Today, I wrote a little answer for a little question. But before my answer could receive any upvotes or downvotes, the OP deleted the question, so my answer disappeared!

If the OP deletes the question right after it's answered, no matter how good or bad the answer is, it's gone. The answer isn't protected from deletion until it gains at least one upvote. And as an answerer, that's kind of frustrating! My answers can disappear forever through no fault of my own.

If this just happened once, it wouldn't be a big deal. But when I mentioned this on chat, someone else mentioned that the same user had done the same thing to them—more than once! Now, I can't list that user's deleted questions, so I can't tell if this is accurate or if they've misremembered, but if so, it's a rather unpleasant pattern:

  1. Post question.
  2. Wait for answer.
  3. Delete question before answer can receive any votes.

I would prefer that users not do this.


There were some similar discussions on Meta.SE, caused by OPs suddenly deleting the questions after becoming an answer. The most interesting one was where OP wasn't able to delete his question and has begged on Meta.SE to get his question deleted, because it was his homework. (unfortunatelly, I can't find them now, maybe they're deleted).

The mods have answered, that such actions are inacceptable, and students should think twice before posting assignments in internet. They've recommended flagging each such accident or in any other way reaching moderator attention.

You've already raised moderator's attention here, so instead of appealing to OPs not to delete questions (people doing so unlikely visit meta) don't hesitate to do that again if you met similar case in the future.

The option to delete own posts should be used only, when a post was a mistake (it happens, even without 'sh'). That what happened in the case you describe was a clear misuse of that option.

  • Ah, thank you for the information! Before I posted this I searched MSO, but for whatever reason I was unable to find the discussion.
    – user230
    Mar 3 '14 at 20:37

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