I recently read some meta questions about the famous "User was removed".

Although, it appears more clear to me, I still have some question:

  • What user was removed?
  • On which answer/question did I lose reputation?
  • Why the user was removed?

I have read that answers to some questions above are kept private ... why?

If the fireman destroys the wall of my house that I share with my neighbour... at least I expect M. Fireman to tell me why he did it.

Not having those information makes me feel that some people think I'm too dumb to understand why things happen.

"From our sole point of view, WE have removed a user. Consequently you have lost (hopefully recovered) some reputation. Period."

If you tell me WHY the user was removed and WHICH question/answer has been affected, I would know a little more which behavior/topic make you happy on Stack Overflow and which one really don't ! More over this simple information would tackle this problem.

I can understand it's difficult to keep the documentation updated. However simply giving away some information helps understand better how Stack Overflow (Stack Exchange) works, where it goes! Scattered information across meta is a pain in the ass.

Again, "User was removed" needs to be more clear:

  • Give specific pointers on preferable behavior
  • Update required FAQ and share the link to the updated sections
  • Explain why this user account was deleted, at least moderators can be warned if new ones are discovered

2 Answers 2


Which user was removed:

One of the major reasons users request deletion is to get their name off the site. Leaving the information which user was deleted would defeat that purpose to some part. The user information is also hard-deleted, the user profile doesn't exist anymore after deletion, it is not just hidden from view.

On which questions did you lose reputation:

Giving out that information would compromise the anonymity of votes, if you know who was deleted (which is often easy to find out, at least for high-reputation users), you know how they voted on your posts.

Why the user was removed:

This is between the user and the mods or SE, such moderation matters are considered private and are not made public, unless the user chooses to do so himself.

If you noticed a reputation loss, the user was almost certainly deleted because he requested the deletion himself. The other possibility would be vote fraud, and you'd know about that and would have been contacted by a moderator. Spammers don't vote, and there aren't really any other reasons why accounts are deleted.

  • The actual problem is not that you don't know which user is deleted, but that the votes are removed in the first place. That is the point that should be changed. Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 10:55
  • I think this useful answer should be in an FAQ !
    – Stephan
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 11:19

What benefit do you have from knowing which user was removed? It would be just to satify your curiosity. Knowing what you ask for would just blame the user that was removed.

And losing a few rep points is not that bad as losing your home, right?

  • 4
    Sorry ... my reputation is important : real or virtual !
    – Stephan
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 10:44
  • 5
    @Stephan a few points on your SO rep is not more important than SO site features for which confidentiality is key. It's never going to be more than a tiny percentage of your rep at stake, unless you make a point of mostly answering contentious questions posted by ephemeral users.
    – itsbruce
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 13:15

You must log in to answer this question.

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