I posted an answer which wasn't well received and it got deleted. You can see the question here.

deleted answer screenshot

The help center states some reasons for an answer deletion:

commentary on the question or other answers... not my case
asking another, different question... not my case
“thanks!” or “me too!” responses... not my case
exact duplicates of other answers... not my case
barely more than a link to an external site... not my case
not even a partial answer to the actual question... not my case

It might not have been the best answer (and I was actually trying to find out why, as you can see in the comments, however this completely prevents me from doing so), but according to the information I could find I don't think it qualified for deletion!

The more serious issue is that the question was deleted after I edited it, as the comment suggested, making it a valid answer to the question as it stood at the moment of deletion, the negative votes had even started to reverse, from -4 to -2.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

----- Edit -----

I found a seemingly valid use case for changing a block device's ownership (see here). This doesn't mean my suggestion was right, just that things aren't always absolute and obvious to everybody and that a brief explanation or a link would be more constructive than voting to delete a question.


1 Answer 1


I saw that you had edited it but that it was the same as the upvoted one after editing. Since you want it not to be deleted, and it has a little extra information compared to the other one, I have voted to undelete it. Actually I saw the -2 and thought you'd be happy to get your points back. Should have looked harder.

In addition to the help center list I also vote to delete answers that are wrong and/or dangerous (although I don't flag them of course) which I believe is what we have the 20k delete answer privilege for.

  • 2
    I don't think deleting wrong answers is a good idea.
    – Pilot6
    Jul 25, 2017 at 19:36
  • 1
    Why do we want wrong answers?
    – Zanna Mod
    Jul 25, 2017 at 19:59
  • 3
    We don't want wrong answers, but it is opinion based. Getting 20k doesn't mean we know if all answers are right or wrong. Downvoting is the right choice IMHO.
    – Pilot6
    Jul 25, 2017 at 20:00
  • 1
    Hmm I hope I wouldn't vote to delete an answer unless I was sure it was useless. I don't think it's opinion-based!
    – Zanna Mod
    Jul 25, 2017 at 20:09
  • 1
    You are sure but somebody else may be not so sure. Voting will show it ;-) An answer may be edited and improved, etc.
    – Pilot6
    Jul 25, 2017 at 20:20
  • My answer wasn't completely useless, the second part did address the issue and so far nobody provided a clear explanation (or link) of what was wrong with the first part of it. Just saying something is wrong without backing it up isn't fair, imo. I'm not saying that just because I want to argue, but because I'd like improve my answers and, with them, my knowledge. Something may seem obvious to one person, but it isn't to everybody.
    – Samuel
    Jul 25, 2017 at 22:13
  • 2
    @SamuelSantana I don't think your answer is wrong. I was speaking generally because you listed delete reasons in your question. I voted to delete it because in its current state it was essentially the same as another answer there. But, I think I should not have voted to delete it; I didn't take enough time to consider it. I don't know what the problem was with the first revision of your answer, so I can't help you with that.
    – Zanna Mod
    Jul 25, 2017 at 22:17
  • 4
    This might not settle the issue; I think our site's policy is something best decided by the Ask Ubuntu community as a whole. But deleting answers for being wrong is generally regarded, network-wide, as an incorrect use of the 20k delete privilege. The SE-wide faq-tagged meta answer that we officially link to says "Answers that are wrong or that dispense poor advice should be downvoted, not deleted." I think we can override this, but I don't know that we should. Jul 25, 2017 at 22:50
  • I did answer first, so the duplication of the answers wasn't done by me if that was the case. However, if it was an honest mistake, I can live with that :) Anyway, it might be better to open a question asking about the reasons why my suggestion to change a block device's ownership is a bad idea.
    – Samuel
    Jul 25, 2017 at 22:52
  • 1
    @SamuelSantana you answered first, with some other information, then edited it after the other answer had been posted to essentially say the same thing as that answer. So, yes, you did the duplication.
    – muru
    Jul 26, 2017 at 1:32
  • @muru I disagree, he posted the same information that was already contained in my answer. That's when the duplication occurred. But that isn't relevant anymore.
    – Samuel
    Jul 26, 2017 at 2:37
  • 2
    Note that keeping (downvoted) wrong answers is often useful if only to show that this answer is wrong. Not a big deal to delete them but also not a big deal not to. Deletion should be used sparingly.
    – terdon
    Jul 26, 2017 at 9:15

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