The reference for this is the question delete a question on here.

Update 1: The actual answer seems to be that the user wasn't registered. However, this is not listed as a requirement on our question deletion help page.

Update 2: I have requested that we update our help page.

If you can't view it, it's because it's already been deleted, but I have a screenshot of it from a certain point. (I redacted the name of the user in case they don't want it known that it was them.)

unable to delete own post

There are several things to note about this:

  • This is not what the question originally was. I saw it appear in the new question list with a different title, but by the time I viewed it the content had been changed.

  • This user started to ask a question, then decided they didn't want it on the site after all—so they tried to delete it.

  • It's not clear if they self-edited the content before or after the deletion attempt, but it was clearly done within 5 minutes, because there is no edit history.

  • The user seems to be logged in with a user account. They have a username (although edited out in the picture here), appear as New contributor, and have a reputation point.

  • The links share, edit, and flag appear under the question.

  • The question has no votes and there are no answers.

  • There is no delete link.

Ironically, at the time that I'm writing this question, the post has two votes to close it on the basis that the question is off topic on main, and that a "how to delete a question" question belongs on meta instead. (And now one vote to close it on the basis that it lacks clarity …)

The user has also been advised that they should raise a flag for moderator attention, in order to have the post deleted for them. (If a moderator is reading this, please check the current status of the question.)

Does anybody have any idea what could be causing this? I can't think of any situation this post falls into that would prevent the user who posted it from deleting it.

The one thing I thought of is that maybe you need a minimal amount of reputation to delete your own posts, but that's not listed on the privilege list, and I've never heard of that being the case. (Nor is it mentioned in our help pages.)

1 Answer 1


As I tried to say in the comments, only registered users can delete their own posts. If you check a user’s profile and you see this, they are not registered:

username (unregistered)

Basically, this user has chosen to post as a guest. There is an orange banner at the top of the page that says “finish signing up for your account” and that’s what needs to be clicked to register the account.

This is not listed as a privilege because you don’t need any reputation to register your account.

For feature requests to make this less confusing see:

(This is almost always why a user can’t find the delete button. In most other cases, the button is there and pressing it tells you why you can’t delete the question. See also: How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?)

  • 1
    Oh, I somehow missed that comment—and I hadn't thought that unregistered users would have an actual username, be indicated as New contributor, or have a reputation count. It seems I've been missing a particular aspect of this site for a while now. (I assumed that what would appear on such posts would be something like Guest.) Commented May 13, 2020 at 3:26
  • As a side note, this information should definitely be added to our question deletion help page. Commented May 13, 2020 at 3:31

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