After an "active" presence of a little more than one year on AU, I was looking through my answers, in a votes- sorted order. Browsing to the end of the list, I came to the "zero- activity" section; not accepted, no votes.

In some cases, I considered the answer potentially useful, some could have been useful but were very specific and unlikely to become useful to someone else, some answers were definitely outdated, and some, well, I wouldn't have posted today. I decided to do a small clean up.

However, after five posts I got the message that "I deleted five posts and more removing was blocked".

So my question is:
Is it not done to clean up your own list of posted answers?

  • 4
    The system wants to make sure you aren't rage quitting or vandalizing your posts. In general "cleaning up" in this way isn't encouraged, but there isn't a huge problem with it either.
    – Seth
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 14:20
  • 1
    @Seth Thanks! and: I see, I was very calm and relaxed when I deleted the posts :) Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


The system starts alarming and sending up marine flares when somebody starts nuking their content. It makes the mods really twitchy because we need to determine if you're trying to self-destruct.

Generally speaking, there's no need at all to delete old posts:

  • They aren't in the way. If there are better answers, the system is already displacing yours.
  • Perhaps the people who found it useful can't vote.
  • Perhaps nobody has found it useful yet. I know you tend to by very Pythonic with your answers, you're more likely to help people find the answers with a query like "python move files".
  • It isn't taking up finite resources. The 1-2KB your answer's record takes up in the database isn't going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back. In fact, it'll still be in the system after you delete it!

Either way, generally speaking, the mods prefer it when the system isn't screaming at us. Please limit deletions to objectively bad posts.

If you are going to go on a rampage, please let us know ahead of time so we can prep the tranq gun.

  • 2
    Haha, perfect, thanks a lot, I'll stop deleting my posts :) Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 16:02

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