Why do people delete their questions?

More than once I've taken a lot of time to answer a question, done research, drawn a diagram, double checked my math and triple checked my spelling, etc, etc, only to have the asker later delete the question. (And all the answers.)

Not a word of thanks or anything, just taking all of that work that I did for them and for everyone else who might have a similar question and delete it.

I don't even get to keep a copy of it!  Which stinks because there are a few that I'd like to refer to again.  

I know my answer isn't always the best so I often go back to questions that I've answered and see what good ideas other people have.  But it's impossible to do if it's deleted.

*sigh*  So what's up?  Why delete your question?

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Gorfram7 years ago
Well, if you ask something really stupid or embarassing ("What's with all this hair growing on my palms?"), you should probably be able to delete that.

Or if your question is insulting ("Why is (insert name here) such a scum-ridden chunk of Neanderthalic dweeb-spawn?") and/or likely to start a flame war ("US Health Care Reform: what do you think?"), then at least somebody ought to be able to delete it.

Beyond that, I don't know. I guess if I posted a question that included too many personal details, or was really just an ill-considered rant in question form, I might think better of it later. ("Why all the over-the-top hype and hoo-fo-rah about breast cancer awareness?" is a question I've been thinking of posting that is at risk on both those counts.)

I guess there's a bit of Caveat Answerer here: if I wind up drawing a diagram, or doing any math to speak of, or writing more than a couple of paragraphs; I try to remember to save my response to my own computer (not that I always do).

(So, Ookseer, how long are you going to leave this Question up before deleting it? ;)


gmxx Gorfram7 years ago
 of course.... let an admin handle questions like that (there are the flags).

id leave the edit button, as it would allow changes to fix any details like that.

or if instructables allowed you to keep your answers to things. it would be useful. (ive abswered the same questions on laptop screens on here ~12 times. sure would save me the time to not have to retype it. This would also allow a "user portfolio" of sorts
Grathio (author)  Gorfram7 years ago
Honestly, I just thought about deleting the question, since it is a bit ranty. (Though I did trim the paragraph complaining about people who don't delete their questions when they screw it up the first time and re-ask it 2 minutes later.)  And there would be a certain delicious irony in deleting it...

No, the ones that I'm thinking of (two in the last day) were well written, non provocational, non terms-of-service violating questions with all the information included, no spelling or grammar mistakes.  They were good general questions that others would search for.  (If people searched for them.  Whoops, that's another rant.) 

I'll take your advice and start saving copies for myself.


Nothing wrong with a little rant once in a while.  It gives others an option to unload also.

Some people may have trouble sharing and feel an ownership conflict.  They got their answer and don't want anyone else to benefit from it maybe.
gmxx7 years ago
<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Arial; font-size: medium; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 12px; ">i honestly have no clue... it puzzles me also. like just today, i had spent some time to help this guy, and then i go back to my you page to see if there was anything new, and i noticed my comment response account had gone down.</span><div style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); padding-top: 5px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 5px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; "><br />i think the delete question option should be disabled if the question has answers.</div></span>