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Remove ability for 10k+ users to view self-deleted posts

I believe that it violates a user's privacy to have me or anyone else view a deleted post when it has been deleted by the original poster. Such a privilege should be reserved to system admins and then only for use in recovering accidentally deleted questions/answers.

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    tvanfossontvanfosson shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →
    declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded  · 

    visibility of deletions is here to stay; I am open to suggestion on whether they should be allowed to be undeleted

    > So, why even allow it?

    I guess you haven’t seen some of the deleted posts I have. The point is darkness can only hide when it isn’t seen. Yes it is very very rare. But like any version control system, deletions are illusory. Depending on them to somehow be permanent leads to a distorted perception of the system.

    Also, I hardly think you’re going to see a rash of undeletions just for the sake of undeletion. Trust me, nobody cares.

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      • ravenraven commented  · 

        I'm not following you. Maybe I missed another thread? What "darkness" needs to be exposed? The answer to that question may answer my next one, but I'll ask anyway. Why does it have to behave just like a version control system? It's not. It's an information repository. If the info is bad, why keep it around? I don't understand your reasoning. Perhaps you could discuss it on the podcast?

      • AZBobAZBob commented  · 

        Here's an interesting question: what is the point of not making deletes not actually delete? How about making it so answers can be hard-deleted, but not questions?

      • jericsonjericson commented  · 

        > Also, I hardly think you're going to see a rash of undeletions just for the sake of undeletion. Trust me, nobody cares.

        That isn't an argument for allowing undeletions you know, but the reverse. The reason the "illusion" of deletion exists is because the site offers an option called "delete" to the owner of a post. It would be more clear if it were called "hide"...

      • tvanfossontvanfosson commented  · 

        While you could provide real delete, I haven't seen anyone asking for this. I think the issue is not whether the item is deleted or not, but whether deleted content is visible to anyone other than the author and admins when it is self-deleted. So far no one has provided a use case for non-admins to see self-deleted posts. AFAIK, it was never even requested as a feature.

      • ravenraven commented  · 

        If you're open to suggestion as to whether admins should be able to undelete posts, I say only the original poster should be able to delete and undelete their post. However, this would make the visibility of the deleted posts pointless. So, why even allow it? I find it a rather oppressive policy. It seems to suggest that, once you post on SO, "WE OWN YOU!"

      • Shog9Shog9 commented  · 

        @duckworth: you *immediately* change your passwords. Once posted, you have no way of knowing how many people saw, saved, cached, that page, and deleting won't help if they're already plotting to impersonate you and DESTROY THE WORLD!

      • duckworthduckworth commented  · 

        What about cases where you accidentally post a password, email address, URL, or connection string in a code snippet and want to delete that post permanently?

      • Bill the LizardBill the Lizard commented  · 

        Maybe we could compromise and have deleted answers undeleted only if 3 or more moderators vote for it? Sort of the same mechanism as closing and opening questions.

      • smaclsmacl commented  · 

        This also highlights a user voice issue, in that you can vote for something, but not against it. I personally would vote against this, as it discourages people from posting poor or inflammatory content in the first instance. Or those trying to game the system ;)

      • johnmcgjohnmcg commented  · 

        This may seem like it's democratizing moderation but it's not really.

        Who decides who gets these powers? Jeff.
        But it's based on reputation! Who determines the calculaton of reputation scores? Jeff.

        Again, if I started a website, I'd probably want to control it, too. But I wouldn't pretend that I was just one humble member of the "community" that ultimately runs things.

      • johnmcgjohnmcg commented  · 

        You can't have it both ways, Jeff.

        You can't play this faux-humble, "I'm just a blogger, hitting some keys on the keyboard -- this is really your community" game, and at the same time answer a legitimate suggestion the voice of God -- this is Here To Stay,

        If you want this to be your baby, that's fine. If I worked as much on something, I would to. But own it.

      • tvanfossontvanfosson commented  · 

        Kent -- I agree. That is why I made my suggestion relative to self-deleted posts. Posts deleted by a third party would not be subject to restricted viewing by 10k+ users under my suggestion.

      • Kent FredricKent Fredric commented  · 

        I belive the existance of a "view deletes and be able to undelete" is a tool to prevent moderators having any degree of "absolute" power and being under contest from peers of equal authority. Giving somebody the power to delete things ( ie: spam ) means you have to have somebody who can undelete wrongly delted things ( ie: admin abuse ). However *self* deleted things IMO should behave differntly.

      • tvanfossontvanfosson commented  · 

        Jeff -- can you provide some reason why this particular feature is required or desired? I think the people who voted for this deserve a little more than the feature is "here to stay." After all, StackOverflow is "run by [us]" according to the FAQ.

      • gortokgortok commented  · 

        @jericson : Unfortunately, we do have some 10Krs that refuse to use their moderation abilities; instead soaking up more reputation instead of closing a question when they *know* it's a duplicate. However, as time passes and more people hit the 3K mark, we'll get a fair number of people that will 'do the right thing', no matter what. Right now it 'the right thing' depends on the moderator.

      • jericsonjericson commented  · 

        @Shog9 Moderating never scales, nor should it. We need people who are responsible to be in charge.

        On the other hand, gortok's suggestion is a good compromise, I think.

      • Shog9Shog9 commented  · 

        @jericson: of course, information can generally be recreated. But the cost can be very, very high, increasing with the amount of effort put in by others. Consequently, the highest value to be obtained via undeletion is also the most expensive to recreate in the absence of such functionality. Previously, an email to the SO team was the only viable means, but that does not scale.

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