I have read many posts here on downvoting. My experience is that once a post is downvoted with out any comment, although there is no reason why one cannot make an extra 'button' to make an anonymous comment, it is like a black mark against it, from whose depth one cannot 'emerge' and that post is doomed. If it cannot be understood there would be nothing wrong in making an anonymous comment saying so, so one can improve it. If it is 'wrong' what is the point of going over it and improving the 'wording' it wont become right. Or one could make some kind of button for the poster to recognise why his post has been downvoted without writing a long comment. One kind of button for seeking clarity and one for disagreeing with it. This can all be done if one really wants to improve limmud hatora, which is the stated aim of this site and most members seriously want. Some posters are talmidai chachomim, and here to increase their knowledge and also to offer theirs to others, so it should be made easy for them to do it.

But the system is unlikely to be changed so one has to work with the present one. So there are two possibilities. Either delete an unwelcome post or if you must keep it for a reason I know not, (just because someone else may like it in the future isnt a good enough one for me), then at least become disassociated from it.

So what is the policy of this site. Can one delete a question, or does it depend if it already has answers and can one delete an answer.

I dont believe in downvoting questions, this is not in the spirit of the torah which this site claims to adhere to and uphold. Loi habayshan lomed. One should be encouraged to ask questions. Downvoting them is against the torah. I have never downvoted a question. Of course I am not referring to trivial ones and having looked through many and answered many, I cant say I have found many silly or trivial ones where I thought the asker was being foolish.

Then there is the question of disassociating. What is the policy of this site. Can I demand to be disassociated since there is no button to press for it to happen automatically.

  • It is not the points I 'obsess' over but the system, which can make an excellent post, which can take sometimes a long time to make and ruin it for everybody here.
    – user2709
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 20:46
  • 4
    A lot of this question is ranty (and that's probably why it was downvoted), but the question under all that about how deletion and disassociation work is a good one. I had to ask the team for guidance on how to do a disassociation last night; it's not obvious. Commented May 5, 2013 at 20:47
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    @shulem, people who've been active on the site for years have told you that's not the case. You've been here a week or two and are upset that you aren't getting instant gratification? We can't know whether you are "obsessing", but that's the appearance you're giving to some, so if that's not your intent you might want to think about how you need to change your approach to the site. Commented May 5, 2013 at 20:49
  • @Monica Cellio, Can I ever get it right. Its either too short or too long. I could make it a lot shorter but in my experience on here dont think anyone would understand it.
    – user2709
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 20:50
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    @shulem Exactly! It has nothing to do with length. It has to do with clarity.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


A question can be deleted if it has no answers. Use the "delete" link under the question. If someone who can see deleted questions thinks the question is valuable he is free to re-ask it. If that happens, you don't get to come reclaim it later -- you deleted it, signalling that you were done with it.

An answer should be deleted if you realize it doesn't answer the question or is wrong. It shouldn't be deleted just because somebody downvoted; instead you should improve the answer. People here are generally pretty good about leaving comments -- not 100% and maybe not if it would be "the same old comment" (a persistent problem), but in general people here try to help improve site content.

Voting in both directions, for both questions and answers, is an important site function. It helps the best content to rise to the top. A downvote on a question doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad question; it might just be a bad question for Stack Exchange. For example, opinion-survey questions are poor fits (and will get closed). Other questions are bad questions, for example ones that dispute our basic axioms about torah; a question seeking to promote another religion over ours, for example, should be downvoted and closed. You are of course entitled to your opinion about voting on questions not being in accord with torah (I see you haven't upvoted any, either), but you should know that many questions here have been downvoted and many of our users are quite learned in torah.

Disassociating a post (question or answer) is explained here. As noted there, disassociation must be done by a staff member (not a moderator); you can request this by contacting Stack Exchange. This is not meant to be a measure you invoke routinely; the license does permit it and requests will be honored, but think of it like being that customer who asks to see every item behind the case, causing the shopkeeper to do work on his behalf, only to walk out in the end. If you think you'll regret a post an hour later, it's better to hold off on posting it until you're more confident. The site's not going anywhere.

If you want to disassociate all of your posts, you can delete your account.

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    Moderator's note: I have cleared a whole bunch of comments on this answer that did not relate to the answer. Please chat in chat, not here.
    – msh210 Mod
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 14:38

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