I asked a question that was too broad/vague. After adding more context is became too localized. Looking back, I think the question isn't a very good one and probably doesn't have an answer — no matter how it is expressed.

Is a question's being bad grounds for a user to delete it? If not, are there any guidelines for when a question should be deleted?

  • 1
    Closed questions can (should) be deleted if (1) they've been closed for a suitable length of time (i.e. the OP has been given a chance to improve the question), and (2) they serve no purpose on the site, i.e. they're not duplicates serving as "pointers" to the canonical question. Dunno how this applies to questions that are not closed (yet).
    – Marthaª
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


I would rather suggest not to delete your own questions; if you start deleting too much of your questions, you could not be allowed to ask more questions until you don't get more reputation by answering to questions.

Let the community vote for deleting the questions that should be deleted. If the question has an up-voted answer, you are not able to delete your question, and the community (users with a reputation of at least 10000 and moderators) can delete the question, once it is closed.

There is also an automatic deletion for those questions matching some criteria; chances are that a closed question without any answers is going to be deleted anyway; so there isn't anything to worry about.

  • 1
    You could always flag your own question and ask for it to be deleted as a bad question; but authors are notoriously bad judges of what should be edited. Probably best to leave it to the community at large. Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 10:31
  • It's worth adding to this answer, after more than three years, that although the community may vote to delete questions, generally moderators will not do so on request now, unless the question is particularly egregious — in which case the community will probably oblige without being asked. This particularly applies when there are upvoted answers (whose owners would lose that reputation when the question and its answers are removed), as moderators will generally not take that action unilaterally.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 6:33
  • @AndrewLeach what about answers that are highly upvoted by the community, but get deleted by a single mod?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 11:38
  • @Mari-Lou Same applies; note the use of generally There is a presumption that deletion will not occur, but individual cases may justify it.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 11:44
  • And when a deletion is not justified. e.g. "This does not answer the question but it should have been left as a comment etc. What then?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 11:56
  • @Mari-LouA If an answer should be a comment, or it is deleted or it is changed to a comment; in both the cases, the answer gets deleted. It all depends from who left the answer; generally, if it is really helpful, it is converted to a comment.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 14:10
  • And I'd say that if it is really helpful, then that answer should be left alone. In the vast majority of cases an answer that has been converted into a comment has, at the very most, gained four upvotes. But when an answer has earned thirty upvotes, should that be converted into a comment by a mod? I am not talking hypothetically, I've seen this happened, and not too long ago either. It's still fresh in my mind. Consider also that there were no comments telling the OP that his answer was inexact, inappropriate or incomplete.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 14:15
  • @Mari-LouA A post's score never means the quality of the post. At the beginning, we all vote things that we should request to delete. Link-only answers are not considered answers. on Stack Exchange; they are merely a comment, if they aren't expanded.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 14:25
  • The post I'm thinking of wasn't a link, if it had been, I wouldn't have said anything. If the answer didn't answer the question, I wouldn't have said anything. If it had been an answer cosisting of a single word, I wouldn't have said anything. It was one of the two highest voted answers, then after two days (if I recall correctly) it was deleted by a mod without any explanation. If the explanation came some time later, I don't know, I shall have a look now.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 17:28
  • No explanation, but it was converted into a comment. The answer was the highest voted, 31 upvotes. It was not a brilliantly argued answer, it was based on basic common sense, which explained why so many users upvoted it. Apart from the user and myself, no one else protested.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 17:35
  • @Mari-LouA Without seeing the answer and its flags, I cannot say it was wrong or correct. Keep in mind that moderators acts on flags when they take action over an answer.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 17:46
  • There's no way of knowing if and how many times the post was flagged. I realize it is pointless to protest.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 17:50

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