Are mods to follow a set of rules when deleting posts, or are they given free reign to instantly delete an answer they do not like without giving the OP the chance to edit their answer?

I gave an answer to WIFI card for PC which was flagged by ArtOfCode as not meeting the criteria of having supporting reasons for the recommendation.

The quote attached to the flag/deletion is: "Answers should generally provide some explanation and detail about the products they recommend. Answers that don't may be removed, as I've just done here. If you edit some explanation in, it may be possible to restore this answer"

As the answer is deleted by a moderator, when you click to vote to undelete, you get the message "A moderator has deleted this post and it cannot be undeleted." Why give the idea that if I edit my answer to include a more detailed reasoning for my recommendation it could be restored, if in actuality it cannot? Also, is there nothing in the way of rules for mods when it comes to giving someone time to edit an answer before it is just deleted?

  • Adam's answer explains it pretty well. The only thing I'd add is that no, on this site there is no time available for the author to edit before the answer is deleted. However, the answer can still be edited when it's deleted. To undelete it, because you can't vote (because it was mod-deleted), you simply need to cast a mod flag on it to ask us to undelete it.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


Content moderation

Yes, mods follow rules when deciding what to delete. However, as mentioned time and time again, this site is not nearly as straightforward as others. Decisions have to be made that might not always appear to be beneficial but are nonetheless objectively correct.

Now, your answer can be edited after it is deleted. Once it's edited, you can then flag it for undeletion. Having your answer deleted doesn't mean you're being silenced permanently. It simply means your answer did not appear to follow the guidelines well enough and should therefore be temporarily removed. Whether this deletion is actually temporary or not depends on you, the person who wrote the answer. As I said above, you can edit your answer and it can be undeleted if it shows improvement. So if you don't edit your answer, it will be permanently deleted.

This problem is one that arises from the fact that this site requires moderation that needs to uphold strict quality rules. Other sites don't have this problem simply because their topics are cut and dry; our topic is not cut and dry at all.

Why was your answer deleted though?

After carefully reading the question and then your answer, it looks like you didn't actually answer one of the OP's main questions:

What road (USB/PCIe) and what specific device would you recommend?

In addition to the recommendation, it asks what format you would go with. Yes, this question is technically answered when you recommend a product of a certain format (e.g., your recommendation is a PCIe card), but implications aren't helpful on this site. The reason you chose a PCIe card needs to be clearly stated and explained. Since your answer doesn't have this, it doesn't answer the OP's question(s). Again, this can be fixed if you edit it and let us know.

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    has anyone broached the subject of clarifying what makes an answer instantly deletable to avoid situations like this in the first place? I am not sure how hardware recommendations is not cut in dry in the first place. The site by name seems self explanatory, a place to get recommendations on all types of hardware. At least that is how my mind interprets the words hardware + recommendations. I did edit my question to include why I suggested what I did, but truly it feels a bit odd having the same moderator who deleted the post privy to if it gets undeleted. Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 22:55
  • The answer quality guidelines explain what a good answer contains. To avoid instant deletion, your answer must answer the question asked and provide explanation among other things. This site is not at all cut and dry. Question and answer quality has to be very strictly upheld or the site will be flooded with low-quality posts, and the way this is done varies widely between each case.
    – Adam
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 23:03
  • @Adam, so instead of flagging the answer, or placing the answer on hold, it's deleted without the answerer having the opportunity to correct/add the answer so it meets guidelines? Is this what I am hearing? Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 23:11
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    @DigitalBoffin I'll say this once more: after an answer is deleted, it can be edited for improvement. Please read my answer above again. We don't wait for an edit before deleting because the answer lowers the quality of the thread, so it can't stay there. Also, there is no such thing as putting an answer on hold.
    – Adam
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 23:20
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    Then explain this message: "A moderator has deleted this post and it cannot be undeleted." "We don't wait for an edit before deleting because the answer lowers the quality of the thread" This is why we have the thing called a downvote and things called comments Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 23:25
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    @DigitalBoffin That first quote is a message SE displays under any deleted answer. It is not site-specific, and in this case, it's untrue. Answers can be undeleted and we have no problem doing it if needed. That said, there is no middle ground for answers (i.e., putting something on hold), so they're either left alone or deleted. If an answer doesn't adhere to the guidelines (i.e., answer the question), it has to be deleted until it is improved.
    – Adam
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 0:16
  • @DigitalBoffin, the message is a bit misleading: the post cannot be undeleted by vote of ordinary users. A moderator can still undelete it.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 19:59

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