Let's say some or all of your questions are deleted (by admins, not by yourself), or your account gets deleted (not by yourself). Is there a way to retrieve your questions? From what I've read, this is possible as long as you have kept the link to your questions. But could it be that after (say) a year, they are completely erased and totally un-retrievable? I don't know if that could happen or not, but better be safe than sorry. Other scenarios are possible too, such as StackExchange closing down all operations, or being hacked or victim of a computer glitch, and resulting in content loss.

In my case, my posting frequency has decreased a lot recently, meaning that I post elsewhere most of the time these days (outside stackexchange), or re-post previous questions elsewhere mostly on my own blog). I am more concerned about older questions. I saved all the links, and wondering if I should also save all the full content (past or future) in Latex documents on my private cloud in case I need to access it to produce future articles or a books.

An example of such a question that received a lot of negativity is this one today. Since I don't have the faintest idea why it got so many downvotes and was closed within an hour, there is no way that I could improve it. I am not criticizing those who downvoted it, I manage a community myself and thus I also delete content that I consider to be inappropriate for my audience. If my previous question that required so much time to produce brings no value to the community, I understand it gets closed / removed, and I have no motivation to post such questions in the future (which is great too for MO), as it also brings no value to me, creating a feeling of giving without receiving anything back.

In short, I am just wondering if I should save in the cloud all the material (of value to me) that I will or have ever published on MO, or in other StackExchange channels.

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    $\begingroup$ Certainly, any company can go under. If you are worried so much about the preservation of your content, you should definitely archive it elsewhere as well, the more places the better. However, there is no way to get an absolute guarantee; your independent archives may also get destroyed. $\endgroup$ – Emil Jeřábek Apr 21 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ Good idea, thank you. A printout, in addition to the cloud, may not be a bad idea either. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Granville Apr 21 at 8:04
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    $\begingroup$ I think the reason for the downvotes on and closure of your question "Understanding the mechanics behind the Riemann hypothesis" is just that -- as opposed to concrete questions which can plausibly be answered here -- posts in blog-like format are not really well-suited for this site. -- While (being a group theorist and not an analytical number theorist), I cannot comment on the mathematical contents of your post, please don't take the reactions of the community as discouragement to further contribute to this site! $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Apr 21 at 9:04

All deletions on SE are soft deletions. If your account is associated with the question (i.e. you've asked the question, and you were not dissociated from it for one reason or another (this usually involves you requesting that)), you can always access the question using a link.

If you are not the associated with the question, you will need to have at least 10k points to be able to see it.

But it will be there until the end of time, or at least until SE shuts down its servers.

One point worth mentioning is that with a high enough reputation you can search your own deleted posts, so even if you lost the link you should be able to find it in that case.


A quick and I think reliable way to ensure content will remain accessible is to submit it for archiving at https://web.archive.org/save

Wikipedia now routinely replaces links to external web pages by a link to the archived page, even if the external page is still active, just to avoid link rot at some future point in time.


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