why do questions get deleted from Atlassian Answers?


I see questions getting deleted from here every day. Granted, some are not legitimate questions. However, I regularly see questions that I'm interested deleted quickly before any one answers them.

For example, Jane Marie Rief how to anchor tables so the top row stays put while you scroll through the table. This seems like a legitimate question.

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Broadly, there are three ways to delete a question.

  1. Admins, of course, can do what they want.  However, they rarely delete questions, as the whole point of this site is community help.  They tend to intervene in only contentious subjects
  2. Those of us with a proven contribution history can flag people as spammers - not just the "is this person a spammer" button that then reports a user to the admins, but the level above, we can destroy the account, which deletes all of its questions.  This really is only used for spam accounts though (although there have been a couple of times when people have created fake accounts purely for the purpose of insulting other users anonymously - those tend to be removed too.  I've done it a couple of times, because the insults really were quite appalling and they had no other content)
  3. Users can delete their own questions, and do

The third reason is the usual reason, and it's hard to speculate why people do it.  Sometimes, it's genuinely because people have raised a duplicate by mistake.  A lot of people seem to have several accounts (that's another "many reasons" conversation) and have used the wrong one.  There is a strong element of spam in places too - create a perfectly sane-looking duplicate question from a while ago, get your karma up high enough that you can't be reported as a spammer, delete it, do that a few times, and then let loose with the real spam.  Sometimes, there's a cultural thing - people seem to ask questions, get answers (or ignored) and just delete it for no good reason.  There's cross-posting - people raise things with a vendor, and here, and on stack-overflow and and and, just because they don't think they're getting instant support from the vendor (which is really annoying for people monitoring all sources). I'm sure there are other reasons.

Oddly, I was having discussions with Atlassian only yesterday about the future of answers, so your question was timed perfectly.  I think I'm going to point them at the problems I've expanded on here as well - all good feedback for better answers.  Poke me  if you have any ideas about improvements and I'll pass them on (or go straight to Atlassian - they're looking for feedback)

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