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Unregistered (operative word #1) users with only one post (operative word #2) that got deleted by Community (operative word #3) after spam or offensive flags should be deleted/destroyed automatically.

These posts are typically made by:

  • hit and run trolls
  • who'll never come back, and
  • just waste bytes in our database.

While bytes are a dime a million, unregistered users are worth even less than that. In the worst case scenario of a legitimate user getting this treatment will simply have to fill in their details again.

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I'm not 100% au fait with how the unregistered users system works but I'm guessing it's based on cookie's etc. If so, isn't it wise to know who the bad ones are so you can block them, if desired? (obviously easy to get around if it is cookie based but it's an additional block on crap) – ben is uǝq backwards Jun 30 '12 at 22:29
@Ben: In practice, we summarily destroy such accounts; the user will never return anyway. – Robert Harvey Jun 30 '12 at 22:36
Why would you take away the joy of manually destroying those accounts? – Michael Mrozek Jun 30 '12 at 22:48
I can think of at least one example of someone whose first post was spam-destroyed but who later went on to become a valuable member of the community. – Shog9 Jun 30 '12 at 22:50
@MichaelMrozek because destroying them directly likely dismisses red flags as unhelpful (the only way to mark red flags as helpful is to red flag yourself, afaik; just the delete button won't do) – badp Jun 30 '12 at 23:00

Two problems:

  1. The number of these kinds of flags relative to other flags (like "Not an Answer") is relatively small, and

  2. Mods usually get around to these flags before the community casts enough flags to delete the post.

So, although I believe the idea is sound, it would have little effect on the moderation process.

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It changes "cast red flag, destroy user" to "cast red flag." – badp Jul 1 '12 at 10:19

Though there is no guarantee that the user will continue to use that particular account I'd to hang on to the chance that they would: that way the account has a record of the scrubbed post which might feed into later moderation decisions.

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