If a user gets disillusioned with stack-exchange business practices and they run about deleting all their accepted answers, are the answers actually gone?

  • Anything in particular prompt such a question? – Shog9 Aug 22 '11 at 5:47
  • @Shog9 0 Yes...chat room or comments – RobotHumans Aug 22 '11 at 5:52
  • @Shog9 - okay, so i guess the delay means comments. basically, SE actively shut down securitytube.net where the type of question i was asking recently on security.stack...net would have received a large response instead of skepticism. I have a large amount of problem with such a modus operandi. An extra component is that I have contributed a large amount to the SE sites. – RobotHumans Aug 22 '11 at 5:57
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    Ok, it looks like you have an open discussion going on regarding the scope of the site as it pertains to questions on security tools - you should probably see how that plays out before rushing to judgement. Keep in mind that moderators can reverse their decisions or even see them overturned by the community if necessary - so make your case and see where it takes you. I suspect this boils down to a misunderstanding regarding your intent. If necessary, there's a "contact us" link on every page - I would hope you would prefer that to mass-deletion... – Shog9 Aug 22 '11 at 6:05
  • All valid points. – RobotHumans Aug 22 '11 at 6:13


Well, first off... Users can't actually delete accepted answers. Once an answer is "accepted" (the asker puts that green check-mark to the left of it) only a moderator can delete it.

Aside from that, rarely is any post truly deleted. Hidden away, where only moderators and users with more than 10K reputation points is the real meaning of the word. If necessary, they can be restored.

Beyond that, there are periodic data dumps made publicly available, so it's often possible to retrieve deleted content from those even if you're unable to view it on the site.

Also note that all user contributions are licensed under the cc-wiki license, and thus can be freely hosted elsewhere by anyone so long as proper attribution is given. So it's entirely possible to find stuff that isn't in any data-dump and can't be seen on the site if someone had the forethought to copy it prior to it being deleted.

Nothing ever dies on The Internet.

  • valid 110% and i completely agree with the mentality. what i was getting at is that i can only answer, not ask. if it's a problem, i'll make sure not to answer any more questions. i just wanted to see how far i could actually get on removing answers. – RobotHumans Aug 22 '11 at 5:49
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    @aking: oh... Well, if this is about the security-tool question, you opened a discussion on Meta about it and should probably wait for a response from Rory. Generally-speaking, both the system and moderators will step in to prevent mass-deletion of useful content, regardless of who posted it - such actions are poisonous to the site. I advise against trying it. – Shog9 Aug 22 '11 at 5:54
  • valid point. just sayin'. – RobotHumans Aug 22 '11 at 6:00

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