A question was asked called "what is hyper-parallel entanglement and hyper-parallel quantum computing". I spent time doing the research to find out what they were, and wrote a very detailed answer including screenshots from multiple papers and it genuinely took me a long time, but now the question (and my answer) seems to be gone.

Considering the behavior of this user against me in the past, I find this to be quite vexatious and in fact harassment. Sure we can assume good faith and say that people have the right to delete questions when they decide it wasn't a good decision to ask that question, but in this case it seems like bad-faith. It seems the user wanted to purposely vex me by deleting an answer I put effort, time and energy into, or when he realized how easy the answer was: he deleted it because he was embarrassed, neither of these are acceptable reasons to delete someone's work.

There is a violation of the CoC here and I wonder what can be done, starting with how to get the question and my answer back?

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    $\begingroup$ A long-term option would be to avoid answering questions by said user - it seems that from your perspective you had recurring bad experiences. $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Sep 5 '18 at 14:06

While you're free to your feelings, the system allows users to remove their own questions as long as the question has no upvoted answers or has one or fewer answers.

It may be frustrating to you that the question was removed along with your answer, but it was done in accordance with the system and the question was downvoted, so the OP was getting some signal from the community that the question was bad. There's no indication that this is a habit on the part of this user. They've only deleted three posts total on this site, the first two of which were unanswered. A single deleted, downvoted question does not imply that any action be taken to address it or that the deletion had anything to do with the person who answered the question.

Rather than assuming that it was done specifically to vex and harass you, assume good faith. Look at the other factors here, ask for an explanation of why the question was deleted or see if other users agree that the deletion was appropriate. None of this requires specifically accusing a user on Meta of harassing you.

I answered this question yesterday and it was deleted - could someone please review the question and let me know if they think this question should have been deleted? Why would it have been deleted? If it seems like a good question, could it please be undeleted so that the users of this site can benefit from the question and answer?

Ask, don't demand. Come into the question on a neutral, non-emotional footing, even if you're upset.

Deleting a post is in no way a violation of the Code of Conduct. The code of conduct is designed to address poor behavior, not to be used to prevent the removal of low-quality, poorly constructed, or off topic content.

There is a related question on Meta Stack Exchange asking that the question deletion rules be revisited: Disallow deletion of questions for 24 hours after last answer was posted Feel free to review it and, if you have something else to add, answer it.

  • $\begingroup$ The only reason it was possible to delete this question, was because the user did not give enough time for the answer to get upvotes: quantumcomputing.stackexchange.com/q/4135/2293. The user knew very well that the answer went above and beyond in terms of solving the user's query, and in fact the user clicked "accept" on the answer and upvoted it after the post got un-deleted, then only changed the "accept" decision after the 2nd answer was given. Deleting was an exploitation of a loophole that allows people to self-destruct their question along with people's answers if they are fast $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Dec 31 '20 at 5:49
  • $\begingroup$ enough to do it before anyone gets a chance to upvote the answer. People could spend a serious amount of time on an answer and have it deleted this way, so I find it to be quite unacceptable for the system to allow this. "A single deleted, downvoted question does not imply that any action be taken to address it or that the deletion had anything to do with the person who answered the question" -- that by itself is a true statement but you've left out the part where this user had done multiple similar things to me and other users. As for "ask don't demand", your quote of me was of a question! $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Dec 31 '20 at 5:49
  • $\begingroup$ "The code of conduct is designed to address poor behavior, not to be used to prevent the removal of low-quality, poorly constructed, or off topic content." You can see now that the question was not low-quality, was not poorly constructed, and was not off topic at all. Deleting a question after someone has spent a huge amount of time answering it with a good answer, without any comment or anything, is in many people's opinion: poor behavior. It's exactly the reason for that MSE post that you linked. The user clicked "accept" and upvoted my answer only once the question was undeleted $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Dec 31 '20 at 6:34

To answer your main question: If you feel it was a good answer which should stay around, you could just access the deleted answer as described in MEE's answer, and then re-post the question as your own, together with the answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe he should consider flagging it for a mod to convert the question to cw $\endgroup$ – MEE Sep 3 '18 at 5:32
  • $\begingroup$ @MEE Feel free to post it as an answer :) Said option has the advantage (?) that you don't have to talk to the mods if you don't like to. $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Sep 3 '18 at 11:56
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    $\begingroup$ I think the problem is, that you are basically copying somebody else's question. Therefore I think it would be inappropriate to write it in your name. $\endgroup$ – MEE Sep 3 '18 at 14:52
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    $\begingroup$ @MEE You can still clearly state that you write this question because etc. etc.. Also, this is not an "original" question in the sense that it is kind of textbook-like for which one can write a canonical answer, rather than a research question which by itself might already be original. $\endgroup$ – Norbert Schuch Sep 3 '18 at 14:57

I (and I suppose everyone else) can understand that this is not a nice situation for you.

But please do not take this as an reason to publicly blame ANY user publicly. Even/Especially when there are repeated occurences of situations like this, there is nothing, we - as the community - can do.

If you think a post was maliciously deleted or a user has a pattern of rude/disrespectful behaviour, flag this for moderator attention:

  1. IIRC you should still have access to your answer. Look at your profile's Activity page > Answers > deleted recent answers if you can't see it on your profile page. Then you can flag either the question or your answer.
  2. If you have no access to your answer, you can flag any post on this site. You can flag a post from the OP, from you, from anybody. You could probably also flag a post on Meta.
  3. If (for any reason) the first two options are not availible for you or if you assume, that the specific behavior is happening on multiple sites, or if you suppose that the community moderators cannot handle this problem: Click on contact us on the Code of Conduct page or in the footer and inform SE staff about this.

In this flag write, that you want this post to be undeleted, explain why and, if you assume malicious behaviour ask the mods to investigate further.

This issue (public blaming of users) has happened a few times on this meta site now, that is why I propose to treat further posts doing so as rude/abusive.

  • $\begingroup$ The public blaming of other users seems to be much more well received on the Mother Meta than here. I did it and it was much less of a problem. It's only been a problem here. Furthermore "blaming" is probably not the right word here. Finally, I tried to protect this user's identity in the early stages, and he specifically told me not to. $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Sep 2 '18 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ @user1271772 - yes, but I think the first point is a problem (my last paragraph); Regarding your second point: Sorry, I am not a native English speaker and therefore this might be the wrong word. Maybe you know a better word; Ok, I didn't knew this, but I still think that publicly pointing to a user is inappropriate, and if it is not a problem for him, it might be a problem for future users and then people are going to wonder why it is accepted sometimes and sometimes not. $\endgroup$ – MEE Sep 2 '18 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ It's also possible to use the 'contact us' button on the code of conduct $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Sep 2 '18 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ Mithrandir, unfortunately those "contact us" things don't work so well. It's better to just let everyone know that this happened on the QCSE Meta so that the relevant people will see $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Sep 2 '18 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ @user1271772 and Mithrandir - I added the point and made clear, that this is only for extreme exceptional situations of course $\endgroup$ – MEE Sep 2 '18 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ @user1271772 - 'the relevant people' in this case are the moderators. The best way to get us to see something is to flag. This has been made clear before $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Sep 2 '18 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ LOL @Mithrandir24601. I did flag it but the flag got declined: quantumcomputing.stackexchange.com/users/flag-summary/2293. $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Dec 31 '20 at 6:30

This question was written at a time when I had just begun using Stack Exchange as a hobby (as opposed to simply visiting when I had a question). I really didn't know a better course of action to take at the time, other than to ask this question on QCSE Meta.

However the answer to the question is as follows:

Questions may be deleted if they are extremely off-topic or of very low quality:

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If you feel that someone self-destructed their question just to annoy the person that spent so much time writing the answer, then you can find the question by digging through your profile's "recently deleted answers" and then flag the question and a moderator should undelete it. Unfortunately in this case I actually did flag the question but the flag was declined.

So if that happens, you can vote to undelete it and hopefully others will do the right thing: if enough of them do, the question will get undeleted "by the community", but this can take a very long time, especially on a Beta site like this one. If your flag is declined, as in my case, you can post what happened on the site's Meta (what I did), or raise attention to others such as CMs via the "contact us" button (but in my experience responses to the "contact us" button do not come quickly or in some cases "at all").

2+ years after this happened, it looks in retrospect surprising that this was such a big deal, but I had been extremely frustrated by a lot of things the user had been doing to me at the time, with no visible action taken against them (in fact when the question was finally deleted, the moderator asked OP for permission to delete it first, so it was frustrating seeing that level of support for such poor behavior as destructing someone's answer which later they clicked "accept" on when the question was eventually undeleted).


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