Yesterday, on the post Sharps vs Flats - Formula to determine correct sharp and flat notes in a scale, there was a weird answer. It had some kind of algorithm; to be honest, I didn't fully understand what it was saying, but it seemed an answer nonetheless.

But later, it was deleted (not by the owner). Why was it deleted?

A wrong answer is still an answer. We have votes to determine which answers are good and which are not.

I have had flags declined with that very same reason:

declined - "Wrong" answers are still answers. Vote, don't flag, if you disagree with a post.

So, I cannot see why the post was deleted.

  • 3
    Yeah, seems like an unwarranted delete. Mar 27, 2015 at 8:39
  • 1
    IIRC the answer was basically saying that there were 12 note names in order : C, C#, D... (ignoring the idea of flats) and then giving a way to work out the note names in a given scale. It seemed a genuine attempt at a 'formula', which is what the OP asked for, but very incomplete - I assumed the poster had realised this and deleted it. Mar 27, 2015 at 8:42
  • @topo it wasn't deleted by the poster. Mar 27, 2015 at 8:58
  • 1
    I know I saw it in the Low Quality Post Queue yesterday and I skipped it since while it did allude to a possible solution, it wasn't answering the question the in it's current form. With some additional information with regards to the question it could have been an ok answer. Most likely what happened was one mod declined the current pending flags , it got more flags, and another agreed with the flags and deleted it. Matthew Read deleted it so he should be able to tell us what he thought when he did.
    – Dom Mod
    Mar 27, 2015 at 13:26

3 Answers 3


I thought the kind of post that should be flagged would be something that really doesn't come across as a genuine attempt to answer the question - "Roses are red, violets are blue, sharps are flat and so are you", something like that. Obviously adverts, illegal stuff, and all that too...

...but this answer came across as genuine to me. Obviously it got the wrong end of the stick in terms of sharps and flats, but it seemed like an attempt that could have possibly been refined towards an interesting answer (or at least the answerer would have learned about their mistake!)

There's an answer to Delay with your hands suggesting that one way to create delay with your hands is to operate a delay pedal with your hands. I think that's about my idea of where the line is!


Not wishing to be vindictive, and probably ignorant of some of the modus operandi of the site, should one person have enough authority to take it upon themselves to be judge AND jury? It's not the first time a question, or an answer or comment, for that matter, has been deleted seemingly 'out of hand'. We surely come across, with that attitude, as unwelcoming. Maybe some more enlightened adjudicators wouldn't be a bad move?

  • 1
    To be fair, if there has been a flag and a mod then takes action, isn't that usually going to be at least two people..? Mar 29, 2015 at 14:23
  • Maybe, but then the moderator becomes judge, jury and executioner. So they seem to have an awful lot of power. If that's the case.
    – Tim
    Mar 29, 2015 at 15:29
  • I guess that's an SE question rather than one for just our forum, though I can see that the more people are involved, the more work there is for mods. In any case I thought this kind of action (flag->delete) was really only for answers that are clearly not made in good faith, not ones like the one in question here. Mar 29, 2015 at 15:38
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    Actually, the more people in the community able to vote, the less work for mods, but yeah - mods are supposed to be judge, jury and executioner according to SE themselves. Read meta.stackexchange.com/a/41333/154443
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Mar 29, 2015 at 17:32
  • @DrMayhem what I meant is that once a post has been flagged, if more than one mod has to be involved in responding to that flag, that's more work for mods. (Responding to 'should one person have enough authority to take it upon themselves to be judge AND jury?' above) Mar 30, 2015 at 7:44
  • @DrMayhem: That answer has ~25 votes compared to the almost 100 for the answer that wants to introduce the functionality. Seems like the community is in favor, but they don't want to implement it. Mar 31, 2015 at 19:22

As per the comment on it:

the algorithm does not address the issue of determining sharps and flats appropriately.

It treated every accidental as a sharp and did nothing to indicate when to use flats instead. Thus it wasn't an answer to the question — which is not the same as saying it isn't useful at all, but it was too long to convert to a comment.

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    Maybe this could have been brought to the answerers attention instead of deleting. I's not clear where the line between "wrong answer" and "not attempting to answer the question" is. Was a speedy deletion necessary? Comments and downvotes would have indicated that it's not the best answer. Mar 27, 2015 at 16:55
  • Just to clarify my stance here, it's not that I think that this particular answer would increase the quality of the site, but it would have been better if it was put on hold instead of deleted. I don't think the person who answered feels very welcome here. Mar 27, 2015 at 16:57
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    @MeaningfulUsername I thought the existing comment was clear but in hindsight I probably should have clarified with my own, I think I was on my phone in one of the review queues that makes it a PITA to comment. I wish they'd unify the features of the queues. In the meantime I will make more effort to leave a comment when the action does not leave the auto-comment for me.
    – user28
    Mar 27, 2015 at 16:58
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    The comment was pretty clear. Don't know if it makes a difference, but when the "Welcome to..." blurb is there for comments to first posters it makes these things feel less harsh. They even use 'em at Skeptics, so maybe we should just try to be better at adding those. Mar 27, 2015 at 17:05

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