Today I noticed the following deleted answer: https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/561476/ (only visible for >10k users because it is deleted). Screenshot:
The question was asking about how to change a year value (2016) that is hardcoded in a class. I provided an answer myself in September 2019 about patching the code with
etoolbox. The new answer was posted yesterday, so almost a year later, and suggests to edit the class file directly.
It was deleted by diamond moderator Stefan Kottwitz because it is "not good practice". Quote:
A class file should not be edited, there are other ways (such as redefinitions). As the way of doing is not good practice I remove the answer from public view ("deleted" but it stays here and can be improved). Thanks!
I was surprised to see this course of action by a moderator. Generally it is recommended that "bad" answers are downvoted, but not deleted, unless they are link-only or duplicate1. A meta post by a different moderator makes this point explicitly in Correct flagging (or: bad answers are answers, too). That was in 2013, however more recently (2019) the point was made again in Should we really delete low quality answers?, i.e., the consensus seems to be that downvoting (to -1) should be the course of action for bad answers. Note that those posts seem to talk about actually wrong answers (i.e., answers that do not solve the problem), whereas the current answer is not wrong (it will work) but it is just considered to be bad practice.
So, the question is: do we as TeX.SE community agree with this policy of deleting wrong(ish) answers? If yes, what are the criteria for being "wrong enough" to delete an answer? If no, can this answer be undeleted, and can the moderators refrain from such deletions in the future (and regular users stop flagging wrong answers)?
Note that the linked answer is just an example. The answer is very short and lacks detail, so it may be better to delete it and convert it to a comment (although it is an actual answer, and therefore does not belong in comments according to 'official' Stack Exchange policy, but that is a different discussion). However, for this meta question I'm not just asking about this specific answer, I am interested in a general discussion on how to handle "bad practice" answers, the opinions on criteria for deletion, and the policy on using moderator privileges to make content rating decisions on an on-topic and non-abusive answer.
1 These criteria apply to actual answers, i.e., posts that attempt to answer the question. Other types of posts are deleted as well, such as follow-up questions posted as answers, "Thank you" posts, spam, etc. This meta question is not about those types of non-answers.