I just answered a question regarding a not-working script.

The issue was actually a spelling error (making a variable that was later used empty).

The asker immediately deleted the question after I answered it, robbing me of that precious reputation which made me feel less like a human helping another human and more like a search machine for problems.

So therefore, what are the guidelines for when a question is too trivial and should be deleted, and does that include answered questions?

  • 6
    IMO, questions should never be deleted, as long as they are on topic. Even if the Q&A only helps one other person, I see it as helpful. Deleting your question because it was answered (which it sounds like what happened) is just bad practice in general. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 19:32
  • 2
    Users who delete questions may face being banned from asking questions (not on first occurrence though).
    – guntbert
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 20:05
  • 1
    Are you talking about askubuntu.com/a/801387/117103 ?
    – guntbert
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 20:23
  • 3
    I don't find it acceptable. I have been there, even with non trivial answers, it is annoying when it happens. When it comes to "trivial" answers, just because one person thinks some thing is silly or easy, does not mean others will too, they should not be removed.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 20:41
  • @guntbert Yes, exactly that question. Thanks for undeleting, however did that :)
    – Graipher
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 14:41
  • I think that giving the asker the ability to delete their question is against the spirit of the site. They should at most be able to vote to have it deleted - or flag it. And unless it breaks any rules it should not be. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 6:27
  • Does a trivial answer indicate a trivial question? I think not. Far better to write a non-trivial answer, no?
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 13:13
  • I agree, trival questions can have non-trival answers, and the opposite way around!
    – Graipher
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 13:36
  • In addition, that specific question received (after being re-opened) one additional answer, which was non-trivial, showing what the OP actually wanted, not what he asked.
    – Graipher
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 13:37

2 Answers 2


If the question is on topic and generally fits the site, it should stay.

A question with a trivial answer can always be put on hold. For example:

This describes a problem that can't be reproduced that seemingly went away on its own or was only relevant to a very specific period of time. It's off-topic as it's unlikely to help future readers.

If this happens to your answer, ask a moderator to undelete the question.

  • 1
    Too localised was removed years ago...
    – Seth
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 15:33
  • 1
    Right. Off topic, can't be reproduced is what I meant. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 8:29
  • 1
    This answer contradicts itself. The question is either off-topic or it is not. As you point out, trivial "typo" nonsense is off-topic. So it should be closed. And then your "it should stay" doesn't apply and the post should not be undeleted. So what are you saying, really? Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 18:47

I'm not an Ask Ubuntu user, but network-wide policy is that only substantial and re-usable Q&A is on-topic at Stack Exchange.

A question that may be entirely answered by pointing out a typo is trivial and is not useful for others. It should be put on hold, and deleted. I would certainly argue against undeletion.

which made me feel less like a human helping another human and more like a search machine for problems.

That's the crux of this, really. This is a search machine for problems, and each of us is part of that machine. It isn't a personal help site.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .