This has been prompted by the Meta question Why was this answer deleted?

Here @Richard states:

I also posted a comment encouraging @SanchoRodríguez to add some citation to improve the general quality and explaining that if it was improved, it would be reopened:

This seems to be attracting downvotes like a magnet. For your own sake, I'm deleting this one. I'll happily re-open if you can provide any sourcing for it.

While I agree with the spirit of protecting a user (particularly a new user who may not yet have a full appreciation of how to use the site), it seems to me that a critical flaw is that this is now not actionable by the user.

  • The user does not have sufficient reputation to view deleted questions and answers, and therefore cannot view this comment and understand why it was deleted.
  • The user cannot edit the answer to provide the sourcing requested (assuming such sourcing exists).

In this particular case I think we can safely assume that the answer was fan-fiction and sourcing does not exist, but I'm more concerned about the general case. If this was something that happened again, but if the user was able to provide sourcing to support their answer, they would not be in a position to be able to do so.

Specific questions:

  • Is this something we need to worry about?
  • Is having the user open a Meta question an appropriate way of addressing this (considering most users don't use Meta)?
  • Is there something else that might work better, such as locking the answer instead?
  • 9
    Users can see and edit their deleted questions and answers.
    – Kevin
    Mar 26, 2015 at 20:42
  • 2
    @Kevin - well you learn something new every day. Not a concern at all then, thanks!
    – user8719
    Mar 26, 2015 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


There’s a problem with your premise:

The user does not have sufficient reputation to view deleted questions and answers

This is not the case.

Quoting from Meta.se:

Deleted questions will be visible to their authors, regardless of those authors' reputation. They won't be linked to anywhere that they're not already linked, but if someone knows where to find their question and it's been deleted, they should always be able to view it.

As such, the author in question can always find their deleted answer, and @Richard’s comment, by visiting the associated question. It will always be visible to them there, and they can choose to act upon it (or not) accordingly.

  • 2
    Thanks; as I commented above, it's not a concern at all then.
    – user8719
    Mar 26, 2015 at 23:11

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