We get some questions from time to time where the OP has posted his access codes or API keys to various online systems, like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

These questions tend to linger in the flag queue for a long time since moderators do not have the ability to completely remove a revision or even the whole question, we can only do a soft-delete.

As such, a flag is usually left by a moderator for a dev/team to look at, and I suspect the devs/the team has enough to do because those flags tend to be sitting in the queue for at least a day, often drawing multiple flags from the OP to have his question deleted. In other words, since the question cannot be fixed without a complete delete, without a dev, the OP gives up waiting for his question to be fixed and instead requests it to be completely deleted. It would be nice if we could avoid that.

Would it be possible to get a function where moderators could completely remove a revision and/or the whole question, as long as multiple moderators agree? What I mean is that I could flag the question/revision for a hard-deletion, and 1-2 other moderators would have to agree by flagging in the same way. Once it has accrued enough such flags, it is gone. Optimally the flag would require the first moderator to write a short explanation of why this is necessary as well.

This would mean the moderators could fix such things themselves, without involving or waiting for a dev/the team to handle it, and still not be able to remove anything completely by themselves, a consensus is needed.

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    Feature-Request: OMGWTFLOL WAT R U DOIN?
    – user1228
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 11:59
  • 2
    This isn't dealing with the feature-request itself, so I'll say it as a comment. Sending an email to the team through the contact link at the bottom of any page, or pinging a community team member in the mod chat room (or any other employee who's in there) are probably better methods of reaching us quickly than hoping we see a flag somewhere in the queue. Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 15:49
  • I brought this request up again in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/191121/…
    – Gordon
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 7:04

2 Answers 2


I'd rather suggest that a "hard delete" by a moderator just hides the post from any non-dev user and places it in a queue for devs to approve. If they disapprove the post will be undeleted.

This would mean the post appears to be hard deleted to the user, preserving his privacy, but it would hold the moderator accountable to the SE team and give them an easy overview to detect any problems.

This idea is based on the queue for merging high-rep users, which is not allowed for moderators but which automatically notifies a dev that a merge was requested.

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    I think hiding from non-mod users would be enough. That way the mod themselves or other mods can undelete if need be, but it's not visible to 10kers Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 7:49
  • Right, the only two ways we can deal with such posts right now is to either soft-delete, which still leave it visible for 10k'ers, or we can flag for a dev to look at, which takes a long time (a long time in the sense of having ones authorization keys visible on the web.) If temp-hiding it from "everyone" is an option, then that would be more than enough. Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 7:59
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    @LasseV.Karlsen, or we can flag for a dev to look at, which takes a long time - I can't speak for the rest of the team, but I'm not looking at flag queues for things that are time-sensitive. There are better ways to reach us quickly. Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 4:58

I find it interesting that moderators can blast away user accounts without a trace (and without the ability to undo), yet there's no way to remove a question or revisions in a way that someone with 10k rep can't see. I'm not in favor of excising anything from the database, but I can definitely see the need for being able to hide a post or revision from non-♦ users.

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    Right, a hard-delete was what I know is the current way to handle this, but whatever function would hide the post/revision from everyone not on the dev-team, or possibly even everyone not a moderator, that is more than enough. The current system, though, isn't quite working in this particular area. Just today I "took care of" a post by soft-deleting it, removing it from <10k users, and had to email the team to get them to remove it, it shouldn't have to be like this. Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 7:58

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