I recently asked a question, thought about it, decided to delete it, and I wanted to add a short note after deleting it explaining why I removed the question.

It turns out, I couldn't edit the deleted question. I searched for my other deleted questions (being a 10k user, I can do that), and it turns out that I cannot edit any of them. I can edit my deleted answers, though.

Moreover, this is unique to MathOverflow. On Math.SE it seems that I can edit my deleted questions just fine.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I have also been annoyed by this issue. Suppose I write a nonsense answer (er, hypothetically, cough, cough..), post it, and then recognize that it is nonsense, so I delete immediately. But now I can't erase the nonsense without first undeleting! So I do that very quickly, hoping nobody sees the nonsense while I am erasing it. $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2017 at 11:38
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    $\begingroup$ Wait a sec...Asaf says he can edit his deleted answers, Joel says he can't. Have we found the long-awaited contradiction that proves the Universe is inconsistent? $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2017 at 12:04
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson All I see is a proof that Asaf $\ne$ Joel. $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2017 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Stefan: Yes, I can see that. I can't seem to edit my own deleted questions. mathoverflow.net/questions/30909/… for example. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Apr 28, 2017 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ it's also an issue on MO Meta:, the "edit" button is greyed out for my own question: meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/3228/… $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2017 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Carlo: I seem to be able to edit your post. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Apr 28, 2017 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ yes, that's the weird part: the "edit" button is only greyed out if it is your own question, I can edit your questions and you can edit mine, but not the other way around. $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2017 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ If I understand this post correctly, users are not able to edit self-deleted questions (this behavior should be the same on any site in SE network). You should be able to edit self-deleted answers. (However, it bumps the question.) And you should be able to edit an answer which was deleted for other reasons, not self-deleted. $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2017 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin: But I can edit self deleted questions on MSE. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Apr 28, 2017 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I tried to search for my deleted questions on math.SE and meta.math.SE, and I cannot edit them. If you are able to edit your own questions which were deleted by yourself, then it is a bug. (At least if we take the post on meta.SE as the official documentation.) Perhaps I should add that I have learned about this from this answer. $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2017 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Martin: Huh, now it seems I can't edit self-deleted questions on MSE. The reason it seemed that I can is that at some point one moderator had tried something out, and undeleted/re-deleted that question. I just realized that. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Apr 28, 2017 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ @JoelDavidHamkins As far as I can tell, you should be able to edit self-deleted answers. (See the posts linked above.) The disadvantage is that edit to a deleted answer still bumps the question. If you check revision history and timeline of this answer on math.SE, you can see that I edited it after I deleted it. And I guess other users are able to provide similar examples here on MO. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2017 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak You seem to be right. When I search for some of my own deleted answers now, it seems that I can edit them. But I have definitely had the experience of wanting to edit a deleted post and not being able to do so. Was it only with self-deleted questions? I guess so. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2017 at 10:39


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