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I recently lost a bunch of reputation because two questions I'd offered answers for had been deleted. This seemed to happen very quickly, without their first being closed (I think). I would love to know why the questions were deleted; it might help me to be a better EL&U user! Is there a way that someone of a low-to-middling reputation can find out why a question has been deleted?

  • If the question wasn't closed before, I guess the OP deleted their own question ;) – Em1 Jun 21 '12 at 14:18
  • Do you remember which question it was? I can see if I can see who deleted it – simchona Jun 21 '12 at 14:29
  • Thanks @simchona. All I have is their titles and I can't remember the IDs of those who asked. One was "Are the clauses in this sentence properly pointing to their intended subjects?" and the other was "Is this translation grammatically correct?" Both were deleted on June 19th. Any info you have would be much appreciated. But I am also curious to know in general if there's a way to know why a question which one participated in was deleted. Even something like "deleted by user" would be helpful. – JAM Jun 21 '12 at 14:51
  • The translation one was voted on by users (including myself) because proofreading is off topic. – simchona Jun 21 '12 at 15:44
  • The other one was also deleted because it was too localized and not improved – simchona Jun 21 '12 at 15:44
  • Many thanks @simchona. Question, so if one wants to know why a question was closed or deleted, do we need always to ask specifically about that question in Meta? Is there a more efficient way to do so? – JAM Jun 21 '12 at 16:28
  • Often you can find the active close-voters in Chat--a lot of people there also have the ability to view the deleted questions. – simchona Jun 21 '12 at 16:30
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    Question one: Is this translation grammatically correct? (closed as off-topic by five community members two days ago, deleted by three community members 21 hours later; seven different members involved). Question two: Are the clauses in this sentence properly pointing to their intended subjects? (closed as too localized by five community members two days ago, deleted by three community members 18 hours later; six different members involved). – RegDwigнt Jun 21 '12 at 17:27
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There isn't any way for regular users to search for deleted questions. Only mods can do so. High rep users (10K+) can view deleted questions and answers, but only when they already have the link.

You could save all the URLs to the questions you answer in a notepad document, just in case you need them later, or you can ask a mod nicely if they would search for them for you. Of course, that will only matter if you are 10K+, otherwise you won't be able to see the question anyway. But a mod should be able to tell you the closing/deletion details regardless.

Please keep in mind though that the reason only mods can search for deleted questions is to prevent high rep users from engaging in naughty behavior, so don't be surprised if you are expected to have a good reason for wanting to look at a deleted question.

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I would love to know why the questions were deleted

The FAQ says:

Questions that are extremely off topic, or of very low quality, may be removed at the discretion of the community and moderators.

Over time, closed questions that are not useful as signpoints to other questions may also be removed, as well as questions which have no significant activity over a very long period after being asked. For additional guidance, see How to Ask.

Closing is the first step to deletion. The only closed questions that are not deleted are the duplicate questions that are not exact duplicates of another question. In that case, they serve as sign point to other questions, and can help users to find the questions they are looking for.

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