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Our moderator team been working tirelessly to sort both new and old unsourced answers. Since the moderators are not expected to devote their entire time on the site for mundane activity, it becomes imperative to reduce the moderator team’s burden, especially with respect to deletion of unsourced answers.

Currently, the policy of deletion involves flagging the answer twice:-

  1. For adding a banner
  2. Waiting for 30 days and re-flagging to delete.

This means double the effort for users (having to keep a tab and flagging twice) and double the effort for moderators (handling flags twice for the same issue!!). There was another tool given by our honourable moderator where one could monitor answers on which the citation banner has been there beyond the time limit. But, Let’s be honest here, none of us does it.

As a result the following problems persist:-

  1. having to handle flags twice the moderators are faced with unnecessary burden.
  2. Having to keep a tab, other users can’t concentrate on asking/ answering questions.
  3. The main one- Many citation banners hanging around since ages with no one to look back.
  4. Often misleading unsourced answers get away with high votes and other visitors are mislead, because not all new users understand the logic behind the citation banner. 4 Users are not encouraged to post new answers, and if someone does, like this, it’s relatively ignored.
  5. Despite the citation banner, many stubborn new users do not change their answer. Deletion is the only way to get them to follow rules.

To help us solve these problems, we are lucky to have received some guidance from the respected CM Catija:

If the answer:

  • is old (more than 3 months)
  • is answered by an inactive user
  • fails to minimally source the content
  • can't be simply edited by a current user with a link or citation Just delete it and make room for someone to write a better answer that has citations....

When moderators are going through these answers, they can leave a comment telling the author to flag the answer if it's improved and a moderator will undelete it for them

Accordingly, instead of waiting for 30 days and having double the flags for the same issue, let’s propose: Deleting an unsourced answer in the first flag itself.

The user will flag as “citation needed. Please delete.” and the moderators will just delete with a message that users can flag to undelete.

This will save the effort by moderators of handling two flags and other users from monitoring.

Also users can see their own deleted answers, for 60 days from their profile. This means that instead of our originally proposed 30 days, users hav 60 days to rectify their answers!, before the become un-rectifiable.

Mods will be intimating users with a standardised comment, that they can flag for undeletion and that deleted answers can be accessed from their profile for 60 days.

Please note: this is not being mean to anyone. It’s just maintaining site quality. Deleting answers doesn’t actually remove their existence, they can always be un-deleted on improvement.

Please agree it’s in accordance with the CMs suggestion.

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    It is not entirely clear to me whether you are proposing the above policy to replace the current one (and hence also soliciting feedback from the community), or just informing about its forthcoming implementation. Can you please clarify?
    – Namaskaram
    Oct 17, 2021 at 18:18
  • 1
    @Namaskaram It’s for replacing the policy and asking for feedback. I’m not a mod and hence can’t inform about any implementation
    – Adiyarkku
    Oct 18, 2021 at 3:39

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