This question was deleted this morning:

I have three main concerns. I don't think this question should have been closed in the first place, but there is absolutely no reason for this question to have been deleted. The question is a very useful question. The difference between actors and subjects is an issue that confuses many users, including quite well-seasoned and learned ones. Can this question be reopened, please?

Secondly, this question has been locked. I was wondering why. If questions are locked it prevents people from voting to undelete them, thereby undermining this democratic part of the SE process.

Lastly this question has been closed as being spam or offensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Can we NOT close questions that are not either spam or offensive for this reason.

Edit: the question also seems to have a reasonable answer.

  • 1
    I agree, but if it's related to the deletion and spam/offensive marking of this question it's apparently a secret: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/95?m=33932227#33932227 I hope we learn about what's going on soon.
    – herisson
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 10:33
  • 1
    I don't know why it was closed/deleted but don't you think it would have a better audience on Linguistics?
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 12:29
  • Does it have a reasonable and complete answer? I was tempted to try, but was stymied in trying to come up with a coherent definition of subject. I'm perfectly willing to accept that it's just me, but is it?
    – deadrat
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


The question was deleted because of its relation to spammers. It's not the only question to be deleted over the last two or three days.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to say much more than that without revealing the nature of checks and consequences. Doing so will only help those who would circumvent them.

While the question itself might be reasonable, the consequences of allowing it to remain are likely to require far more clearing up than an answer on Meta (or your reposting the question and answering it).

We are tyring — and succeeding, in the main — to catch things quickly, and the particular problem appears to be abating.

I'm sorry you were inconvenienced by necessary actions, and that it was necessary to remove an answer with it [it's the only answer to suffer in the current campaign against spammers]. I did check that the answerer would not lose rep by deleting the answer.

Please do consider reposting the question.

  • 1
    I don't mean to be presumptuous, or to demand an explanation that will make it easier for spammers to promote their purposes, but I have a hard time imagining what is accomplished by deleting questions like this that could not also be accomplished by dissociating the posts from their authors without deleting them, and doing something else to mark the authors as having done something spam-related.
    – herisson
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 10:46
  • Unfortunately, I'm not really at liberty to say any more than I have. The Stack Exchange system works the way it does.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 11:04
  • @AndrewLeach Fair enough then. Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 11:34
  • 1
    @sumelic, I just wanted to point out that moderators can't dissociate posts, only SE employees can do that. That means that if this was done in response to some kind of spam attack, the only immediate tool in a mod's toolbox is deletion.
    – terdon
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 11:49
  • 5
    So it wasn't a flood of students from some school all panicking about an upcoming test, it really was spammers testing our defenses? All the questions were hauntingly similar. That wave was really painful. You guys did clean it up toot suite though, I appreciate that!
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 11:54
  • 4
    @Rathony The new mod team does seem very proactive, I'm enjoying the feeling of air support. I'm still unsure how one could differentiate between spammers testing defenses and a bunch of kids from the same school being told there was an upcoming test or assignment and all running to the school library (ie having the same IP and timing) to ask strangers on the internet to do their studying for them .... but ultimately, it doesn't matter (outside some deleted posts being confusingly labeled as "spam"), the questions didn't belong on the site either way, and I'm glad they were removed so swiftly.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 12:41
  • 1
    Guys, are they still doing it? Lots more Qs being deleted. I don't see the point of the attack if it's a really a spammer - none of them are advertising anything. I guess I haven't checked for spam in their user profiles....
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 16:21
  • @DanBron Please see this posting.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 16:31

I don't think this question should have been closed in the first place

It was never closed. A total of eight questions were deleted by the system an hour ago. You need to note that none of them was closed by anybody, but instantly locked and deleted. What they have in common is they are too short without any research or examples.

Can this question be reopened, please?

The community at large can't do anything to a question deleted by Community. Only moderators can. I guess this is an appeal to moderators rather than users in general, but it doesn't look like moderators will do that in this case.

this question has been locked. I was wondering why.

In order for the Community to delete it, it should be locked and deleted at the same time. The question was locked and deleted at 09:02:30. It has nothing to do with any democratic part of the SE process.

Lastly this question has been closed as being spam or offensive.

No. Again, it was never closed. If it had been closed, it would show "closed as off-topic by User names or moderator name on Date at Time.

  • 5
    This is correct. There was no democratic part of the process, other than the election of moderators who are given tools to protect the site.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 11:07

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