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Why and how are some answers deleted?

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

  • commentary on the question or other answers
  • asking another, different question
  • "thanks!" or "me too!"-type responses
  • exact duplicates of other answers
  • barely more than a link to an external site (i.e. the actual answer is not included in the post)
  • not even a partial answer to the actual question

If you want to improve an existing answer, click the "Edit" button beneath it. For more guidance, see the Help Center page "How do I write a good answer?".

Answers can be deleted at any time by their authors, unless the answer has been accepted by the question asker.

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

Additionally, any post that accumulates enough rude or abusive or spam flags will be automatically deleted.

What happens when a post is deleted?

Once a post has been deleted, it will disappear for all users except staff, moderators, and users with over 2,000 reputation. Deleted questions and answers are always visible to their authors, regardless of the author's reputation.

Self-deleted posts can be viewed and undeleted by their original authors. If you delete your own answer, you can still edit it before it is undeleted.

Note that deleted posts do not normally appear in search results. To find answers you posted that are deleted, see the Deleted answers page (which is linked at the bottom of the Answers page of your user profile). In addition, users with the moderator tools privilege can search among their own deleted posts by using the search operator deleted:1 (site moderators can use this to find deleted posts by any user on the site).

Deleted posts can be undeleted by casting undelete votes. Once an answer has 3 undelete votes, it will no longer be deleted. (Site moderators can undelete any post singlehandedly.)

For more details about how post deletion works, see this community-curated FAQ on Meta Stack Exchange.

If your question was deleted, please see the Help Center page "Why and how are some questions deleted?" instead.