33

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 ...


32

Regarding your question about keeping flawed answers: there are several reasons people delete their answers once a fundamental flaw has been pointed out: the question will not appear in the Unanswered queue if it has an upvoted incorrect answer, so deleting the flawed approach allows the question to receive more attention; the answer author may want to fix ...


25

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 ...


23

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


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 ...


20

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

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

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 ...


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 ...


18

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

In general, yes, points gained on answers that get deleted because the question gets deleted are lost. Following an undeletion the points are restored. However, if your post satisfies both of: has score at least three was visible1 on the site for at least 60 days prior to deletion then you get to keep the points. See this blog post by Josh Heyer, aka ...


16

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. ...


16

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.


16

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 ...


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.


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

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 partial answer to ...


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 ...


9

When someone points out that an answer of mine is wrong I usually delete it. But if it's wrong in an interesting or useful way I edit it to say so and leave it. Here's one example: Symmetry group of a cube: $O_h \cong O \times C_2$ . I don't know whether it was accepted before or after my edit.


8

(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 ...


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