This morning I glanced on MMA SE and found a question titled "How to remove a watermark" were a user asked - well you might have guessed - how to remove a watermark from a picture. I tried to find that very question this afternoon (I go by Europe Time) and I could not find it, not even by searching with the exact title. So, unless the search engine is completely useless, I take it is has been removed from Mathematica Stack Exchange.
EDIT: Oh ****. I just found it. How to automatically remove text from images? A bit edited in the title and the sample images, but it's still there. (Not sure it if has been there all the time, but now it's there).
But my questions stands. (See later for more details about what was "the other time")
I am fascinated by the phenomenon of self-censorship and I have a few questions about it.
In another instance I noticed a question with perfectly legit applications had been erased from MMA SE. It was about a procedure to identify the slant on a scanned page so that it would be possible to automate the rotation algorithms.
Now, you might ask, what could be a legit application of a watermark removing software? Well, I have a handful of pictures of an anniversary with that pesky date and time put there in the corner by my cousin's camera. And what could be a legit application of 'slant detection'? Automagically rotate my scanned handwritten notebooks. Unfortunately this question was closed before an answer could be provided.
Who removed the question? An admin for the Stack Exchange platform, fearful of getting sued, or some high-score user? And if so, why the haste?
So, the real question is: who decided to remove question and answer stopped for a few seconds to think that he was depriving other users of the opportunity to learn how to solve a technical problem with legit applications?
I would like to point out that this form of self-censorship (and self-righteousness) is extremely subtle and potentially harmful. (Stanford, anyone?)
As a backup question: when is a user of MMA SE able to see the questions that have been erased?