I recently crossed the rep threshold to gain the trusted user privilege. The FAQ is very clear about the deleting and editing privileges... but not the undeleting privilege.

When should I vote to undelete an answer? What is the guidance on this?

For example, I just saw what I believe to be a correct answer to a question by a fairly new user (here, for those who can view deleted answers). It looks to me like the only reason the author deleted it was that it had one downvote and there was some contention in the comments. Then I noticed I can now vote to undelete it. Well...

  • Firstly, I don't know if that immediately causes something to happen or if there's a particular number of people who need to vote for anything to happen, so I'm afraid to touch it!
  • Secondly, I don't know if I should vote to undelete the answer on the grounds that it's a perfectly correct answer that needed a little air to breathe and a few edits and shouldn't have been deleted at all or whether the author's decision is sovereign.

My question isn't about this particular example, but it brought it to my attention.

I don't know what the point of this privilege is and how I should be "trusted" to use it! Can you please advise? I did not find anything on SE site-wide meta, but my apologies if this is an easy thing to find and I managed to overlook it.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ "Firstly, I don't know if that immediately causes something to happen or if there's a particular number of people who need to vote for anything to happen, so I'm afraid to touch it!" - Since this question is sort of secondary to your main question, I'll answer it here: Per this SO blog post and my experience, post authors can delete their own answer, or 3 other non-diamond-mods with the permission can delete an answer, or diamond-mods can delete it. I believe the same is true for undeletion. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Feb 19, 2019 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Helpful, although I'd like to know whether it's the same 3 votes for undeletion, since that blog doesn't say. Thanks for the tip. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2019 at 1:59
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure it is, yes. Though a single vote from a diamond mod is enough to close/reopen/delete/undelete, as usual. (Also, congrats on the 20k reputation!) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Feb 19, 2019 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


It’s kind of like how the privilege to unhold/reopen works: “should this be on hold? I don’t think it should be; I’m voting to reopen.”

The undelete privilege is the same: vote to undelete when you don’t think it should be deleted.

It takes the same number of votes from non-author, non-mod users to undelete as it takes to delete: 3. So you’re free to cast your vote and leave the other two to others’ judgement. It’s not all on you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There's a reopen queue. Is there also some queue where undelete votes show up? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2019 at 13:33
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Bloodcinder Not exactly a review queue but there are the tools which include some information on recent deletes/undeletes and votes \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Feb 19, 2019 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Even if the owner deletes the answer? I mean, the owner would have the "right" to delete their answer if they think it's not good enough, or it's a wrong answer. Undeleting such answer might lead to downvotes, which the owner won't fancy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vylix
    Feb 21, 2019 at 2:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vylix Even then, since authors aren’t owners—the community owns contributions. In practice most people hesitate to undelete such posts unless they’re really sure it is best to be undeleted, so there’s a natural self-limiter built in even there. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 21, 2019 at 6:29

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