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One of my recent answers got deleted while it got scoring of +12/-2 and for some time it was the accepted answer. I would consider this scoring to be rather positive. The answer that got deleted provided a different perspective then the rest of answers (and, let it be, it could be viewed as slightly off-topic). I admit: there were things to correct (and those were corrected) and there could be areas to improve the answer, however there were no suggestions of any kind to improve the answer - it just disappeared. Sorry, but I don't get it.

What is the policy here? I know the general policy, but this case seems odd for me. Especially that the general policy is to "rather edit and improve then delete".

I don't want to argue: "please undelete it!", that is not my point. Yes, I spend some time on writing it, so I did not like the idea that it was deleted. However, I am mostly interested in knowing what is the policy, because situations like this rather discourage to writing further answers.

Link to the deleted answer: Are all simulation methods some form of Monte Carlo?

EDIT:

The answer came back from the dead.

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    $\begingroup$ It's certainly not clear to me on what basis that was deleted, since it does seem to respond pretty directly to the question; before the edit it may have been a little indirect (in the sense that it's more explaining why it's not as simple as a yes-or-no thing), but still responsive to the question. After the edit, I don't see how it could be argued to be not responding quite directly to the question. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Dec 9 '14 at 23:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Glen_b: it looks like the answer was converted into a comment. I can see some edition of Tim's answer in google cache, and the beginning of the same answer appears now as the first comment to the OP. As the comment space was to narrow, the answer was cut off. Now the question is, who converted it into a comment, why, and can this maybe be reversed? $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Dec 9 '14 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ @amoeba Yes, it was converted to a comment (and so, deleted as an answer). One of the moderators did so (I can see who, but I don't think it's really important). The why is more an issue. If that ones a comment, a very large proportion of answers here are. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b -Reinstate Monica Dec 9 '14 at 23:25
  • $\begingroup$ I must say that I am surprised and disappointed that this issue has still not been clarified in the past two days since you asked this question. $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Dec 11 '14 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ I follow this tread but, yes, it does not seem to go anywhere... $\endgroup$ – Tim Dec 12 '14 at 7:23
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    $\begingroup$ I flagged your comment for moderator attention, leaving a link to this thread there. If nothing happens after some time, you can do the same. $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Dec 12 '14 at 9:51
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The deleted answer has been restored.

I am guessing that the deletion of that post was a well-meaning response to a (well-upvoted) comment by a community member claiming that it did not answer the question. Subsequent edits to the answer appear to have addressed that comment, but evidently they were overlooked by another community member who flagged the post as irrelevant. At that point a moderator responded to the flag, most likely saw the upvoted negative comments, and perhaps made a judgment without reading through the entire post.

It does not matter who those community members were, nor who the moderator was: our site works based on trust in the well-meaning and competence of those who earn the privileges to moderate and curate its material. I am certain everyone involved was acting on behalf of this community. Let us therefore seek not to cast blame but to improve. In this case I appreciate everyone's persistence in pursuing the issue, but would like to suggest that the same results likely could have been achieved much sooner and with less trouble by means of a suitable flag: in fact, it was @amoeba's flag four hours ago that first brought this issue to my attention.


In the interest of seeking a constructive outcome from this incident, I would note that when one merely appends an edit at the end of a long post without changing the original, many readers will never get as far as the edit and will make their judgments based on what they read at the beginning. It's always a good idea to structure your posts--questions and answers--so that the first few lines tell readers what is coming. Furthermore, when you want to improve a post, change it rather than leaving the old material around to invite downvotes or worse.

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    $\begingroup$ @Andre Those are thoughtful points. There are several options when you raise a flag. The best to use in such a case is the "other (needs ♦ moderator attention)": it provides a text box to explain your concern. The flag will be handled by the first moderator to encounter it. Providing a good explanation is useful: it often can persuade even the same moderator to reverse his/her previous action. (A poor explanation or repeated efforts to flag for the same reason are indeed rude.) If you don't get satisfaction from a flag, then meta (or, possibly, chat) is the next option to try. $\endgroup$ – whuber Dec 12 '14 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Andre, I am not sure you know that one can flag individual comments (and that is what I did in this case: flagged the comment that Tim's answer was turned into). It's not very obvious, because the flagging icon is normally hidden and appears only on mouse over; it is located to the left of each comment, below the upvoting icon. I use it sometimes to flag obsolete comments, and they usually get erased by mighty moderators. $\endgroup$ – amoeba says Reinstate Monica Dec 12 '14 at 21:02

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