The last few days, I've been noticing a few stray +1s appearing in my rep. They seem to be coming from answers that I downvoted long ago being deleted. This is nothing to be particularly surprised about, and I know that questions that are closed for a certain period of time and have a negative score are automatically deleted. But it seems to be happening a bit more often that usual lately, so I was wondering if anything special happened lately to cause this.

1 Answer 1


If you're seeing +1s as a result of deletions, those would have to have been votes on answers as voting on questions is free.

I just checked the list of recently-deleted posts (requires 10k to see), and it appears that on average 2-3 posts per day are getting deleted. When a question is deleted so are its answers, but most of the questions I see there are unanswered and closed. Many of them were deleted by the Roomba.

When answers are deleted (other than by being carried along with a deleted question), this means one of the following happened: (a) it was deleted from the low-quality-posts review queue (six "delete" or "recommend deletion" votes), (b) three users with 20k rep voted to delete it, or (c) a moderator deleted it, usually in response to flags.

I've looked at the last year's worth of deletion counts, and the pattern is remarkably consistent: deletion rates have held steady or maybe even declined a bit since a year ago. (Hand-wave because I'm looking at a chart and eyeballing it; I'm not looking at raw data and doing math.) Over that same period of time, the numbers of questions and answers have risen.

It doesn't appear that anything unusual is happening, deletion-wise. Perhaps you have become more willing to downvote problematic content than you once were? If so, thank you -- voting is an important tool, along with helpful comments explaining what's wrong or seeking clarification.

All that said, occasionally something gets deleted that oughtn't have been. I urge all users with at least 10k rep to take a look at the recent-deletions page from time to time. If you see something that you think was wrongly deleted, cast an undelete vote (if you can) and bring it up with others (chat is good for this).

  • "deletion rates have held steady or maybe even declined a bit since a year ago.... Over that same period of time, the numbers of questions and answers have risen." If the rate is constant but the number of posts has risen, then the number of deletions has risen, so it makes sense that a user will see more +1s.
    – msh210 Mod
    Feb 18, 2015 at 3:29
  • Downvotes on questions are free? Feb 18, 2015 at 3:30
  • @msh210 sorry for my imprecise language. I meant the raw number of deletions, not deletions as a proportion of posts. Feb 18, 2015 at 3:33
  • @YeZ yes, since 2011: see Optimizing for pearls, not sand. Feb 18, 2015 at 3:35
  • @MonicaCellio You'd think I'd have noticed that before. I have some juicy downvoting to go take care of! (just kidding) Feb 18, 2015 at 3:37
  • @YeZ I guess you should downvote more. :P I've been seeing more random +1s too; i'm going to attribute it to downvoting more answers than i used to.
    – Scimonster
    Feb 18, 2015 at 8:18
  • Ah yes, I knew it was answers not questions that were -1
    – Daniel
    Feb 18, 2015 at 15:47

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