When is deleting an answer an appropriate response because it 'might not' (in the opinion of someone who displays a basic lack of understanding of the differences between how the windows console and GUI work).

Why wouldn't allowing the original poster to say "gee, that doesn't answer my question" be the correct or normal response? Is it common for moderators who don't know the subject matter to decide what answers the question or not? That just seems wrong. Someone posted an answer to one of my questions that really didn't answer the question that I could see, but I didn't even make that judgment, but asked for clarification. How can someone who doesn't know the topic matter presume to decide what does or doesn't answer the question the person is asking?

Now you can think I wasn't answering the post of the original poster, or not, but shouldn't they be allowed to decide?

FWIW, the question is here:

Why is text line breaking—when cutting and pasting in the console—so much slower than in any other application?

  • 1
    My apologies. I've undeleted your answer. I was looking at the second revision (which wasn't really an adequate answer) and still had that tab open when I deleted it.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Apr 30, 2017 at 21:50
  • Fine. Please try not to be so trigger happy. When I take the time to answer a question, it takes time, (and often many revisions). Too often I've found people have posted quick answers and my answers (which are often longer) that say the same, but also explain more detail, never really get read. I used to compose answers offline, but sometimes they'd take hours for a good answer. But later, I find it was a waste of time. It feels like people posting any short answer to get 'firstpost' on "/.", :-( But I'll certainly try to update an answer if people point out probs.
    – Astara
    Apr 30, 2017 at 22:02
  • @Astara I understand your frustration. I found myself encountering the same situation when I first began posting answers. However, I've found that over the long run, the better, more complete answers will beat out the first answers if they weren't adequate, so don't give up. Example: 4th to post, Apr 30, 2017 at 23:15
  • @Astara to be fair, your answer contains an extraordinary amount of commentary, and isn't written far from an authorative answer.
    – Ramhound
    May 1, 2017 at 4:27
  • Did I say I was an "authority"? Besides, what is commentary? Most of what I say, I say for a reason, as I don't want to say more than I should, and try to qualify things. So even though I have ~34 years of experience with MS OS's, I haven't read the source, so I don't feel comfortable speaking authoritatively. To do so would feel disingenuous. OTOH, something that is especially true in software: those who who self-rate their abilities most highly are really the least competent. Those with the least confidence in their abilities actually tend to know the most.
    – Astara
    May 1, 2017 at 4:59
  • @Astara Your answering somebody's questions. When I read an answer I expect it to not only be a valid answer but written in a way that actually indicates you know it's correct. Commentary is any statement that contains the word like "I believe", basically any statement, you are not 100% sure is correct. You don't have to "read the source code" to understand how a Windows feature works. You simply find an article which supports your statement, quote and cite it, and say how something works by avoiding commenting on how it works. I admit there is a subtle difference between the two.
    – Ramhound
    May 1, 2017 at 11:56
  • "Those with the least confidence in their abilities actually tend to know the most." So because I am confident I know how certain features work in Windows I know less about that feature then somebody who uses words like "I believe this is how it works" instead of saying "this is how it works"?
    – Ramhound
    May 1, 2017 at 11:57
  • @Ramhound: It's not absolute nor 100%, but overall, yes. Those who know the most tend to realize how much they don't know. Those with the most confidence tend to not realize what's out there. But, again, its a tendency, not an absolute nor certainty. Of course, if you think about it -- if the researchers thought it was an absolute, that might be an indication that they don't know what they are talking about. ;-)
    – Astara
    May 5, 2017 at 1:40
  • I don’t understand quite why your answer was deleted, but you may (based on your one bad experience) be misinterpreting the rules and processes.  In theory, we don’t delete incomplete answers, bad answers or even wrong answers — we delete non-answers.  You’re doing it wrong … (the one with the apples) discusses what sorts of answers should be deleted, and what sorts should be downvoted. Unfortunately, (1) not everybody agrees on the policy, and (2) a lot of decisions are made by humans, and we can be inconsistent. May 12, 2017 at 4:53

1 Answer 1


We get a lot of... unusual answers, and typically mods can't really catch them all on their own. If an answer gets deleted, often it is because a user flags the answer for not being an answer. A moderator looks at it and basically had to decide if something answers or at least tries to answer the question.

Sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes circumstances change (which is why I try to include a commenting suggesting a poster flag for reopening once issues are fixed).

On the other hand, we'd rather deal with these things quickly as well as correctly to try to prevent our version of "technical debt".

In some cases, we'd have users (or even other mods go) "that's not quite right" cause mods arn't perfect and decide that undeleting is better - and well, we love reasoned arguements that help us do our roles as mods better.

So, if there's a mod message saying what's wrong, fix it and flag.

If it isn't, you can (and should) post a meta post like this - though I do feel the tone's a little antagonistic.

  • The deletion of a post because someone else has, subjectively, and in their personal opinion, is 'lacking', would likely be felt by many as an antagonistic act -- especially when their opinion isn't universal. To not give someone the benefit of the doubt in an unclear case is also likely to be taken in a negative light. Unless someone is a saint, or simply "doesn't care", I'd think it very likely those feelings would come out in a response or query about the act (the deletion, in this case). In this case there as no mod-message, but a generic, canned, and vague FAQ.
    – Astara
    May 5, 2017 at 1:47
  • I for one write all my comments by hand. In this specific case, since I'm familiar with the mod in question's usual canned comments and looking at other comments.. this isn't generic, vague or canned - what had to be said was already said. Considering the question was improved, and comments about its failings deleted, it feels like things worked as we needed it to
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    May 5, 2017 at 1:50
  • When the answer had been deleted, the only thing I saw was a "why was my post deleted?" which linked to a generic FAQ. There wasn't, when it was deleted, any indication of who deleted or why -- there was only the generic-board message. Later, the mod apologized and undeleted the post, saying that they had based their opinion on an earlier revision. That reply explained the problem. But when it was deleted, I'd already posted an update, so the action didn't make sense (i.e. -- I Had read their feedback and had corrected it -- then it got deleted).
    – Astara
    May 5, 2017 at 1:58
  • I recommended not taking action so quickly (or not to be so trigger-happy).
    – Astara
    May 5, 2017 at 1:59
  • Do you have multiple accounts. I always thought you were able to see your own question even if it was deleted for a period of time even if deleted by a moderator
    – Ramhound
    May 5, 2017 at 2:44

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