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The question Why does the Mars InSight Lander look wet like a cardboard box that came in contact with water? [closed] may have a conspiracy theorist bent but it was handled well and has three very well received and well-written answers that demonstrate a lot of effort by several people.

The OP has had four previous hoaxer-type questions:

One of those three is deleted but that makes sense as it has no answers. However, the Why does the Mars Insight.. question also has two delete votes.

What would be the rationale for deleting this question, which has so many carefully written and researched answers?

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  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble I'd forgotten that one, thanks. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 8 at 0:06
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Whether or not a question has good answers is sort of irrelevant. A bad question is never going to be welcome on SE, and that question is definitely a bad question.

It is not based on fact, just on conspiracy theory nonsense the OP wants to push.

Your answer on it is spot on, hence all the upvotes you got, but your answer does not make the question good.

If you are worried about the rep loss if it does get deleted, you are currently 8th in all time rep on Space Exploration - I would not be concerned :-)

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    $\begingroup$ Considering that I've given away nearly 20,000 in reputation so far in this site alone, I'm clearly not worried about reputation. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 7 at 8:45
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    $\begingroup$ I didn't think you were :-) $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Jan 7 at 8:45
  • $\begingroup$ what took so long? $\endgroup$ – JCRM Jan 7 at 10:13
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    $\begingroup$ the bounty bot offered me a chance to make it around 20k so I went for it. i.stack.imgur.com/Eh1zT.png Next goal is the contrarian badge but there's a lot of competition for that one. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 7 at 11:08
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    $\begingroup$ That is amazing @Uhoh - I knew you had given a lot of bounty, but that's just huge $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Jan 7 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ that was the lower limit the bounty bot gave me space.meta.stackexchange.com/q/888/12102 Considering the time, effort, and angst that's gone into the K-questions, getting this one answered is really worth it. Still, there's 1,700 total on this question $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 7 at 11:15
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There are several good reasons to keep this question and especially it's excellent answers here and not delete them. I think that these, taken in toto override any benefit of deleting the post in question.

  1. Answers about how the appearance of objects in images from space can deviate from each other due to time, illumination, surface contamination, and color correction are extremely helpful as examples when answering other similar questions. For example, in my answer to the (possibly hoaxer-like) question Colors of the Moon totally different in the pictures taken by Chang'e-4 in comparison with the Apollo photos. Why? I was able to refer to the several high quality answers to Is the “Mars blue dune” actually blue? And what makes it so? regardless of the quality of the question. I find the answers to the current deleted question with the two delete votes potentially very useful, and I think we need to keep these answers about the appearance of components of the InSight lander available.

  2. In rare cases something like this is helpful to remind users, including the authors, that repeated patterns of a very similar, regularly down-voted and often-closed question-pattern isn't a good thing. Deleting them from visibility makes this impossible. Imagine I came up with a fancy quote that sounds like Those Who Do Not See their SE History Are Doomed To Repeat It

  3. The OP has three hoaxer-like questions already, this could be a fourth. If we sweep most of these under the rug, then it becomes difficult to call attention to them the next time this OP (or another) ask a similar one. While mods may be able to see questions that are hidden by deletion, most users can not, even when a link is provided.

  4. Disincentive to write good answers! Two other users and I have each put a lot of time and energy into collecting information, sources, images and then writing answers (mine for example which has since received 25 up votes). When three people up and "disappear" all of them, making them difficult to link to, permanently invisible to most users, and possibly even un-findable in a few months, that bothers me and may make me and perhaps others hesitate to write a quality answer in the future.

All in all, this question about interpreting images from InSight lander on Mars may have been closed by a handful of users and several of those may have selected the "off topic" radio button for a reason (we don't have a "crank" close-vote reason, yet), but it certainly isn't so far off-topic that it needs to be deleted so badly that it overrides the benefits of keeping it here, but closed.

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    $\begingroup$ 1 and 4 are reasonable, but 2 and 3 are not. For 2, meta is here to show other users the history that they lack through the sanitized main site. 3 has not really been a concern, as far as I can tell. These problems have been handled sufficiently by mods and high rep users, without the need for everyone else to know the bad question history. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jan 7 at 13:47
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    $\begingroup$ @called2voyage for 4, as a last resort, I suppose I could figure out a way to ask a question and post my answer there instead. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 7 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ That's not a bad idea. Keep the knowledge around without the problematic framing. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Jan 7 at 13:54

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