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Yesterday I noticed that my SO account has been deleted. I tried to log in with my email address but it was not recognized as a valid account and the system created a new account for me. My reputation and all my answers were gone.

I would at least have expected an email with an explanation why my account was deleted! I guess one of the moderators was not happy with one of my answers. Deleting my account with all the answers because of this is not something that I deserved.

Is there something that I can do to recover my account?

Link to my deleted account: http://stackoverflow.com/users/1047515/kemal-taskin

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closed as too localized by Anna Lear May 8 '12 at 23:12

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Any links to your (deleted account's) questions or answers? I don't know if mods can undelete accounts, your best bet is probably emailing team@stackoverflow –  Mat May 8 '12 at 8:56
    
I can see an account in your name on SO, accessed 2 hours ago... but as Mat says - give us some clues here; can you remember any posts? (it would be very unlikely that we delete questions / answers, unless they are pure spam) –  Marc Gravell May 8 '12 at 8:57
    
re your edit - is that similar to this one? stackoverflow.com/users/665726/kemal-taskin - are those your posts? or just coincidence? –  Marc Gravell May 8 '12 at 8:58
    
Just coincidence. That's not my account and not related to me at all. –  Kemal Taskin May 8 '12 at 9:00
    
k... lemme check some more –  Marc Gravell May 8 '12 at 9:01
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to emphasise, the "one of the moderators was not happy with one of my answers" seems very unlikely - let's not jump to conclusions –  Marc Gravell May 8 '12 at 9:04
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I guess one of the moderators was not happy with one of my answers. Deleting my account with all the answers because of this is not something that I deserved. Small hint: When seeking support, it's not a good idea to tramp in and accuse people of such things. This has never happened on SE before. Accounts only get removed if they're being found to spam, violate rules, get merged into other accounts (sharing IP addresses and similar issues) or because it was requested. –  Time Traveling Bobby May 8 '12 at 9:05
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k; I've found the audit record; I'll ping the person who deleted it, to see what was up –  Marc Gravell May 8 '12 at 9:06
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@user1379601 Let's not get on hyperbole overload, k? –  Sathya May 8 '12 at 9:09
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The power could be abused, but as Marc has indicated, everything is thoroughly logged. If someone was abusing their power or has made a mistake, that can be taken care of. Nothing to worry about here. –  Cody Gray May 8 '12 at 9:10
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I say it again, that has never happened on SE before. Sure, Moderators can suspend accounts, Developers can delete them at a whim...but yet we need even one rogue Moderator or Developer, which we don't have. –  Time Traveling Bobby May 8 '12 at 9:10
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@The that's something you would say, being the Establishment. –  Pëkka May 8 '12 at 9:13
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@Kobobby oh, things get deleted for reasons pretty frequently; the only question is : what was the reason, and was it a reasonable one. –  Marc Gravell May 8 '12 at 9:14
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@ThiefMaster: There is a visible reason for suspension. That account was nuked. –  Time Traveling Bobby May 8 '12 at 9:40
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I am making that slowly descending whistle sound now... –  Andrew Barber May 8 '12 at 9:43

2 Answers 2

We have re-linked your answers to your new account. I apologize for us jumping straight to deletion rather than issuing a warning in your case. As Marc explained, the volume of posts of yours that appeared promotional was overwhelming.

I'd like to reiterate Marc's point:

in moderation (i.e. as a percentage of your posts), this can be a valid recommendation, but when all of your posts do the same thing, it starts to look very spammy, and accordingly attracts a lot of flags from the community. (Indeed, several of your posts were already deleted due to flagging, and the occurrences of absolutely identical posts on multiple questions.)

Also, per our FAQ:

Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers. Also, if a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons. Our advertising rates are quite reasonable; contact our ad sales team for details.

You're welcome to continue using the site, but please keep this in mind going forward.

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Has anyone ever told you folks that given the fact that you are all human, you have excellent customer service? –  Andrew Barber May 9 '12 at 6:07
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@AndrewBarber Thanks. :) –  Anna Lear May 9 '12 at 14:52
    
@AndrewBarber they provide better customer service than most robots I know, too. –  Pops Aug 12 '12 at 0:40

Okay, I haven't got hold of the person who deleted it, but I've tracked down your 21 posts, and the posts would seem to suggest astroturfing, i.e. all of your posts essentially exist to recommend your own retail products.

Now, this gets into a tricky area—in moderation (i.e. as a percentage of your posts), this can be a valid recommendation, but when all of your posts do the same thing, it starts to look very spammy, and accordingly attracts a lot of flags from the community. (Indeed, several of your posts were already deleted due to flagging, and the occurrences of absolutely identical posts on multiple questions.)

So, that's the why. I guess your question is "was it reasonable?", and again, I'm waiting on input from the moderator involved. However, we get quite a bit of spam; and frankly it doesn't scale sufficiently to have a long drawn out process relating to spam.

We don't mind jumping through a few hoops when an otherwise valid contributor engages in some anti-social behaviour. But things perceived as overwhelmingly spam/astroturfing tend to get much less benefit of the doubt.

The key point, though, is that I'm still waiting on feedback.

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Thanks for looking into this issue Marc! I tried to give detailed answers to questions with code samples when necessary. At the end of my answer I mentioned my product with a disclaimer that I was the developer of this product, which is ok according to the SO FAQ. –  Kemal Taskin May 8 '12 at 9:35
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^^^ there's a line, though; sometimes something a product that a user is deeply involved in genuinely is a good answer to a coding problem. It isn't a black and white / trivial thing. –  Marc Gravell May 8 '12 at 9:44
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Those who cry "conspiracy! Injustice!" the loudest almost always turn out to have a history like this. Sad but true. –  Pëkka May 8 '12 at 9:48
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They hope the cold, hard evidence isn't available. @Pekka –  Andrew Barber May 8 '12 at 9:51
    
@ors read the full post you linked to. It doesn't say you can't link to your own products if you provide good relevant answers –  Eran Galperin May 8 '12 at 9:54
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@Eran that is true. But I am pretty sure I flagged a couple of this user's posts, and taken alone they were ehhh... but when all 21 were promotional, and many were exact dupes of each other. In my mind, ors' link is applicable here. –  Andrew Barber May 8 '12 at 9:56
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Marc is 100% correct. It is extremely difficult to differentiate malice from inexperience or benign behavior when the pattern is exactly the same. I'm not the moderator that took action, but I probably would have (at a minimum) deleted the posts. Upon realizing that I just removed every post a user wrote, I'd strongly consider the possibility that I'm not dealing with an actual user. –  Tim Post May 8 '12 at 14:17
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I checked the google cache. It said, "nothing of value was lost". –  Won't May 8 '12 at 14:31

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