Often new users of the site will somehow miss the "Ask question" button and instead post their question as an answer to another vaguely related question. The "answer" gets flagged as not-an-answer and eventually be deleted.

What will the new user actually experience when this happens?

If he's lucky, someone will have picked up his post from one of the review queues, which will offer to post a canned comment explaining how to ask the question as a question instead. If he's lucky, he will return to the site in time to see that comment.

But if the user doesn't return to the site until the misposted question is already deleted, does he get any concrete feedback? Or will he just experience that his question has gone away without a trace?

I ask because I've meticulously been flagging those posts rather than voting to delete directly, in the hope that this would create a more welcoming user experience. If it doesn't actually make a difference to what the new user sees, I might as well just vote to delete, and save the moderators the trouble of acting on the flag.

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    The experience is, frankly, pretty awful, and if SE is serious about improving the experience to be more welcoming, providing the tools to properly handle this common situation should be on the list. It should be possible for high-rep users to convert an answer into a question (if there's a complete and answerable question there) and to guide new users to the right place. Jan 25, 2019 at 9:46

1 Answer 1


I can't quickly find the reference, but if I understand correctly StackExchange would let the user see any comments posted by a mod before or after their post is deleted. Likewise they would still see a notification about mod comments even after post deletion. Comments from other users become invisible for the user afterwards and likewise any notifications about such comments are removed.

Therefore it is best for a mod to leave a comment advising the user on what to do, in addition to any comments from other members. This doesn't always happen currently, but the mods are trying to improve the situation. Ideally there should be an automated notification to such users from StackExchange itself, but this hasn't been implemented yet.

NB: I'm writing this post from memory. If there's a cool new SE feature that solves this issue, I'll delete my post.

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