Yesterday Question 15411 had a fairly highly rated answer that I thought was the best answer. There was a "please back this up" comment on that answer. Today that answer is completely gone. Is there any way to determine why this has happened, or to request a "re-review"? Or to see an earlier version of the question that includes the deleted answer?

If it matters, the question is how to improve communication to a team leader who asks a question in chat, gets an answer but then asks the same question again. Rather than getting into a long discussion, the deleted answer was to simply send a link to the original answer when the same question is received. This had the advantage of avoiding discussion of who is at fault, and if the original answer wasn't useful, stimulating the conversation about why it wasn't useful.

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    You say it had a request for backup. Wouldn't a logical conclusion be, then, that this would be related to its deletion?
    – Mithical
    Jun 12, 2018 at 12:53
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    @ArwenUndómiel I did come to that conclusion, but my other logical conclusion was that since the answer was highly rated and I had given reasons as to why it made sense, it wouldn't be removed.
    – DaveG
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:41
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    Why would site policy not apply to an answer just because it's received a few upvotes?
    – sphennings
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:45
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    @sphennings As I said, that means that useful answers disappear from the site.
    – DaveG
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:50
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    @DaveGoldberg "useful" is subjective. Arguably, someone posting an answer saying "here's my email address; contact me and we can talk about this" could be considered useful... but it still clearly doesn't belong on this site.
    – Beofett
    Jun 12, 2018 at 15:12

3 Answers 3


Here is the text of the answer, verbatim:

On Slack, you can copy the URL of an earlier message and paste it into the chat, and Slack will quote the earlier message along with a timestamp.

This is the approach I take if asked a question I have already replied to. Instead of replying again, I just paste the link to the earlier message in, which makes it clear that I already answered the question hours ago.

More info here - https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/203274767-Share-messages-in-Slack#sharing-vs.-quoting

To be honest, I consider the application of Back-It-Up irrelevant (or at least unimportant) in this case, because the answer doesn't actually teach the reader something about interpersonal skills and interpersonal interactions. Remember, we're Interpersonal Skills Stack Exchange, not Solve-My-Problem Stack Exchange. This means that we narrow answers down to ones that actually use interpersonal skills. It's what we do.

Anyway, the answer got two Not An Answer flags and went through the review queue, where six out of seven reviewers voted for deletion. The only reason it wasn't deleted was that it had a positive score; this raised an automatic moderator flag, and then it was duly deleted.

If you want to know more about why a post was deleted, or why most moderation actions (with the exception of private matters, like the suspension of other users) were taken, you can always ask like this on meta, and hopefully folks will get back to you.

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    I disagree entirely that it isn't teaching about interpersonal skills. To me the important skill being taught is that there are times when less is more. The other suggested answers reminded me (personal experience here) of times when a product manager so politely asked me how he or she could enable me to do what they were telling me to do. Opening a lengthy discussion on "why didn't you see the answer I already sent" simply isn't productive.
    – DaveG
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:53
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    @DaveGoldberg If the OP wanted to add a writeup to their answer explaining that as you did. It's likely that their answer wouldn't have been deleted. Adding that information turns it into an explanation about how to apply an interpersonal skill rather than a description of a software feature.
    – sphennings
    Jun 12, 2018 at 13:56
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    @DaveGoldberg That's kind of a generous interpretation, and still isn't clearly an interpersonal skill; it's a skill about judging a situation. An acid test I like to use for answers like this is asking whether or not they can be applied independent of the tool being used - that is, whether they require dealing with the other person directly, or using a tool (in this case, a computer) to accomplish something similar. The former works; the latter doesn't.
    – HDE 226868
    Jun 12, 2018 at 14:01

When you hit 2000 reputation on the IPS stack, you will be able to see deleted answers. It's important to remember that 'deleted' in the context of Stackexchange doesn't actually mean gone. It means gone until the original author fixes the issues the answer has.


As you earn reputation, you gain additional privileges on this site. When you gain sufficient rep you get access to limited moderator tools. One of those tools is the ability to see deleted posts, provided you can find them. With this, you would be able to see the deleted post, as well as its edit history and any non-deleted comments remaining on the post.

Or, if you don't want to wait until you can earn 2000 rep, you can always ask here on meta. It seems like that is the real goal of your question anyway, to find out what happened to that answer.

We have a policy that answers must provide interpersonal solutions to the question asked. I left a comment on the answer explaining the policy and suggesting how to edit the answer to make it in line with the established policy. 16 hours later, the answer was deleted by a mod, who left a comment explaining site policy, how to edit the answer so that it would conform with site policy, and what steps to take to get the answer undeleted once the necessary edits have been made.

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    I was looking for a list of the policies in the Help and searching on "policies" but haven't found it. Can anyone point me to the policies? Probably right in front of me and I'm just not seeing it.
    – DaveG
    Jun 12, 2018 at 19:34
  • @DaveGoldberg This site in beta so a lot of the policies are still in being developed and refined. The best place to look to see the current state of site policy is to search around meta. HDE provides a good explanation of the policy in his answer.
    – sphennings
    Jun 12, 2018 at 19:39

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