When a moderator uses their tools to destroy a user, can the user re-register using the same email address?

I don't mind the user participating in the future, but they are currently engaged in what can only be called very spammy behavior.

  • 4
    I hope they can -- it'd make them easier to spot.
    – jscs
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 20:37
  • +1 for the phrasing on "moderator uses their tools to destroy a user"
    – user200500
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 21:22
  • @asad :D also note the tag. We've got quite a little collection of mod tolls questions on Meta. We don't mind discussing what mods can and can't do, as we're really not much more'n glorified janitors.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 21:25
  • 4
    This has changed since the original answers were posted - see the answer to Automatically suspend accounts recreated after a moderator deleted the original. Today, recreated accounts of users who were destroyed with the spam reason are auto-suspended. Commented Aug 29, 2021 at 7:53
  • The auto-suspension also applies when the user was deleted with the “no longer welcome” option. Commented Aug 29, 2021 at 9:35

2 Answers 2


Yes, users can re-use the email of a destroyed, unregistered account; this happened to me before. A user apparently can't re-register the email being used for a registered account; as a last-ditch effort to block a recurring spammer someone at SE turned their latest (suspended) account into an OpenID account to block them from making a new account over and over...using the same email, anyway. It's still not perfect.

  • 2
    This is what I noticed too: A spammer was using the same email for all the unregistered accounts he was creating.
    – apaderno
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 22:22

You describe the user as being very spammy. In that case the correct action should really be to Suspend them for a period of time rather than Destroy them. Suspended users still exist in the system so can't be re-registered because they are already on the site.

Suspending a user keeps them locked in stasis - unable to participate but unable to reregister. Destroying them removes all trace of them so they could (in theory at least) reregister, although persistent users who rejoin again just to spam would be dealt with separately.

  • 2
    Yes, but burninating destroys all previous evidence and gives them a chance for re-entrance
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 20:53
  • 2
    @jcolebrand but you say you don't mind them being a member again. Really those spammy posts should be deleted, the user given a suspension and a warning and on returning from the suspension they should (hopefully) have gotten the message about appropriate behaviour. Destroying users is usually reserved for the classy "LOL, UR ALL LOOSERS GO GET A LIFE" type posters, or those that post: "Great question, really like this info [FREE AIR JORDANS!] I'll read this blog again" type nonsense from people.
    – JonW
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 20:56
  • More or less same post showed up four times in rapid succession and then they were gone again. Mostly I wanted to divorce them from the content after an expired suspend period.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 20:57
  • 4
    I'd argue that you might want to keep those old posts. What if they start behaving again for 6 months but then start spamming again? If you're divorced them from those initial posts then you don't have any evidence that they're returning to their old ways, so they are less likely to be correctly disciplined for repeated spamming.
    – JonW
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 21:01
  • well, since I can record them in the site-mod-chat and since the user is unlikely to offer a repeat performance, I think this is a reasonable way to permit rehabilitation...
    – jcolebrand
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 21:07
  • 4
    Suspension is the wrong action for spammers, destroying them is preferred. Suspension notifies all moderators of the site and send an e-mail to the whole SE community team, that is far to much paperwork for a simple spammer. In rare cases it might make sense to preserve the account for evidence, but generally the correct action is to just destroy the user. I'd actually prefer if keeping the spammer accounts was never necessary, but that is a different feature request. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 21:18
  • @MadScientist Depends on the type of spammer. You can be suspended for 'excessive self-promotion' or suchlike for people constantly recommending their own product as a solution to questions. Those users don't deserve to be destroyed. Suspension is correct for such cases.
    – JonW
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 21:38
  • @JonW That is for users who also answer questions, not for users who just write no-sense spam.
    – apaderno
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 22:24
  • @kiamlaluno yes, it is those that I assume the OP is referring to, based on the comment "don't mind the user participating in the future".
    – JonW
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 22:26
  • It all depends from the type of answers; if a user starts with answers that are similar to "I suggest you using [product name]," and that user has a reputation of 1, I would take that user is more a spammer. If then he creates another account with the same email address, but avoids starting with those answers, that would be fine with me (as moderator).
    – apaderno
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 22:43

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