Yesterday I answered this question. Today when on my profile I noticed my answer was deleted.

  1. This was not a DMCA takedown, and so this meta and this one don't help in this situation.
  2. This meta, which is about code being removed, says to add the code back into the post.

    This doesn't help, as the post is deleted.

  3. The post was self-deleted, and so raising a flag or inviting a moderator into chat to find out why the post was deleted doesn't seem like the correct way to handle this.

  4. The help center explains that there was another answer or a single up-vote on my answer and it wouldn't have been possible to be deleted. (I guess the system thinks my answer is useless)
  5. 10k tools says I can vote to undelete questions, but doesn't say any more, unlike with deleting posts.
  6. 20k tools says I can vote to undelete answers, but that doesn't really help here.
  7. As far as I know, I can't discuss undeleting the question with the user as they have 1 rep here and 15 rep on SO, meaning they can't talk in chat.

What should I do about this?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth, it happened to me too. Question deleted by owner 10 minutes after an answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 14, 2019 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MathiasEttinger Yeah that looks like a long answer too :( I've VTUD, best of luck. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MathiasEttinger yippee, my first VTUD ;-) I'm just wondering that it only takes three votes and not five. \$\endgroup\$
    – t3chb0t
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 12:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've just been hit by exactly this scenario. I've voted to undelete. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 21:07

2 Answers 2


This came up again recently. To keep information centralized, we'll continue the discussion here.

Everything mentioned by rolfl here is still valid.

A similar situation has been reported on MSE ('15). There is an MSE FAQ on deletion too (How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?), but it doesn't cover this situation explicitly. The paragraph 'How can I undelete one of my posts?' covers it in part, although it assumes it's the question asker who wants to put the undeleting process in gear:

If your post was deleted by high-reputation users or by the Community user, it will require three undelete votes to be undeleted (more if it's a question and it was popular) - politely asking for this on the per-site meta may attract the necessary votes if you make a good case for why the question should be restored (i.e. why the post doesn't meet the deletion criteria above).

The privileges/trusted-user help-center page states:

Trusted users are allowed to perform trusted actions, including:

  • Voting to delete answers with score of -1 or lower
  • Voting to undelete answers except those deleted by a moderator
  • Voting to delete questions with a score of -3 or lower immediately after they are closed
  • Editing tag wikis without needing approval

Emphasis mine. It doesn't say you can vote to undelete questions as well, but you can. More on that here and here.

Users self-deleting questions within minutes of receiving an answer is in some cases a form of vandalism, an abuse of the site.

The community is allowed to undelete questions as part of their content curating responsibility. Even though there will always be exceptions, I would encourage it in situations like these. Find users on meta or in chat to discuss a specific question and gather the required undelete votes if need be. Moderators can help out, but this shouldn't be necessary and we'll be very hesitant to put in the first vote. Content curation like this is something the community should be able to handle itself.


Bringing it to meta is the right thing to do, at least to get visibility, so that's a good start....

... having said that, a user is able to delete their posts as long as there are no upvoted answers on their posts, so, since your answer did not (yet) have an upvote, it was OK to delete it as far as the technical limitations of Stack Exchange.

Given that, it would not be right for a mod to unilaterally undelete it, but I can add a comment to the post pointing to this meta question, and if enough users band together, it can be undeleted by the community (I think)....

About to add the comment now (and I believe the user will be notified of the comment even though the post is deleted).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Given "if enough users band together, it can be undeleted by the community" is that the correct way to proceed if this happens again? I.E. what we should do for both Mathias and myself? \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 15:03
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Peilonrayz You have been given the privilege to vote to undelete questions. Using it is your prerogative. Does that mean undeleting a question by community consensus is "correct"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vogel612
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 15:09

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