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For the first time today, in this SE, I've seen an answer was deleted. I had thought our standard was to simply up-vote or down-vote as needed, but leave all answers alone, with possibly a comment on how to better improve the answer.

In Can you be a commercial pilot if you have a criminal record? today, an answer was actually flagged for deletion, and deleted. It was essentially a link only answer, however there was a single sentence in addition to the link, so it was borderline, in my opinion.

Are we changing our standards? Practices? Is this a one off? Or have answers been deleted all along and I never noticed?

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You just passed the 2,000 reputation mark, and one of your new privileges is viewing deleted posts. If you have less than that, they don't show up.

I think the standard is to leave alone answers that have potential, but to delete the ones that aren't really answers and will probably never become anything useful. That's definitely not the first answer to be deleted.

On this question, there are three deleted answers by three different people. All seem to be deleted for the same reason.

Why do fighter jets still have guns/cannons?

Then you have people that keep posting bad answers.

Why are US Regional Airline starting wages so low?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hah. Thanks fooot. $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Oct 1 '14 at 17:30
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When we (mods and people with The Power) convert answers to comments, it deletes the answer. A lot of new users (1 rep, for example) tend to post remarks or anecdotes or other non-answers in the answer box, because they don't have the rep to comment and apparently can't wait to get it.

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As egid noted, converting answers to comments deletes the answer in the process, and this is something you'll see a bit of now that you have the rep to see it. If there's ever something that has been deleted, but you feel is valuable enough to keep and voted on, just make an edit and flag it for moderator attention. They can (if they agree) delete the converted comment, and restore the answer.

A policy of not removing content that folks contribute is a great policy to cling to as long as you can. Coming back to see what you thought was something useful just removed without explanation is chilling, it doesn't make you want to participate more. That's what's great about the conversion process, it's clear to folks what happened. Stuff otherwise not converted usually has a comment attached to it explaining what the person could do if they want the post restored.

The real check in the system is just what you've pointed out, though - ordinary users that the system trusts can see this stuff, and if something is removed that shouldn't have been, it's within their means to fix it. This means even when activity has reached a level where not every answer that gets deleted receives such personalized guidance, there's still plenty of oversight.

That's not going to be for quite a while, though - not until you get on the scale of thousands of answers per day.

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