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For those with at least 10k reputation on main, refer to this question, this comment and revision history. I'll add a transcription at the bottom of this question for those with insufficient reputation.


Long history short, OP requested deletion of a question for containing private image contents.

Don't get me wrong:

  • I'm aware that private content shall never be kept publicly available on Stack Exchange and will most often be removed upon owner's request, at moderators' discretion;

  • I'm not wronging a Diamond Moderator (which I helped electing)'s actions, in the other hand, I agree that such content should be removed.

However, I'm questioning whether there was no better action to be taken:

  • The images themselves were just a screenshot of a google font, which do not seem very private. As the image URLs' contents have changed, I assume OP actually meant that those URLs are private.

  • Nevertheless, the question could live and hold meaning even without those images. Diamond moderators can edit it removing the images, then permanently remove the revisions that contain the private URLs from the revision history, can't they?


The drawbacks I see from deleting the question entirely:

  • Stack Overflow loses content (a negligible amount, but does), therefore future users can't benefit from that question's answers;

  • Users whom have put effort and time into answering the question properly lose their gained reputation as well as their answers losing all future meaning, so that these answers served for nothing but fixing the issue for OP. This somehow reminds me of systematically self-deleting, but I believe his request was actually due to his question containing private data.


Transcription of the question:

How to make a HTML5 font lighter when fontWeight doesn't work?

Google's Oswald font seems to ignore the "fontWeight" css property. It's very bold:

[[google font screenshot]]

How to make it lighter? This is the result I want:

[[another google font screenshot]]

Had two answers, total +3 answers score with accepted answer.

  • Sure thing this barely concerns me, however private material seems to be not very well covered and I'd like this discussion thread and answers to serve as future reference. – Fabrício Matté Jun 11 '13 at 10:36
  • Moderators can't destroy revisions, only SE employees can. If you can edit the question in a way that works without the images, then all you need to do is to flag it and ask for the revision destroyed and the question undeleted. A moderator will pass your request to SE, and when the revision goes the way of the dodo, I'm sure the question will be restored. – yannis Jun 11 '13 at 10:42
  • @Yannis SE employees have an even higher privilege level than Diamond Moderators? Pardon my stupidity, that's completely new info to me. – Fabrício Matté Jun 11 '13 at 10:44
  • Some do (those with diamonds next to their usernames and/or direct access to the database), some don't. – yannis Jun 11 '13 at 10:47
  • I thought Diamond Mods had access to all moderation tools, but I see, those that work for SE may have even higher privileges. – Fabrício Matté Jun 11 '13 at 10:49
  • It would be rather concerning if SE employees didn't have full control over their own software and database. – JJJ Jun 11 '13 at 10:53
  • Destroying a revision is something that ideally should never happen. Then again, ideally people wouldn't post private information on the internet, but... Anyway, I'm only mentioning it because if you decide to edit and flag, your flag will take some time to be handled, as at least two people will need to get involved. – yannis Jun 11 '13 at 10:53
  • Yes, I understand your points Yannis and Juhana. Finished editing it already, time for a flag. Thanks for the input. =] – Fabrício Matté Jun 11 '13 at 10:54
  • If you agree that such content should be removed why link to it here and bring it to the attention of a whole load of people that would never have seen it? – Martin Smith Jun 11 '13 at 10:56
  • @MartinSmith So that I could gather input from other members. I believe we don't have many 10k+ rep members lurking here in meta with bad intentions. But I guess this was also a bad move. Nevertheless editing it now won't make much sense as the link would be in the revision history. – Fabrício Matté Jun 11 '13 at 10:57
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Nothing like the Streisand effect to draw attention to something the OP didn't want people to see.

Independently of seeing this meta question, I undeleted the post and asked one of the Community Team members to delete the revisions from the post.

  • The Streisand effect wasn't intentional, and look, I've been thinking about how to properly formulate this post for over 24 hours. Oh well, I just fail at meta discussion. Back on topic, thank you very much George. :) – Fabrício Matté Jun 11 '13 at 11:15
  • 2
    Why undelete it? Only 10K users could see it anyway, it shouldn't have been undeleted until the revision was destroyed. – yannis Jun 11 '13 at 11:33
  • @Yannis Maybe to mark the flag as resolved and not waste other diamond moderators' time I'd guess. – Fabrício Matté Jun 11 '13 at 14:13
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I deleted that question in response to the user's flag on the content and after observing the rollback war going on there.

We get many requests every day by people to delete their questions which have upvoted or accepted answers. The system prevents them from doing this themselves, usually for good reasons. In particular, we've been seeing a brief spike in this over the last month or so, as students cheat on their term projects or finals, then realize that their teachers know how to use Google.

When someone has posted identifying or compromising information, then has flagged the question for deletion, I have a general protocol that I follow. If it's something simple that can be removed in an edit, we tend to edit the information out, delete the question, bring in an SE employee to hard-delete revisions before that from the database, and undelete the question when done.

However, if that information is critical to the question, that's where things get trickier. We have to weigh the value of leaving the question here vs. how strongly the user wants the material to be removed from the public eye. From the edits, comments, and flags by this user, I could tell that they really wanted these images removed.

Where I misjudged things was that I thought the images were core to the question being asked and that removing them would make it meaningless. That's why I decided to delete the question, despite there being upvoted answers on it. I didn't want to punish those folks, but I also didn't want to leave an unintelligible question up.

I see that I was wrong and that the question could stand on its own without those images, and George appears to have cleaned up the mess here. Sorry about that.

  • I have the basic understanding of how the current system works - and I believe questions with upvoted answers cannot be deleted by authors due to the aforementioned systematical self-delete, which is fine. Thanks for the informative answer, I've seen a lot of students attempting to cheat through SO but never thought that they'd request those to be deleted. +1, sorry for taking your moderator time. =] – Fabrício Matté Jun 11 '13 at 14:08
  • I follow the same protocol, except I don't delete the posts. – George Stocker Jun 11 '13 at 14:24

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