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How does SO manage users?

I see many new users every day who ask their questions, and after getting answers, never look back to SO until they get new problems. They also create new users every time they ask questions. So, how does SO manage users? Does it delete users based on some criteria? If it does, then what're the criteria; that is, how does SO decide which users to delete?

Also, if users are deleted, who does this task? SO, or moderators? Do moderators have privileges to do this task?


I got an answer that says users are deleted. Now my next question is:

If a user is deleted, what about the question(s) he asked on SO? Are they also deleted? Shifted to somewhere else?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

As explained in this blog post sometimes users are auto-deleted, but only if they've never done anything of particular significance and haven't visited the website in a very long time.

Generally speaking, I don't think having tons of inactive registered users harms anything and I don't consider it a problem. In any case the deletion is automated even though moderators can delete and merge accounts if need be.

share|improve this answer
if user is deleted then what about the question(s) he had asked on SO? are they also be deleted? or shift to anywhere else? – Harry Joy Feb 7 '11 at 12:40
@Harry: the question will remain, and the author will be unclickable – Andreas Bonini Feb 7 '11 at 13:13
They can't merge accounts at will anymore (I mean the mods!). – Braiam Dec 12 '13 at 0:17

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