What is (or should be) the policy on deleting self-study questions after getting help?
This question is prompted by whuber's remark on someone's self-study question: How would this Markov chain problem be solved?
This is nearly the same problem as the one posted in your last several questions. Draw the diagram!
I remember commenting on a previous question by the asker on this same topic, but I can't seem to find it. Its comments were rather lively, too. I suppose it was deleted, presumably by the asker. I don't know whether there are more deleted questions about Markov chains like it. It sounds like there are 'several'.
It rubs me the wrong way that a self-study question would be deleted. After you've gotten help from the community, you prevent others from benefitting from the discussion. It also removes a bit of insurance against people asking, e.g., take-home exam questions: the instructors would no longer be able to find the question.
As far as I know, there is nothing to prevent someone from deleting their own question unless it has popular answers, but often self-study help happens as a series of comments. (Maybe we hope the asker will post an answer in the end, or maybe it happens too often that an 'answer' becomes the comment-magnet instead of the question itself.
When someone vandalizes a question that they've asked (instead of deleting it), it's often rolled back. Deleting doesn't put the question on the main page, so it's subtler. Still, can/should it be watched for?
My question is, unfortunately, multipart:
- Is it indeed a problem to delete self-study questions after getting help, or is it just me?
- If it is a problem, how do/should we dissuade or prevent this deletion?