This question was unilaterally deleted by a mod 7 years after it was asked. It was brought up over at MO meta as an example of a moderator (in this case me) not allowing a user to delete content. That was likely the motivating factor for deleting the question, but I don't see it meeting the standards for deletion, never mind mod deletion. I still stand by my actions then. I think everything is available to 10k+ users in the comments, but a quick recap might help:

OP asked a question about a sensitive topic (department chair being a jerk) from a throw away account. The question did not include any identifiable information or specifics. I thought it was a reasonable question, so I answered it. OP then vandalized the question in an attempt to delete it, I rolled the edit back, and OP vandalized it again. At that point I used my diamond mod powers to temporarily lock the post while the content dispute was resolved. Before locking the post, I suggested two courses of action (post disassociation and account deletion) to the OP that I thought were suitable since the post did not contain any identifying information and was from a throw away account. OP never really followed up except to complain once.

1 Answer 1


Ah, sorry, I actually wasn't aware of the history here. If I had been, I probably would have posted on meta -- or at least consulted with other mods -- before nuking it.

What happened here is that a user flagged this question (perhaps due to the MO discussion you linked, of which I was unaware), suggesting that it should be closed because the original poster had expressed "concerns about their safety" if the post was allowed to stay. I did not form a judgment on this claim either way.

Instead, I saw a question that was extremely off-topic and low quality -- it basically boils down to "I've mad about these 6 things, any advice?" Respectfully, I'm surprised you answered it at all. I also saw that it was 7+ years old, had few votes, and had caused a fair amount of drama. So, I thought that deleting the post was a reasonable thing to do. It's been long enough that the only answerer (you) won't even lose the rep (not that you will have a rep shortage anytime soon).

Given that this question apparently has historical significance, maybe this was the wrong call. But maybe not; this still feels like a low-quality question that has already caused way too many issues. I don't feel super strongly either way, will gladly take feedback if there is a consensus.

  • 3
    I feel/felt that by deleting it, it hid my actions, and the reasons for them, from people. While I don't think it is a great question, I wouldn't go so far as saying it is extremely off topic. Seeing you delete it made me question if I should have deleted it 7 years ago. Noting that I can currently see makes me think the question put OP at risk.
    – StrongBad
    Feb 8 at 3:39
  • 3
    Yeah, I think your decision 7 years ago was fine. It is normally not our policy to delete questions that have answers, and 7 years ago there wasn't much reason to deviate from that policy. But at this point, I'd say the post has (even) less value than it did then, and it continues to generate flags, so let's err on the side of putting it out of its misery.
    – cag51 Mod
    Feb 8 at 4:57
  • Moderation standards can evolve. I don't think it needed to be deleted but I think it's fine to leave as is Feb 9 at 1:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .