When I flag a post and the flag is deemed helpful, the post is usually deleted.

For example: https://superuser.com/questions/785287/how-can-i-protect-my-personal-folders-individually-with-password/785300#785300

This is probably a quirk of mine, but I'd like to see these posts anyway. Are they actually removed from the database, or marked as "deleted"?

If it's the latter, would it be possible (or desirable) to allow the person who flagged it to see it anyway?

  • 6
    You'll see them once you earn 10k rep... Then once you see the wasteland.. You'll wish you never got to see them ;)
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 2:48
  • 1
    I only wanted to see the ones I reported, not all of them :-) (I already moderate a high traffic forum; I have a good idea of what it is like to see the deleted posts between the "public" ones, and I'm not sure whether I'll want to see them when I ever get to the 10k :/ ) Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 2:55
  • 2
    Even at 10k you'll only see questions you have a direct link to (which includes those you flagged). Only mods can search deleted and (maybe?) see them on the question lists.
    – Bob
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 2:57
  • Ah, then the answer to my question really is "Only after 10k of reputation". But is this really necessary? Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 2:59
  • 1
    10K is fun, once you have all the fun links! Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 16:01
  • You can see a brief preview of deleted questions (not answers) you helpfully flagged and were deleted in your flag history by mousing over the link, even if you have < 10k rep, though...
    – gparyani
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 19:24
  • I guess if you have the link, and you really want to see it, you could see if wayback machine has it..? Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Most deleted posts are only soft-deleted and are only visible to users with at least 10,000 reputation (who can only see them if they have the direct link) and to moderators and SE developers (who can also search for deleted posts using the undocumented, mod-only deleted:0|1 operator).

Developers, and only developers, can hard-delete posts in very specific cases, like if they contain personal information. Hard-deleted posts are nuked from the database and are visible to no one, not even 10k+ users.

In your flag history, you can see the titles of posts you flagged, and deleted posts have a red shade on them. However, you cannot see the full bodies of such posts unless you have 10k+ reputation.

However, users without sufficient reputation can still see a brief preview of deleted questions only (not answers or comments) that they flagged, helpfully or not, by hovering over the link. I'm not sure if this is by design or a bug (I'm assuming it's the former). (Update: The body tooltip on hover was removed due to server load.)

  • Developers can also nuke specific revisions of a post. Mods sometimes request this if a post is worth salvaging after the personal information has been edited out.
    – user
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 15:17
  • @MichaelKjörling Is this why it sometimes looks like the first revision of a post was created after the question was initially posted, and sometimes it's not created by the original author?
    – gparyani
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 16:12
  • Might be. As far as I know, I have never been directly involved in such an incident myself.
    – user
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 17:10
  • @MichaelKjörling I would show you an example of this, but right now I'm in a network where stackexchange.com is blocked. I'll get a couple when I'm home later.
    – gparyani
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 17:40

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