main reason why deleted posts are still visible is to allow to review deletions. If there is a very urgent need to get something deleted more definitely there are ways to do this. Flag and explain the reason, but be prepared for it to be declined except if there is a very good reason.


7

Your answer went to the review queue, likely because it was so short that the system automatically flagged it. In the review queue, it received many more delete votes than keep votes, and no upvotes (and, for that matter, 1 downvote). Further, it had another delete vote on it already. Finally, this answer was not helpful to the OP or to the general reader. ...


7

In actual fact, this is entirely my fault. A user had flagged the question indicating that it was quite closely related to a problem in a KöMaL competition that ended yesterday. When I first saw it, the question and the answer were deleted, and I just let it stand. This (my-)morning I undeleted the question since it seemed to have received an answer and ...


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