Deleted Posts

All about deleted questions.

Joel Bradley avatar
Written by Joel Bradley
Updated over a week ago

Tags | Deleted post |

Applies to: All Stack Overflow for Teams

Overview

Not all questions asked on Stack Overflow for Teams are high-quality and relevant. To ensure the best possible content, community members can vote to close questions that need additional work or are not a good fit for the site. Users can then use a similar process to vote to delete closed questions.

In some cases, moderators or site administrators may delete closed questions irrespective of community voting. Moderators and admins may also delete open questions that are dated in their content or remain unanswered after a significant period of time.

To allow time for the community to edit, improve, and reopen a question, questions closed within the last 48 hours cannot be deleted.

Delete your own post

As owner (author), you can delete your own question if the question has no answers (or a single answer with no upvotes). To delete a question you posted, view the question and click Manage.

Click Delete. You'll see a confirmation box, which may contain additional warnings if the question has answers on it. You can restore a deleted post by clicking Manage then Undelete.

Deleted posts

Deleting a post does not permanently delete it from the database. Instead, Stack Overflow for Teams performs a "soft" deletion that affects who can see the post. A deleted post will be visible, with a red background, only to the following:

  • The owner (author) of the post.

  • Moderators.

  • Site admins.

The post owner will always be able to view, edit, and undelete their own post. You can find your deleted posts by clicking on your avatar (profile picture), going to your Activity page, and clicking Deleted questions at the bottom of the page.

Automatic deletion

Stack Overflow for Teams uses the generic "Community" user for automated tasks around the site, including deleting posts. The automated system will delete posts based on specific criteria as follows.

Offensive or spam posts
If a post accumulates enough offensive or spam flags, the Community user will automatically lock and delete the post.

Dead questions
The Community user will automatically delete a dead question if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is more than 30 days old

  • Has a score of -1 or lower

  • Has no answers

  • Is not locked

Abandoned questions
The Community user will automatically delete an abandoned question if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is more than 365 days old

  • Has a score of 0 (or 1 and a deleted owner)

  • Has no answers

  • Is not locked

  • Has fewer than two comments

  • Has a view count less than or equal to the age of the question in days times 1.5

Abandoned closed questions
The Community user will automatically delete an abandoned closed question if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Closed more than nine days ago

  • Not closed as a duplicate

  • Has a score of 0 or less

  • Is not locked

  • Has no answers with a score greater than 0

  • Has no accepted answer

  • Has no pending reopen votes

  • Has not been edited in the past nine days


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