Diamond moderators regularly delete answers on the grounds that they are unreferenced. (Ironically enough, I can find a FAQ stating that answers must be referenced, but couldn't find any post saying that unreferenced answers get deleted) However, in the help section for trusted users, it says:

Deleting answers

When should I vote to delete an answer?

You may vote to delete answers in the following cases:

  • The answer is extremely low quality: There is little to no scope for improvement
  • The answer doesn't attempt to answer the question; it may be a comment or a separate question altogether.

Does this mean that trusted users shouldn't delete answers on the grounds that they are unreferenced?


Welcome to 20k, Andrew!

Here's the reference you are looking for: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/help/deleted-answers

Why and how are some answers deleted?

Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are:


  • lacking factual references from reputable sources

Regarding your original question, the link answers positively:

Answers can also be deleted by the community. Moderators can delete any answer, and trusted community members can vote to delete answers scoring -1 or lower (3 votes will result in deletion).

This explains why the FAQ is different: The deletion FAQ item should reflect site policy

This is part of the network-wide FAQ, we can't change that part of the FAQ for just this site

Finally, this is the general reference for moderating inadequately referenced answers. I think it should apply to all users. Guidelines for Inadequately Referenced Answers

  • Thanks for the congratulations! I ought to improve the tagging of skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1064/… , and someone with even more privileges than me should improve the tagging of skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1054/… – Andrew Grimm Jul 26 '18 at 0:43
  • In the question, it says "Diamond moderators regularly delete answers on the grounds that they are unreferenced." I just want to reinforce the link to the Guidelines above. I don't delete answers merely because they are unreferenced. I annotate them, comment on them (when my device has a usable keyboard!) and try to remember to clean them up >1 week later. The clean-up schedule isn't rigorous at all; I did a session of cleaning up a few dozen years-old examples recently, but didn't touch any less than 6 months old. – Oddthinking Jul 26 '18 at 3:54

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