Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Occasionally I will see a post with the author displayed like this:


The username is not clickable, but I don't know of any way to make a profile "private." So is this just an anonymous user who only entered a name when asking the question (can you do that)?

share|improve this question
up vote 11 down vote accepted

This is a user who does not exist. There is no profile link because there is no profile. Anonymously asking a question still creates a user, albeit unregistered.

Posts by non-existent users occur from one of three conditions:

  • The user was deleted after posting it.
  • The user existed and posted on one site, and then the post was migrated to a site where the user does not exist.
  • The post has been disassociated from the user account by a diamond moderator.
share|improve this answer
I like the suspense in this answer ;-) – Arjan Dec 13 '10 at 22:31

It's either:

a) a user whose account has been deleted but where the posts remain


b) a user who doesn't have an account on the site to which the post has been migrated.

If you shared a link to an example I could tell you which - though it's more likely to be the latter.

share|improve this answer
Yep, it was a question that was migrated – Brian Dec 13 '10 at 22:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .