What happened to the accepted answer at Why is a border wall such a polarising issue in American politics?

3 Answers 3


The answer was removed by the community, three trusted users to be exact. From what I can see, the removal is under review and has gathered one pending undelete vote.

Further reading:


Just as a note here for those with less rep... the answer in question (at minus 10 net votes) was deleted twice by high-rep users (and also undeleted once). I took part neither way, but to illustrate with some snippets from the deleted answer... it was certainly peppered with contentious statements like:

The black community [...] have been losing jobs and suffering a campaign of racist killings by Mexican and Central American gangs.

One can easily call such statements race-baiting.


The answer was deleted because it provided sources describing the negative effects of illegal immigration on the American public and other sources describing the benefits off illegal immigration and mass immigration to powerful factions within the American political system, despite the harm these phenomena cause to the American public.

Three 'trusted users' deleted the answer to prevent other users from seeing those sources and the conclusions drawn from them.

There are certain statements which offend the political convictions of influential SE users, and these answers get downvoted and deleted despite being informative, relevant, well-sourced, and compliant with SE's code of conduct.

These users effectively function as unofficial gatekeepers, preventing the community at large from seeing information which could cast doubt on the validity of the gatekeepers' political convictions, very possibly without the knowledge of moderators or administrators.

In this particular case, the trusted users abused the trust SE placed in them.

Here is SE's guidance on when to delete answers:

You may vote to delete answers in the following cases:

The answer is extremely low quality: There is little to no scope for improvement. The answer doesn't attempt to answer the question; it may be a comment or a separate question altogether.

The answer in the border wall question did not meet either of these criteria, and therefore should not have been deleted. But, they did it anyway.

The solution to this problem is to use SE for its stated purpose: asking and answering well-reasoned questions. When a user has enough reputation, he or she can then provide his or her input on answer deletions and undeletions.

  • 5
    This may be contentious, and very probably an unpopular meta-answer, but it also may be true –– or not true. I can't tell! Because: Please indicate how the obvious question here is answered: 'And how do you know that?' (Given your rep. I can't see the deleted A, was it your own?) In other words, please indicate how you come to your conclusions and assertions? Have you a stake in this, in form of 'that answer'? Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 22:59
  • 2
    @LangLangC Yes, it was my answer. The undelete vote than Yannis mentioned in his answer is also mine. No can know, but this is my conclusion based deductive logic. My answer 1) did not violate SE code of conduct, 2) was relevant and well-sourced, 3) answered the question, and 4) did not meet the criteria for deletion. Yet, it was deleted. This week another of my answers just got a delete vote despite being at positive 30 upvotes, despite not being anywhere close to meeting the criteria for deletion. This pattern led me to my conclusion. I see where you're coming from, though.
    – TheLeopard
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 23:14
  • @LangLangC I know now that anything the gatekeepers don't like stands a good chance of getting deleted, so I answer questions as best I can, support them as best I can, abide by SE's code of conduct, and warn question askers that my answers may be deleted (sometimes those warnings get edited out, too.)
    – TheLeopard
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 23:20
  • Ah. I saw 3 possibilities, random lucky observer of the action unfolding, own stake, or rear-end talking to axe-grind. After the clarification in comment, may I suggest you declare this 'expertise by example' and 'conflict of interest' (both at the same time and weight, am still not judging) to this answer? Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 23:20
  • 1
    @LangLangC I came across this question by chance (I don't normally read the meta-boards). And, of course, I was there while the action unfolded. My well-researched answer was vociferously condemned, but that's ok because people could just read it then read the opposing points, and come to their own conclusions. But, then 3 trusted users decided to use their delete privileges to make sure no one could even see it.
    – TheLeopard
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 23:27
  • As stated, can't comment on or evaluate the main answer. But for this metaA (as a lucky observer), & in case these comments get nuked (but the answer remains ;) I think including these tidbits would be a good idea. Instead of stating as fact what I can't follow up; I respect differing POVs in most cases, if I can see from where and how this view is formed. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 23:33
  • 1
    Without my conclusions from deductive logic, the comment "In this particular case..." and everything below it is verifiable by checking SE's own guidelines. I was very surprised to read in this meta that another user's answer to that question was deleted too.
    – TheLeopard
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 23:38
  • They're doing it again. Anyone who is interested can review this answer. politics.stackexchange.com/questions/8969/…
    – TheLeopard
    Commented Feb 16, 2019 at 23:23
  • 4
    @TheLeopard That's hardly a comparable situation. Please do not put meta-commentary in your posts. You can only blame your stubbornness for that answer getting removed.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 13:48

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