Within the last 12 hours, 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.

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.


Thank you MEE for pointing out how to get access to my deleted answer.

It turns out that you can actually vote to "undelete" but unfortunately need 7 undelete votes to undelete it, and only the person who wrote the question or answer, and people with 10k rep (which is no one here) and moderators can see deleted questions in order to vote in the first place.

Anyway here is the undelete button, and I've make special effort to make sure the author and deleter are not visible in this screenshot:

enter image description here

Now my answer to this question is actually a helpful contribution to the QCSE in my opinion. It's actually something I didn't know and had to look up to learn what it was. Hyper-entangled states and hyper-parallel quantum computing are actually very interesting and were actually used to get the $\mathcal{O}(N^2)$ result in this answer.

It simply looks like malicious deletion of answer or deletion due to the embarrassment of the user (who I will not name here) didn't do the research himself.

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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.

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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.

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  • $\begingroup$ 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
  • $\begingroup$ 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.

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  • $\begingroup$ 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

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