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I was under the impression that "deleted" threads were still visible by moderators or other high-level members of the community. Is this correct? If a post was deleted that shouldn't have been, is it too late to bring it back?

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, and, in addition, I think the account who posted the deleted question is also able to view the deleted post. On the other hand, I'm not sure whether an account (below 10k rep) who posted an answer to a question is able to view the thread (or at least the very answer) once the question is deleted. I'm not sure whether it's addressed in the long detailed post linked by Todd Trimble. $\endgroup$ – YCor Jan 2 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ @YCor Re: I'm not sure whether it's addressed in the long detailed post linked by Todd Trimble. The current revision of the FAQ post says: "Additionally, you can see any deleted question you have answered as well as your answer(s) to it provided you have the direct link, but you can't see other users' answers to it, neither can you see the question's revision history." $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 3 at 7:35
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Your impression is correct: users with 10k+ rep and site moderators can see deleted posts. No, it is not too late to resurrect them, unless some extraordinary action has been applied (like a lock). But you need some high-rep users to apply undelete votes. (I'm speaking here of posts deleted by the community.)

Information on how deletion works is here: How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

We have a meta thread where some users request to reopen or undelete: Requests for reopen and undelete votes for on-hold, closed, and deleted questions

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    $\begingroup$ I will add that 10k+ users can see recent deletions/undeletions in the moderator tools. Probably at least some users monitors those lists - and if they see there questions which should be undeleted, they vote accordingly. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 1 at 12:34
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this is 100% correct: users with 10k+ rep can see deleted answers, but not deleted questions nor comments. Deleted questions and comments are very well hidden from the general public of users, and the possibility for independent review is intentionally very limited. The only place where deleted questions can be seen is the recently deleted tab, where they can be seen for a maximum of 30 days. $\endgroup$ – Federico Poloni Jan 3 at 11:10
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Do any users actually monitor that page? Frankly, I would have considered you the most likely person to do it. So if you write that even you don't do it, I think no one else does. :) $\endgroup$ – Federico Poloni Jan 3 at 11:12
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    $\begingroup$ @FedericoPoloni I cannot see what is on that page since this is only available to 10k+ users. I'd expect that some users on Mathematics do look at that page (judging by the fact that some users on meta said it would be better the number of the recent deletions displayed there would be larger). My impression that on MathOverflow, not many users are involved in the community moderation. (Moreover, it has less 10k+ users than Mathematics.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 3 at 11:25
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    $\begingroup$ Some discussion on visibility of deleted posts (basically a follow-up to the first comment by Federico Poloni) can be found in chat. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 3 at 12:10

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