What happens if I edit a question so that more than half its content is gone, then decide to delete the original question and post the new, shorter question?

Is that bad to do? Why?

For reference, here's a question I asked and the revised version of the question, which was deleted (both are currently deleted).

  • 4
    Why would you do that? You can just undelete.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 2, 2018 at 22:52
  • 3
    Well, yeah, we could do a lot of things, but generally doing it in a way other than the simple, obvious way requires a reason. We could answer your question in code and offer to mail you the secret decoder ring, but we should probably just answer. So: why are you interested in doing this, instead of undeleting, or never deleting? What problem are you trying to solve?
    – Cascabel
    Feb 2, 2018 at 23:38
  • 1
    Thank you for clarifying your question! (You might want to edit that in.)
    – Cascabel
    Feb 2, 2018 at 23:43
  • 4
    I agree that you should not delete an existing question and re-post it, for the reasons given in other answers. One small caveat to this: If you want to edit a question so severely that it would invalidate existing answers, I think it would be reasonable to write a new question (leaving the original question intact), and post that separately. You would probably want to link to the original question, and explain how the new question is different if it might not be immediately obvious.
    – 1006a
    Feb 3, 2018 at 23:48

2 Answers 2


Deleting questions and reposting them in order to avoid closure or to get rid of downvotes is specifically considered against the rules. This is regardless of whether or not you significantly edit the question.

By your own admission, this was the reasoning:

@Cascabel I decided to delete and repost, because someone had drastically revised the question so that I felt that it was essentially a new question. I didn't feel it should have to start at -4 and 2 close votes. But anyway, I will undelete the first, unrevised version at -4, if that pleases you. – D.Hutchinson 52 mins ago

And, since that's been deleted:

Deleted comment that reads as the above quote area does.

Please don't attempt to circumvent the community by invalidating their votes by deleting and reposting questions.

  • Ok, so I'll undelete the original? Feb 3, 2018 at 1:05
  • 2
    You already claimed that you did...
    – Catija StaffMod
    Feb 3, 2018 at 1:07
  • Apparently, I didn't hit the undelete button - I just did so again. It looks undeleted now. But, I would like to add all the content back into it, not have it in this vastly trimmed down state that the edit person did to the question ... Feb 3, 2018 at 1:08
  • 5
    If you want to edit it back to the version that was getting down votes and close votes, be my guest... don't come complaining on meta when it gets closed, though.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Feb 3, 2018 at 1:09
  • ok fine ... thanks ... Feb 3, 2018 at 1:16

Why would you do this? If it's fundamentally the same question, all you're accomplishing is removing the existing history; this basically invalidates all the existing votes users have already given and potentially wastes the time and efforts of those who have already attempted to contribute to the existing post by whatever means (e.g. comments or edits).

The only conceivable reason I can see for you to do this is to give your bad question a "fresh start"; in other words, by wiping out the downvotes and the criticism that the community has already given you you get to repost what is essentially the same question except with a non-negative score. This is basically just trying to game the system to make your own post look better.

Either way, it's just plain rude to those who care about the quality of the site and who try to keep things curated. It's also more likely to trigger the bad questions alogrithms, but mostly it's just rude. Also, being rude is bad and you should not do it.

  • 7
    The first and second paragraphs are pretty much entirely composed of reasons not to delete and repost. This absolutely does answer the question.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 2, 2018 at 23:36
  • 6
    @D.Hutchinson Can you explain how being rude to people is not violating the be nice policy.
    – sphennings
    Feb 2, 2018 at 23:46
  • 6
    I would note that the reasons given in this answer (in the first two paragraphs) are reasons not to do this regardless of whether Be Nice covers this situation. I do agree that it's not respectful to unilaterally wipe away votes, revision history, and comments from other users and thus it is likely Not Nice, but this answer is valid whether or not you agree with that.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 2, 2018 at 23:54

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