Suppose I delete an answer or a question I have posted, it is still visible for users with high reputation to see that.

I guess deleting an answer would mean I realise that the content is wrong or not sufficient.

It is little embarrassing to know that my stupid answer/question is still visible to so many users.

What is the point of this facility to high reputation users?

Is it a good idea to make it visible just for me and no one else?

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    $\begingroup$ If you are embarrassed by some blunder you made, can't you just delete all the body of the question/answer and write "This question/answer was deleted because of a mistake" or something similar? Anyway, there are mistakes that are also fruitful, so it might make sense to leave them visible to some users. $\endgroup$ Commented May 2, 2018 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ @FrancescoPolizzi: High reputation users can also see the edit history of deleted questions. $\endgroup$ Commented May 3, 2018 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ @NateEldredge: I understand this, but seeing a mistake by chance is a different thing that looking purposely for it. $\endgroup$ Commented May 7, 2018 at 11:10

2 Answers 2


First of all, all of us make mistakes and you need not be more than mildly embarrassed by past errors. The user with the most reputation points on the site, Joel David Hamkins, has also deleted on occasion. So you're in very good company here; all we can do is try our best to minimize our mistakes and just keep learning -- all of us here are lifelong learners.

I think the ability of high rep users to see deleted content fits within the model of a stackexchange site as being based on community moderation, with more reputable users having a greater share in moderation abilities. A gross preponderance of deleted posts may indicate a problem which should be visible to such users in order for them to effectively contribute to community moderation. For example, deleting and then re-asking questions may indicate an attempt to circumvent moderation. Or, quickly deleting a question just after getting an answer may indicate a different type of shenanigans. Self-vandalism can also be a problem. All of these and more are possibilities whose sources need to be visible in order to be accurately judged.

Site moderators and community management cannot effectively do their jobs without a large "army" of vigilant observers to report what they see, so I would not recommend any changes to the set-up here.

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    $\begingroup$ What you said seems very reasonable for managing the site. I was going to say may be you can restrict this to just moderators but then as you said site can not be maintained by just 5/10 moderators with out other users help and you believe people with high reputation should be able to do that help. Fair enough. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 10:49

Let me digress a bit and respond just to this part of your question:

It is little embarrassing to know that my stupid answer/question is still visible to so many users.

At least in the case of the questions, they are not "that much visible". Users with 10k+ reputation points can see deleted posts provided they have the link.

So they can find and see your question, for example, if you linked to it in chat or in some your other post, if it is listed on some list (such as favorites or questions that you received a badge for) and in similar situations. And of course, if somebody was interested in your question enough to bookmark the link somewhere, they still have the link and they can see the question. (Assuming they have sufficient reputation.)

10k+ users can also see recent deletions in moderator tools, but self-deletions are not listed there. (So this would only be relevant for a question you did not deleted yourself but which was deleted by roomba or by other users.)

But in general it is very hard (close to impossible) to find a deleted question of another user. The exception are moderators who can search among deleted posts. (You can find your own deleted content - depending on your reputation either only recent ones or all of them. For details see: Is there any way to see my deleted questions or answers? and Can I somewhere see my own deleted questions? But for regular users, the search engine here on site offers no possibility to find deleted stuff posted by others.)

This is somewhat different for answers. If a user views the question and they have sufficient reputation, then they see there both deleted answers and the answers that have not been deleted.

  • $\begingroup$ I understand the point :) $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ Let me add to the last sentence that, when one sees "both deleted answers and the answers that have not been deleted," the site makes it very clear which answers have been deleted. Not only it the word "deleted" there (which someone could easily overlook) but the whole answer is shown on a pink background $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak: "10k+ users can also see recent deletions in moderator tools, but self-deletions are not listed there." Some of them are - those in the undeletion queue. $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexM. I suppose you mean the list of recent undelete votes which is shown in the 10k+ tools. I'd say that this is a bit different from what I describe - for a post to get there, at least one undelete vote by another user has to be cast first. And this user had to find the question in some way. (This is different to the list of recently deleted questions - no action by a particular user is needed, the question is automatically included there when it is deleted.) $\endgroup$ Commented May 1, 2018 at 7:40

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