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You can see how to delete an account in Can I delete my account?.

I don't particularly like the system but anyway, I think it has some kind of a flaw (or a "danger").

Since the username in Stack Overflow can be anything, a "funny" user may think it is funny to choose the name "please delete me". Once his has done that, ANYONE can delete him if he sends a mail!

This is a bad idea, completely wrong (unless I'm completely missing something)!

Right now, there are a few users like this:

Alt text

I have the "power" to delete any of them with a simple mail!

What do you think about this? Am I missing something or this is a really bad idea?

I sent this mail:

Please delete me.

http://money.stackexchange.com/users/2505/please-delete-me

user id: 2505

is this all I need?

Thanks in advance.

This was the reply (January 18)

deleted!

You're welcome back any time.

Jeff

http://stackexchange.com

The money.stackexchange.com account was created by a different email address. The mail was sent the email account associated with my Stack Overflow and Meta Stack Overflow account.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Deletion is not a light thing to do. It's pretty serious, so the Team especially is pretty careful about it. It's not just email → deletion without a second thought.

But most importantly... the email address used to send the email for deletion needs to match the email used for the account. If not, you'll probably need to provide some measure of proof that you own that account. And that's probably where a plan to delete someone else's account would fail.


As elaborated by Bill the Lizard in the comments, if a user account has pretty much 0 activity (like the activity of an abandoned account), then a judgment call could be made to simply delete the account as is.

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1  
@Grace That was not true in my case. The my email was sent from another account (I'm sure). –  Trufa Jan 20 '11 at 14:17
    
@Trufa You're sure there's nothing that could have been used to tie the address used to send the deletion request to the account that was deleted? Your parentheses indicate some measure of doubt, and based on experience in the deletion process of user accounts, the Team is not going to simply delete an account without spending some time to confirm ownership. –  Grace Note Jan 20 '11 at 14:22
2  
Ironic that "I'm sure" indicates doubt :) No, because the couse of me deleting the account was because I did it from a friends google account by mistake and I wouldn't have used it to send this email. I will edit now with more details. –  Trufa Jan 20 '11 at 14:30
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@Trufa: How much value did the account have? I don't handle those emails, but if I saw a request to delete an old account that had no Q or A posted, I might make a judgment call to just delete it. Otherwise, we are supposed to at least check that the emails match, as Grace said. –  Bill the Lizard Jan 20 '11 at 14:37
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@Bill the Lizard♦ No value at all. The account had no questions or answers. Is that it? –  Trufa Jan 20 '11 at 14:39
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@Trufa: Probably. You can always create another user12345 account, so there's no harm in deleting an inactive one. :) –  Bill the Lizard Jan 20 '11 at 14:41
    
@Bill the Lizard♦ Ok thanks, the thing is I can't get my head around how manual a process it is (fot this big a site) so I never though it would have reasoning and assumptions behind the deleting. (Which I don't particularly like, but thats a whole other other matter) I you want, you can post your comment as answer and I'll accept it, otherwise I'll post it myself. Thank you very much! –  Trufa Jan 20 '11 at 14:45
    
@Trufa: You're welcome. My comment was really just a note to Grace's answer, so you can accept hers. –  Bill the Lizard Jan 20 '11 at 14:48
    
@GraceNote how long will it take for a user with 80 questions and 40 answers on meta to delete? –  user221081 Apr 8 at 14:52
    
@mehow Have you reached us through the "contact us" form at the bottom of the page? –  Grace Note Apr 8 at 15:00
    
@GraceNote yes, i am just curious - not rushing you. –  user221081 Apr 8 at 15:48
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@mehow It shouldn't take too long after the message to start the process. A day, tops. –  Grace Note Apr 8 at 18:37

It's the profile that has to say "please delete me" not the username.

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I've just deleted one account of mine be changing the name and sending an email. –  Trufa Jan 20 '11 at 14:11
    
And the profile did not read "please delete me"? –  chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 14:13
    
The username did, it said "chibacity" (for example) and I changed it for "please delete me" –  Trufa Jan 20 '11 at 14:19
    
@Trufa But did the profile say "please delete me"? –  chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 14:20
    
Nope because I did not understand profile by this. –  Trufa Jan 20 '11 at 14:21
    
@Trufa In that case, the documentation is wrong, or it is not an automated process and the person who handled the email used their initiative. –  chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 14:24
    
@chibacity It's not an automated process. –  Grace Note Jan 20 '11 at 14:24
    
@Grace Ok, I assume that the person who handled the email used their initiative then, although it deviated from the documentation. –  chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 14:26

Knives are really dangerous because one can use them to injure oneself.

I think they are a really bad idea, and I propose we only use only our teeth to cut the food we eat from now on.

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2  
Did you just get possessed by random? –  Grace Note Jan 20 '11 at 14:16
    
I couldn't agree more. –  Trufa Jan 20 '11 at 14:20
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But shotguns can be used to kill zombies, so they're a really good thing. Don't get me started on broken glass though. –  Bill the Lizard Jan 20 '11 at 14:43

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