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According to the help center:

What happens when a post is deleted?
Once a post has been deleted, it will disappear for all users except developers, moderators, and users with over 10,000 reputation. Deleted answers are also visible to the original author. However, deleted posts can be undeleted by casting undelete votes. Once a post has 3 undelete votes, it will no longer be deleted.

We can vote to reopen a question that's been single handedly closed by a mod, but not an answer? An answer with multiple up votes, that fundamentally answers both the posted question and op's actual problem.

Is this a bug? Or if it is by design, why, especially since questions can be reopened by community agreement?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure why you're framing your issue this way (that there's an issue with the SE system). While I'm not denying that there may be issues with SE, it seems your primary complaint is that your answer was converted to a comment by a moderator. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Apr 16 '14 at 5:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @w5vo if that were the case, I would have linked to it and asked that it be undeleted. So no, my primary complaint is that its unable to be restored by community votes, which 3 votes by high rep members are needed. Not exactly an easy thing, but it makes no sense that se treats one type of closure different than others, AND that the faq makes no mention of it. I already accept that that one mod is heavy handed and often does things unilaterally that piss off the community, based on all the meta posts on their actions. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 16 '14 at 11:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ So.... your complaint is that you couldn't find it in the help pages? \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Apr 16 '14 at 12:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @wv5o that the help page says we can, when we can't. See the quoted part above? So either its a bug, or if by design, it contradicts the help page, so either the problem should be fixed, OR the help page updated. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 16 '14 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could a user ever vote to undelete his own answer? \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Apr 17 '14 at 21:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman Yes, if the user deleted the answer himself. I don't think they can if the community deletes it, but I'm not sure. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Apr 20 '14 at 20:46
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Focusing only on the technical site aspects, your answer was not simply deleted, it was converted into a comment. Because it was converted to a comment (by a moderator), there is not a community-based process to revert the action. You would need to contact a moderator to have the action reversed, which would involve deleting the newly created comment and undeleting the original answer.

From the help page on Trusted users:

Trusted users are allowed to perform trusted actions, including:

  • Voting to undelete answers except those deleted by a moderator

The help page on deleted answers points to the detailed FAQ about deleting and deleted posts:

If your post was deleted by a moderator, you can flag one of your other posts and write a note in the "other" section explaining the situation and requesting undeletion.

Regarding the merits of your argument, I would tend to agree with the mod's decision to convert the answer to a comment. That answer is short and does not directly answer any points of the original question. However, it is relevant to the poster's goals, which makes it a good comment.

You were given plenty of notice to improve your answer, which you declined to do.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If a moderator single handedly makes a question go away, we don't need a moderator to bring it back. That's my point, hence the meta question asking why there is a difference. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 16 '14 at 11:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ You also didn't explain why the faq does not reflect this if its by design. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 16 '14 at 11:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby If a moderator is single handedly making content that the community wants disappear, then that is the issue that needs to be brought up on meta, not that you can't vote to overturn it. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Apr 16 '14 at 12:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wv5o two separate issues. I still think this issue goes against community control. No reason 3 high rep community members can't reopen an answer, just like 5 low rep community members can reopen a question. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 16 '14 at 14:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Passe: What you wrote is more appropriate for a comment than a answer, so a mod converted it. I don't see a problem here. Many moderator actions aren't reversible by the community, including this one. Again, I don't see a problem. Note that the action you site on the help page (answer deleted) is different from what happened (answer converted to a comment), so there should be no expectation for it to apply. Either get over it, or write a better answer. Note someone else already said the same thing you did in a comment. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Apr 16 '14 at 17:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @olanthrop yet the deleted answer says and links to the deleted answer faq. \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 16 '14 at 18:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @wv5o so then 'Voting to undelete answers except those deleted by a moderator' should be added to the deleted answer help page. Why is that so hard? \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 16 '14 at 18:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Passe: So the standard link to explain why a action was taken doesn't exactly apply to this case. Is this really such a big deal? It is good to explain what happened, but I don't see how we owe excrutiating detail to people that post stuff in the wrong place. You messed up. A mod fixed it. It's a minor thing. Get over it already. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Apr 16 '14 at 22:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop was leaving the upvoted answer up really such a big deal either? \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 16 '14 at 22:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby so now you want to talk about your real issue instead of how it's difficult to passive-aggressively circumvent moderator actions? \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Apr 16 '14 at 23:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @w5vo does that make every reopen vote on a moderator closed question and every edit on posts edited by a moderator also passive-aggressive circumvention? \$\endgroup\$ – Passerby Apr 16 '14 at 23:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby Every? No. Most scenarios don't play out that way, because either people are improving posts, or actively disagreeing with the moderation (e.g. a meta post on why their question should not have been closed by a moderator). It's important for the disagreement to be public so that the community knows whats happening and so that the moderators can understand how their actions were received by the community. Just voting to undo a moderator action won't give any feedback to the moderator so it will keep happening in the future. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Apr 17 '14 at 12:56

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