My post was deleted within 40 minutes of being posted, no comments or indications as to why. If there is a reason for deleting content, would it be wise to let the poster know what (if anything) they did wrong? Otherwise, it seems that the proper course of action would be to simply put the post up again (because there is nothing objectively wrong with it).

Are deleted posts completely undeclared, or is there some way of knowing why it happened?

I am led to believe votes to close an answer have certain criteria, which my post obviously does not meet:

You may vote to delete answers in the following cases:

  • 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 the actual question

I refer to this answer which meets NONE of the deletion criteria in even the wildest possible abstraction.

  • 5
    Don’t misrepresent the situation. One of the delete voters commented on why it wasn’t really an answer to the question. I wasn’t going to add unnecessary fluff just to reiterate the point made.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Oct 30, 2019 at 21:49
  • 3
    well, for my part, being one of the deleters in question, I commented prior to deleting. I stated that it was an exact dupliate of another answer (item #4). Additionally, the rest of the answer was an attempt at humor in the vein of Adams, which isn't necessary to the answer or helpful, thus it also met #1 and #6 when I came back later after an edit that didn't really modify it substantially, and voted to delete
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 30, 2019 at 21:50
  • Don't worry, I will represent everything correctly. Are you saying "The rest is little better than Vogon poetry" is a comment on "why it wasn't really an answer?" Really?? It's a pedantic and useless remark.
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 30, 2019 at 21:52
  • The part that is not a duplicate appears to be an unsupported personal theory. Oct 30, 2019 at 21:53
  • 3
    I was meeting Adams-esque humor with Adams-esque humor. I do sincerely apologize that it was taken as a hurtful attack.
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 30, 2019 at 21:54
  • There are six reasons listed in the question, all from the SFF help center. Can you help me understand which one of those "apparent unsupported personal theory" falls into? My support is actually in the links.
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 30, 2019 at 21:55
  • @NKCampbell - I got the humor and appreciated it. It was not yourself that opinied your joke was in fact a "comment on why it wasn’t really an answer"
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 30, 2019 at 21:56
  • I get that. Seems like the intent is "keep these people in good favor or else?"
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:05
  • 5
    "it seems that the proper course of action would be to simply put the post up again" - No, it really doesn't
    – Valorum
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:09
  • 5
    @NKCampbell one vote deletion is a mod only power.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:13
  • 5
    in other words,to sum up: I did read the post, it made no sense, I thought it was a joke / duplicate. Commented as such. Waited. More people downvoted as well. Edit made, no significant change. More downvotes. Voted to delete per site standards. Sorry if that hurt your feelings or felt like a personal attack. It wasn't. Feel free to try the answer again
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:20
  • 4
    To quote Gimili: "I asked for but one hair from her golden head.....she gave me three" :D alright, I've made my case. Repost or not. Have a good day :)
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:30
  • 2
    no no - the duplicate part of your answer duplicates the accepted answer
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 31, 2019 at 1:34
  • 4
    If you want to give credit to an answer, reposting the same answer is a no no. If you want to give credit, you can select the up arrow above the answers score. This will upvoted the users answer, and reward them with some reputation.
    – Gnemlock
    Oct 31, 2019 at 2:53
  • 2
    Why do I keep coming in here expecting to see something different from this ongoing mary sue drama..
    – Radhil
    Nov 2, 2019 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


One of the delete voters explained their reasoning in a comment for why it wasn’t really an answer and the part that was, was just duplicating information already in the answers.

the part of this that is an answer is a duplicate of the other highly voted and accepted answer. The rest is little better than Vogon poetry

For my part this reiterated my thoughts so I wasn’t going to leave a near identical comment explaining why it wasn’t needed. The latter half of the comment might have not been great but I think you understood what they meant even if it could have been clearer. Though I think given the context the comment isn’t too bad.

To answer the general question here though, deletions don’t have to be accompanied with a reason. Most of the time, if it’s not just spam, R/A or a troll, a user will leave a comment for why they are voting to delete. As was the case here.

  • OK, this explains it well. Since there appears to be no reason for deletion within the six defined reasons given by SFF-SE, the appropriate action is just to repost the useful content. That seems a bit of a waste of time, however. Maybe we have better uses for our time?
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:01
  • 5
    I'm confused @VogonPoet ...do you feel the answer should meet all 6 criteria to be deleted?
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:04
  • 3
    @VogonPoet it’s been explained why at least two of the users felt it warranted deletion. One even married it up to three of your quotes points. If you’re not going to actually read and take in the feedback I don’t see the point for this meta question other than to drum up drama.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:06
  • @TheLethalCarrot - What you call reasons simply are not, on this site. Hence this question was needed. Killing a post in 40 minutes is called "drumming up drama" given how targeted the activity is (anyone can look through the questions and see how often and quickly closes are made).
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:11
  • 9
    @VogonPoet - Posting something that's 20% dupe, 80% nonsense is going to get your answer deleted whoever you are.
    – Valorum
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:12
  • 6
    @VogonPoet on top of what Valorum said, can you stop this victimisation stuff? It helps nothing and you have no evidence it happens. People are not necessarily voting because it’s you but the content as has been said repeatedly to yourself.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:14
  • ...I think I see what Vogon is saying - in that the answer wasn't intended to be largely humerous or nonsensical but a serious attempt at an answer. In which case, I a) can respect that - that's what we're here for after all b) perhaps it was simply poorly written (not an attack!) such that at least 5 users and 3 voters were unable to determine it's intent. In that case, feel free to re-post another try at something more coherent :)
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:16
  • @TheLethalCarrot - Valorum and Skooba provided the evidence. A score reflects the author's popularity, not content quality. More exactly, "there might some adjustments you can make in your own attitude that can help your questions be better received" and "engage with downvoters with humility, you'd turn those downvotes into upvotes." That's almost 10 combined years experience saying author unpopularity decreases a score. I call that substantiated.
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:44
  • 5
    @VogonPoet no score and votes reflect the posts quality. Those quotes are saying if you actually listen to feedback given, take it in and edit accordingly you’re content might then be better received. It’s not saying if you’re likeable your content will always get lots of upvotes.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Oct 30, 2019 at 22:52
  • @TheLethalCarrot - I believe you believe that. Objectively a sample of low scoring posts very clearly says differently. Reaching -5 then deletion within 40 minutes is quite an elite club, survivors should get a badge! Try it on Data Explorer.
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 30, 2019 at 23:18
  • You can of course also complain as long on meta about people being mean until they actually start voting down your posts just for being tired of it and make your self-fulfilling prophecy come true. That's not a particularly fruitful endeavour, but then you would at least have a reason to continue wasting your time with complaints and the "fun" can go on till foreverevermore.
    – TARS
    Oct 30, 2019 at 23:28
  • Thank you to whomever voted to reopen, I'll postpone the repost.
    – Vogon Poet
    Oct 30, 2019 at 23:39
  • @VogonPoet- as to why one question may get attention and another one won't, for my part anyway, look at my history and you'll see that I mostly only answer / read Star Wars/Trek, Potter, and Lotr questions
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 31, 2019 at 2:25
  • 1
    @VogonPoet That’s not a good post by any stretch of the imagination but it is an answer in some form and does give credit. It’s also worth noting it depends when and who sees your post. For my part I saw your post in the low quality posts review queue so someone else had already flagged it.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Oct 31, 2019 at 7:35
  • 7
    @VogonPoet "I'll postpone the repost.": reposting is fine but please don't repost the exact same answer, take the feedback on board and edit it accordingly. In fact if you edit the current answer accordingly I'd be happy to review it and undelete if I felt it warranted it.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Oct 31, 2019 at 9:48

Ignoring all the commentary on whether this was a targeted attack, and whether users have to explain their votes, I don't think the answer warranted deletion. From the comments to the answer and the comments here I gather that the two principal issues that people had with the answer were that it duplicated content from another answer, and that (the rest of) it was an unsupported theory.

Regarding the first point, I don't think that is an issue here. The answer was clearly not attempting to give the same answer as a previous answer; rather that information provided context for the (different) direction that this answer was taking, namely looking somewhere other than the author for an explanation of the cover art.

As for the second part, I freely admit that I do not have enough familiarity with this particular work to know if the theory presented has any merit to it. However, deletion is generally reserved for answers that either don't address the question at all, or are incomprehensible, rude, or spam. As this answer does not seem to be any of those, I don't think deletion is warranted. If users believe that it is not a good answer, downvotes are definitely justified.

Based on the above I have voted to undelete the answer.

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