Matthew Read summarily deleted an answer of mine. This has never happened before. Sure, I've been downvoted lots of times, or I've had comments requesting that I modify my answer or provide more detail, and I've always responded by doing just that.

But because this answer was deleted, I have no opportunity to re-open it and edit it to improve it. It's just gone. Now given the way StackExchange is laid out, I have no way of contacting Matthew Read directly to ask him why he took this exceptional, unprecedented action. Anybody care to clue me in?

You'd think that with 22,163 points and three years of service, I'd get treated a little better than this.

Has there been some sort of policy change for moderation that I don't know about? Am I transgressing some recently-implemented rules?

Here's the question to which my answer was deleted.

Normal chords are boring, I want more!

Update: I'm going to stop using the StackExchange App for iOS on my iPhone. Since I've been using this app to answer questions, I have ended up giving very short answers without links to other information in them, because lengthy answers and links are so difficult to do on the iPhone.

In this case, I made what I thought was a reasonable answer on my iPhone, hoping to go back later and reopen, edit and expound upon it when I was back at my Mac and could pull up the site on my web browser. But before I could do that, my answer was deleted.

There's something else at play here, baked into StackExchange, something that I have never liked: there is no way for me to send a private message to a moderator or another user. If there had been any way for me to privately message Matthew Read to ask about this, I would have certainly done that rather than complaining on this Meta site and airing my grievance in front of everbody. But as we all know, StackExchange in their wisdom decided years ago not to permit private messaging among users, unlike 99.999% of all the other discussion forums in the universe. And don't tell me that "StackExchange is not a discussion forum". Whatever.

So folks, I'm sorry to bother you with this little problem of mine, but StackExchange gives me no other way to respond to the situation than to post here on meta and get downvotes from the community.

  • 3
    Just a quick edit to tone this down a wee bit. It's not something dramatic, and you have done the right thing taking it to meta. Another alternative is to use Music: Practice & Theory Chat where we can talk through things quickly and easily.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Jun 8, 2015 at 11:53
  • 2
    Wheat, I would echo Dr Mayhem's advice to not take this (my actions, SE's policies, lack of features, meta downvotes, etc.) too seriously. I apologize if the deletion seemed abrupt -- for me it was a common run-of-the-mill action on a flagged post, and has nothing to do with you personally. And I don't take you airing it here personally, either. If you do want to contact me privately I believe the best within-SE method is to create a private chat room.
    – user28
    Jun 8, 2015 at 20:53

4 Answers 4


Your post was flagged as Low Quality. The comment left is automatically provided by the system, but I thought it was clear enough. I do believe you know about our guidance for why answers can be deleted — in particular, your answer was "barely more than a link to an external site" except not even including the links. JCPedroza's earlier comment did this better, and in the right spot.

"Go look at something else" with no explanation is never considered an answer. If you do want to provide an improved answer, editing isn't necessary — you can post a new answer.

This has never happened before.

Please look back at some of your deleted answers to refresh your memory. I have previously deleted some of your answers, either converting to comments or leaving a note similar to this one about not placing comments as answers.

Regarding your edit:

I appreciate your intention to come back and flesh out the answer. It can be a common habit, especially from mobile, but it is discouraged; answers should be complete up front. A better method might be to favorite the question (with a browser bookmark, or SE's favoriting feature via the star below the vote buttons) to remind you to come back when you have more time.


Actually, you can undelete your answer:

enter image description here

So, you can improve it.

To be honest, this looks like a comment to me, rather than an answer. But I have to agree that deleting it isn't nice. A comment mentioning the problem would be better and if the answer wasn't improved, then a mod could turn it into a comment. Deleting it is pointless.

  • 3
    Yeah, I think the missing part here is actually transferring it to a comment. High rep shouldn't be a free card to add any kind of answers. Jun 8, 2015 at 10:42
  • 5
    No, I cannot undelete it. The "undelete" link, when I click it, just generates a new message: "A moderator has deleted this post and it cannot be undeleted."
    – user1044
    Jun 8, 2015 at 20:12
  • 6
    Wheat can't undelete it because it was deleted by a moderator, but he can edit it and then use a custom flag to request that a mod undelete. Jun 15, 2015 at 1:28

The difference between your answer and Tim's is that his goes into a bit of detail. That detail probably is available and relatively easily found from the search you suggest, but in terms of what you provide, I'd probably suggest that you filled it out a bit with a summary of what each one is. I think we all know that you have the experience and knowledge to do this - and you could really help the OP here. This answer post is certainly lacking a lot of the content you usually post, and in fact is similar in content to the comment @JCPedroza made on the question itself.

One thing to remember is that while we try and make these obvious for new members of the community, I think we (the mod team) tend to assume much greater knowledge in folks like yourself with high rep, so we may give you less leeway in posts.

I know we shouldn't think like that, and try not to, but I'm guessing that's what happened in this case, so please don't take it too personally. I think I would have probably have moved it to a comment.

As @Shevliaskovic pointed out, though, you can definitely edit your post and then undelete it.


Whilst I agree it's far more of a comment than an answer, a little civility would have gone a long way. This was most likely one of the straws that broke Wheat's back. What price has been paid? We lost an excellent poster there. And for what?

  • 2
    This was not the event that caused him to leave. It was a comment back and forth on two different answers across the two music SEs. I don't know if this contributed, but I know it was not the last event that pushed him to leave.
    – Dom Mod
    Jan 11, 2020 at 20:52
  • @Dom - I try to be careful in how I phrase things. Hence ''one of the straws'. Not 'the last straw'. I wouldn't know that - so I wouldn't say it. Nevertheless, we lost a great contributor, and i'm sure this episode didn't do anything to save the situation.
    – Tim
    Jan 11, 2020 at 21:21

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