I asked a question on askubuntu.com. (https://askubuntu.com/questions/1111486/upgrade-from-16-04-to-18-04-broke-apt)
First it was put on hold, because it was too broad. So I edited my question to make it more specific.
Some hours later the question was deleted without any comment.

  • I researched half a day before asking the question.
  • The English was not the best, but it was ok.
  • As far as I perceived it the question was detailed and very specific.

So I can't think of any reason why my question was deleted.
I'd be glad if anyone could help me solving this mystery.

  • 4
    I voted to delete after it was closed and still looked 'too-broad' (i.e. before you made the edit). It looks fine to me now, I voted to 'undelete'.
    – pomsky
    Jan 21, 2019 at 21:28

1 Answer 1


This appears to have gone full circuit already. I think you're in a good place now but here's the abridged timeline:

  • Five people voted to close it for being "too broad"
  • You edited it and a review was started to reopen.
  • Before that completed three users voted to delete it.
  • You posted this.
  • Three users (including one of the ones who voted to delete it) voted to undelete it.
  • Other stuff happened.
  • Here we are.

Essentially it was deleted because the delete voters happened before the reopen review happened.

From a technical aspect, it's not entirely simple what should happen here. Delete voters are usually of a higher reputation so if they think it should be deleted, even after editing, perhaps their votes should stand... But similarly —and it's a point I've made a few dozen times— they're doing nobody any favours by voting to delete soft issue things in the first place.

I can't tell you why people did the things they did, only offer my exasperation that this stuff still happens every so often. Thankfully nothing is permanent so I trust everything is well now. Good luck with the problem and welcome to the site.

  • 1
    Could you please expand upon "they're doing nobody any favours by voting to delete soft issue..."? A good number of questions (mostly by new users) get closed every single day as unclear / off-topic / opinion based / too broad etc. and almost always they're abandoned. Manually deleting such questions to clean up the site is not necessarily a useless thing imo as automatic removal take some time. Moreover, if I'm not mistaken, a question with positive score is not auto-removed. And as I observed, sympathy/pity upvotes on questions happen a lot here at AU.
    – pomsky
    Jan 25, 2019 at 9:17
  • 1
    There is even a user who had the nickname "user who upvotes all downvoted posts" (or something close)! :-\
    – pomsky
    Jan 25, 2019 at 9:27
  • @pomsky Phrases like "clean up" highlight the problem. It's a website, not a bedroom. Our raison d'être is helping people, getting them an answer. Closed questions don't stop that in any way. The delete queue is busywork, carried out by experienced users who think they're doing something important because it's a feature that's retained for high reputation users. The absolute best thing those users could do is triage and answer the new questions. It's a travesty that the gamification of administrative tasks ends up undermining the site.
    – Oli Mod
    Jan 25, 2019 at 13:07
  • There's a lot to unpack there. I don't think deleters are malevolent in any way... I just think that as the upper echelon of features open up to users, they get distracted by them. It sustains a lie that moderation is more important than posting an answer because a 1-rep user can do that. There are important review tasks (edits, first posts, things that make our other users better) but delete isn't one of them.
    – Oli Mod
    Jan 25, 2019 at 13:10

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