The Euler quote question "Why are people hanged if they talked" has been deleted by a moderator. I have the impression this is a new practice (correct me if I'm wrong), that deletions of off-topic questions are performed by a moderator rather than by users, and I wonder whether that is the way to go.
I appreciate that moderators routinely delete spammy or offensive questions, but this particular one was merely off-topic. (Although MO has had similar curiosity questions about famous mathematicians in the past, and some might feel that they offer a not unwelcome diversion from more serious stuff.)
My concern is that deletion by users is based on a community model, it requires 3 users, more if the question is popular, and it can be reversed if users so decide at a point in the future. A moderator deletion is an instananeous single-person action that cannot be reversed.
Somehow I feel that moderators should step in when something goes wrong with the site, something that regular users cannot handle in a timely manner. To quote from our help center: "Moderators are human exception handlers, there to deal with those exceptional conditions that could otherwise disrupt the community."
Q: Shouldn't we, as users, handle the deletions of non-spammy, off-topic questions ourselves?