I was the moderator who requested citations, affixed a citation needed notice to the post, and then deleted the answer. I feel that some context and explanation of the circumstances surrounding this is warranted, so that the deletion of an allegedly "valuable answer" is not misunderstood. Here is my response to your question. You can scroll down to the bottom if you aren't interested in this or already know it.
Answer deletion generally
As per the guidance for the trusted user privilege:
When should I vote to delete an answer?
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.
Currently, the guidance around undeleting questions is less clear. And so the latter part of your question cannot be answered.
You have called it a "valuable answer". However, I disagree and I deleted the answer as it was nothing more than a rant supported by no reference to legal authority.
It was generally an anecdote. Law Stack Exchange, however, does not exist to host recounts of people's lives. There are many services on the internet which exist to host people's experiences and recounts that are not limited to also being useful as an answer.
This is starting to become somewhat of a catchphrase for me, but: This isn't *Life Experiences Stack Exchange*, it's *Law Stack Exchange*. Questions should be about the law, and answers should be based on and supported by (rather than just related to) the law.
Were I not a moderator, I would still have voted to delete this answer. I gave the user every opportunity to edit their answer and provide citations to cases that supported their assertions. Instead, they decided to append a large rant about the ethics of citation to their post, and ignore the very reasonable request that their answer be supported by reference to law.
If it is your view that the answer should have been edited to conform to standards, then we are in agreement. The only person who should have to edit it is the person making the claims - that is, the author. If someone else had happened upon the post and been able to provide evidence to support the claims in the answer then that would also have been acceptable. Certainly, if I were aware of such evidence then I would have cited it.
Any user with sufficient reputation may view deleted posts. If they choose, they may adopt the content (noting that all content submitted on the site is subject to the relevant Creative Commons license) to form part or all of an answer of their own provided the CC license is complied with.
The bottom line
It is my opinion that the answer should have survived but edited to conform to standards.
I gave the user every opportunity to do this, and which they repaid by, instead of doing so, composing a lengthy diatribe on the ethics of providing references. Therefore the deletion was warranted, as the answer was unsalvageable. Having afforded the user the chance to edit it to conform to standards, and that chance being ignored, I feel no guilt over deleting it.