This isn't in reference to any particular question, but to a comment from a moderator, "you are free to challenge my deletion on meta."

Is there a process for undeleting a question/answer on Skeptics.SE? I ask, because when clicking the undelete button a tooltip explained, voting to undelete moderators decisions isn't possible.

What is the process on meta to reverse the decision of a moderator? (will the decision only include users with 10k reputation able to see the deleted question/answer, I.e. 5 of 9 users who aren't moderators)

What is required to be successful? (Does this require a simple majority, 5 upvotes, or another moderator who agrees with you?

Note: This is not about a particular question, I would like to know the process in general.

  • I don't believe this has happened often enough for there to be a formal process. What would you like the process to be?
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 4:53
  • @Oddthinking, I don't have a preference, but since it was suggested as a solution from a moderator I assumed that I wasn't being sent on a snipe hunt. :)
    – user1873
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 6:19

3 Answers 3


How do you successfully challenge a moderators deletion of a question/answer?

Post a meta discussion describing the question/answer (remember, not everyone will have sufficient reputation to see the original), and ask whether it should be undeleted.

You can then post an answer to your meta question, outlining why you think it should be undeleted.

Quite possibly, one or more other answers may be posted explaining why people think it should stay deleted.

Voting on the answers should determine the outcome: if there's a pretty clear consensus (which is admittedly hard to define on meta), and an answer explaining why the question/answer should be undeleted receives a significantly higher positive vote score than any answer indicating why it should stay deleted, then usually a moderator will take action to fix it.

Note that this is also an effective strategy for discussing closure, in addition to deletion.

  • Consenus (what, like 97% ;) ), Significant (measurable?), these terms aren't well defined. Additionally, I see an issue with allowing multiple answers and counting all votes from those answers. People who vote early can (and probably will) have a lower weighted vote. The first answer cannot upvote their own answer (but let's assume a 0 is a +1 vote), the second answer can downvote the 1st answerer's position and create their own answer (2 votes) the third answer can up/down vote the other two and post their own (3 votes), ad. Infinium...
    – user1873
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 14:40
  • It would probably be safest to note that a single answers cumulative up/down vote will be used for undeletion purposes. Then you only need to determine how long the vote will stay open (forever?), and what is considered a significant number of Upvotes (5 votes only are normally needed to undelete a post, but those votes are weighted to high reputation users). You say it is effective, have you run the stats on data.skeptics.se to see how effective? Do you have any data to back that up?
    – user1873
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 14:43
  • As I said in my answer, clear consensus is hard to define. And by "hard", I really mean "nigh-impossible". You cannot say "the single highest scored answer after x amount of time", nor can you say "the first answer to reach x number of votes", as neither of these are actually representative of consensus. If an answer saying "undelete" is at 5 votes, and answer saying "leave it deleted" is at 4, that's clearly not a consensus. Weighting votes based on high reputation users isn't even possible, let alone practical.
    – Beofett
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 14:49
  • Do I have any stats to back up whether a subjective criteria is objectively effective? Um... no. Why would I? This is the method used by multiple SE sites. It's what meta is for.
    – Beofett
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 14:51
  • You might be interested in what Wikipedia has to say about consensus. They've been doing this collaborative thing a lot longer than we have, and they have strongly resisted any attempt to define 'number of vote' criteria. Nevertheless, they seem to be doing OK. Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 20:38

Another suggestion, if it's your question or answer, is to perform an edit on it to address any particular weaknesses brought up. Once that is done you can also post on meta, and hopefully someone can address it for you. :)

  • That would be possible of constructive criticism is given at the time of deletion/closure, sometimes it isn't given. Although, technically this isnt an answer the the question posed above. Perhaps it should be deleted? :)
    – user1873
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 4:02
  • @user1873 Touche`! :) However, opening a meta question is exactly the process. So when you get to a closed question/answer that you want challenged, this is the mechanic. You just need to provide a reason for re-addressing it. Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 15:15

Something new at http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2013/06/the-war-of-the-closes/?cb=1

  • Although, that's more about closure than deletion.
    – user5582
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 17:04

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