This is motivated by this question, see also the comments, and Will Jagy's answer. I was asked to start a formal request, so here it is.

A user that has expressed no desire to participate anymore on the site for the foreseeable future deleted several of their answers before their departure. (Among other actions, documented elsewhere.) These answers were valuable contributions to the site. My understanding is that this is antithetical to the spirit of MathOverflow, and this action is highly questionable at best.

I request that the moderators undelete these questions. I do not think the moderators are opposed to this action, as the question linked to above shows that they have done so in at least one instance. I also think it is better to proceed this way rather than hoping that, one by one, 10+K users happen upon one of these undeleted questions and make individual requests for each of them.

If the user wishes not to be associated with the answers any longer (which I imagine can be easily established, as at least one of the moderators knows the user personally), the moderators can either delete the account (while leaving its content), or simply remove the association between the account and the questions (so the questions appear as asked by an anonymous user with no account).

I'll post an answer to be voted up if one thinks this undeleting is a reasonable (useful, beneficial) action for the community, or down if one opposes. Please post alternatives, further support, additional suggestions, or objections as other answers.

Note that I am not asking for policy that requests undeletion of all deleted answers by all users or anything of the kind. This is a highly exceptional situation.

(Feel free to add tags as appropriate.)

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    $\begingroup$ IIRC some deletitions happened considerable time before this user decided to (temmprorarily) leave the site. This does not directly contradict what you say but "deleted several of their answers before their departure" could be misinterpreted that all deletions happen briefly before the departure (after the decision for departure), which changes the situation quite a bit, in my opinion. Or do you only talk about a subset of their deleted answers? $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ One more technical point then I will leave this for a while: first you say " deleted several of their answers" then "I request that the moderators undelete these questions" are you actually talking about answers or questions or both? $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


Please vote up if you agree that the requested undeleting is a reasonable (useful, beneficial) action for the community. Vote down otherwise.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you intend to ask what should be done too? You do not in this question. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 20:15

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