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Today (2019 July 6) a new user had posted a question that received some upvotes The problem is from contest.Please flag it for removing it and I had provided an answer that didn't solve the problem.
Now the PO has deleted that question and I wonder, how that is possible because if I remember right, questions that have an answer can't be deleted.

So my question is what the rules are for deleting one's own question if it has received answers, also in respect to the people who put effort in contributing to the solution of problems by providing answers and participating in discussions.


Edit (YCor) Here's the chain of events at this time (time GMT with missing minutes which I don't have access to); please further edit to improve it if necessary:

  • July 6, 9:00 question posted by OP (user Shrijana)
  • July 6, 12:00 answer posted (by OP of this meta post); discussion related to the question in the comments
  • July 6, 16:00 question deleted by OP
  • July 6, 16:30 this meta post
  • July 6, 21:00 question undeleted (3 votes)
  • July 7, 2:00 one user mention that a duplicate was posted and deleted (then mentioned by another user that it was deleted by OP)
  • July 7, 8:30 one user mentions link showing that it's an ongoing (July 2019) contest (as was previously suspected in comments). This was then mentioned in the question as a warning
  • July 7, 9:00 this user vandalizes the question (by erasing all the mathematical contents of the question) and its title (with edit approval) and requests deletion by moderator
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    $\begingroup$ I voted for undeletion. $\endgroup$ – YCor Jul 6 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ @YCor FYI, as I commented in the question, this perhaps shouldn't have been undeleted as virtually the same question was asked yesterday on MSE at Given $N$ integers on a circle , what will be the minimum pair sum? but it's been deleted with an explanation of "for reasons of moderation". It may be part of an ongoing contest or something and, as such, should be removed here also. As I stated, I have flagged the question for moderator attention. $\endgroup$ – John Omielan Jul 7 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnOmielan In fact, the MSE post has been deleted by the OP. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 7 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Thanks for the information. This seems a bit strange as I'm certain I've seen cases in the past at least where the OP has deleted a question when I was viewing it (e.g., while trying to answer or comment on it) & it stated it was deleted by the owner. Perhaps this depends on how I was trying to view the post. In my opinion, have it say "for reasons of moderation" is, at least, misleading in this situation. I'm sorry for any trouble or hassle I caused but I was just trying to do the right thing. $\endgroup$ – John Omielan Jul 7 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnOmielan I think "for reasons of moderation" is just a generic message; it's indeed misleading when deletion is by OP. You may mention it at MathSE Meta. $\endgroup$ – YCor Jul 7 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnOmielan I have posted a bug report on Meta Stack Exchange: Why this question shows removed “for reasons of moderation” rather than “voluntarily removed by its author”? BTW one of the comments on the question you linked says that it is from this months' CodeChef competition: codechef.com/JULY19A/problems/CIRMERGE $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 7 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Thanks for checking on this further. I'm curious what the resolution to your bug report post will be, in particular if it's anything other than just the user being "disassociated/deleted", like MadScientist stated in a comment. $\endgroup$ – John Omielan Jul 7 at 7:58
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    $\begingroup$ @YCor I think it is good idea to delete the question $\endgroup$ – Glator Jul 7 at 8:16
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak I think best thing to do is to implement a feature similar to that on puzzle stack exchange where question and answer is made hidden until contest gets over .This will save effort of the writer ,will avoid all drama ad time wastage . $\endgroup$ – Glator Jul 7 at 8:19
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    $\begingroup$ The undeletion was based on the fact that some users had been thinking about the question and would like to have the post open. I also understand that being part of a contest (and being such a focussed problem) is also a good reason for closure/deletion. One could imagine closing/deleting the question until August 1 (end of contest) if those who are interested still want the question to be opened. I just don't think that vandalizing the question should be done by a single user. $\endgroup$ – YCor Jul 7 at 8:30
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    $\begingroup$ I deleted the question. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jul 7 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ @YCor We can re-construct the question so that's not issue .Yeah i like and suggest SE you said "One could imagine closing/deleting the question until August 1 (end of contest) if those who are interested still want the question to be opened".BTW what decision has been taken ? $\endgroup$ – Glator Jul 7 at 8:56
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddTrimble But please reopen the question after contest since it will not waste precious time and effort of people who have answered. $\endgroup$ – Glator Jul 7 at 8:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Glator So on July 22 if I read correctly. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jul 7 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Glator Maybe some of the locals will correct me, but as far as I know, there isn't any official policy on contest problems on MathOverflow. (Unlike Mathematics Stack Exchange, see the FAQ post: “Contest problem” policy.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 7 at 9:59
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Possibly this is closer to a comment than to an answer - however, it would probably be too long for a comment.

Re: I wonder, how that is possible because if I remember right, questions that have an answer can't be deleted.

If a question has more than one answer or at least one answer has an upvote, it cannot be self-deleted.

From the FAQ post How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

You can't delete your own question if it:

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the clarification Martin; so it remains to hope that the PO will pose the problem again. $\endgroup$ – Manfred Weis Jul 6 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ I will explicitly point out that I have posted this answer when the question looked like this - which seemed more-or-less general inquiry on self-deletion. Only after that the question was edited to the current form - now it seems to be focused more on this specific question and perhaps, more generally, on questions from ongoing contests. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 7 at 11:59

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