I recently replied to a question regarding why many image/video archives from the second world war are still classified.

The question had some up votes and my answer received both up and down votes. One comment considered my answer political, with which I disagree. I was replying about how information from war is handled. (History often has political (present day) implications. One could even say that, that is why we should study it.)

Right now I can see that my answer is removed and I can not find the question (maybe I haven't managed to locate the question).

I think the question (if it has been removed) and my answer should be put back. It is important to study the information handling from war situations.

And is it really along with Stack Exchange rules just to remove answers (and maybe also the question) without possibility for the members to discuss if it is right to do so?

1 Answer 1


I'd suggest reading this meta.se question: How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

I believe you are referring to this question, which is still open.

The answer in question had been downvoted to -3 before deletion and had a comment, cosigned (upvoted) by 4 other users reading:

This reads as a (political) opinion rather than as an answer. Perhaps if you include some factual references to support your claim of western media suppression of (70 year old) WW2 images, it would improve things

It also had been flagged for moderator attention by a user. As Bob Costas would say, this was not a universally-beloved answer.

If you read the meta link I posted at the top of this answer, you'll see that trusted users (4K rep or higher here) can vote to delete a negatively voted answer. If an answer gets 3 such votes, its deleted. That's what happened here*. Considering how few of those we have, that's a pretty impressive feat.

My best suggestion for the future would be to try to avoid the kind of content that comment complained about. Also, as a bit of tactical advice from a high-rep user, I would suggest including a link in any post you make here. We get a lot of people breezing in here and posting stuff they made up on the spot. A link-less post is going to put regulars here on high-alert that they may be dealing with another one of those.

* - Technically, the 3rd vote came from a moderator who saw it needed only one more vote, swapped out his moderator hat for a user hat, and cast the final vote. But the effect is the same

  • 2
    Just as an aside, I sense a certain feeling of being hard-done by the Stack Exchange system. This isn't entirely without merit. I'm probaly the #2 rep here, but whenever I post to a new site with 101 rep (and no pretty diamond next to my name), I'm pretty much guaranteed to get my first answer crapped all over. There's more than a little aspect of hazing to how the system works in practice. On the bright side, it can be useful to get a new poster humble enough to learn to craft the kind of content the new SE site expects.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Aug 25, 2016 at 15:02
  • Unfortunately the voting system of SE will make answers strive to be "universally beloved". This is often unfortunate for scientific quality. / Do you think the answer would be accepted if I added that "The first casualty of war is truth" has been said by Aeschylus, Samuel Johnson and Hiram W Johnson?
    – cvr
    Aug 25, 2016 at 15:58
  • 2
    Again, I'd council going much lighter on the personal opinion and including some links. I just took a brief look at my list of flags to clean up, and at least half were requests to delete answers that (among their other failures) included no links. Perhaps a link won't magically make a bad answer better, but it will at least make it look less like other bad answers. That's gotta be worth something.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Aug 25, 2016 at 16:12
  • Thank you for locating the question and taking this discussion seriously. / Is there really a difference between including a link and including a reference? So I should include a link that verifies that my answer refers to knowledge, at least as old as Aeschylus? / I am not a professional historian, but I still believe my answer could be right or at least correct to a high degree. / I find the accepted answer interesting but some aspects of it less likely. It would imply that there is no money to save unique documents from perishing due to aging?
    – cvr
    Aug 26, 2016 at 0:30
  • I think both the accepted answer and the deleted one ought to stay, for further investigations. The accepted answer contains several links, but that doesn't necessarily make it more true. Like you say, it can just make a bad answer look better. Is it OK according to the rules of the site that I include a comment/link in the original question that a discussion about a deleted answer has taken place (here)?
    – cvr
    Aug 26, 2016 at 0:31
  • Hi Ted,Sorry for the irrelevant comment but can you please provide some guidance here?
    – NSNoob
    Aug 30, 2016 at 15:28
  • @NSNoob - The Time Machine it the appropriate place for irrelevant comments.. :-)
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Aug 30, 2016 at 18:56

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