Sometimes users accidentally post credentials or sensitive information in their posts. Although it's easy to edit those post then, the revision list will still show that information.

Deleting the post would be an option, but I assume it will also be somewhat annoying to users, even if it's for their own security. Plus, 10k+ users would still be able to see the post anyway. Our current approach is to ping a community manager who will then destroy the revision. Until that happens, the user's credentials are vulnerable to theft. Thus, to be able to better protect our users and react more quickly, moderators should be able to hide revisions. That would be like providing first aid until the doctor comes.

Possible implementations could be to have a link at each revision to hide the revision (maybe with possible undo). Or a link to flag them to Community managers, which would then hide the revisions until handled and also takes care of the pinging.

To go along with that, we could also introduce a separate flag reason for users that says "Contains credentials, private information or malware". These flags could then show up in the mod flag queue. Since we could filter for those then, we could give them priority handling instead of stumbling over them in "Other".

Note: there is a similar feature request in Edit revisions - possibility to hide a revision for users with the Edit priviledge (2000+ rep) already, but it asks for a user privilege, not a mod-tool. The Accepted Answer suggests to flag such posts. But like explained above, that doesn't help when moderators have to escalate this to a community manager as well.

Note: There is also Ability for mods to hard-delete a question or revisions. It addresses the same problem, but suggests a different implementation. Personally, I'd like hiding better than hard deletion by consensus. We cannot really hard delete anything so hiding would be in accordance with our other options. Also, when the aim is to protect a user quickly, we should be able to take action without having to wait for a consensus.

  • 17
    I love the idea of 'hiding' them. Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 23:15
  • Perhaps two buttons are needed: "hide" to simply hide a revision, and "rollback and hide" to rollback to the last revision (only) and hide the proceeding revision.
    – user206222
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 23:23
  • I thought it is already implemented. Now I am too curious how animuson could hide it. See the revision.
    – Himanshu
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 6:36
  • 2
    @hims056 The way this works is a user or moderator makes an edit that removes the undesired content. Then they get the community team or a developer to hard-delete the original revision. So in that case, animuson made an edit, then a community team member hard-deleted the OP's original revision. Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 6:43
  • This is a good idea; but it's open to abuse (I know none of you are going to abuse it but still...). It also doesn't destroy the revision. Would it make sense to have all of these actions reviewed by a member of the community team, who can then destroy the revision so the user's personal information is still protected and the moderators actions are double-checked? It removes the potential for abuse but still allows you to act more quickly than you can currently. Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 6:44
  • @CodyGray - Okay that means a Community team member was active at that time.
    – Himanshu
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 6:45
  • @benisuǝqbackwards A "link to flag the revisions to Community managers, which would then hide the revisions until handled and also takes care of the pinging" as suggested in my question pretty much achieves that.
    – Gordon
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 6:55
  • Can someone provide an estimate for how often this happens (eg. once a week in the Trilogy, twice a day across SE, every hour on SO)?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 8:46
  • 4
    @DoubleAA a rough estimate based on the pings I found in the chat suggests three requests per month. That might not be much in quantity, but given the quality of the problem, I don't think we should base the necessity to handle them quickly on these numbers alone. If you'd accidentally put your credentials in a post, you'd want us to protect you, wouldn't you?
    – Gordon
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 8:55

3 Answers 3


Up until last week, moderators would have to contact the Community Managers to redact private information from a post, but thanks to Jarrod this is now been turned on for moderators to handle.

By going to the post revision page, mods will now see a redact option:

enter image description here

Choosing this, you'll be provided with the standard editing controls where you can remove the sensitive details. Once you've saved the changes it will go into the moderator queue as a new flag for review by another mod. This is so there will be some sanity checking before the redaction takes place. When the revision takes place, the original revision is redacted and a special PostHistory entry is created to store the original version and serve as a record that the redaction took place. Community Managers can see a list of all redactions and review the changes made if needed.

  • 16
    Can us mortals see in the timeline if it is redacted?
    – rene
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 17:23
  • 4
    Agreed with @rene - there should be an indicator of tampering with the history for the users to see, and a log for CMs to review. Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 17:37
  • 1
    Relevant featreq posted: Providing public indicator of a hidden revision. Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 17:52
  • 2
    @rene I'll have to confirm with Jarrod but it's the weekend so it'll have to wait till tomorrow
    – Taryn
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 18:10
  • 1
    @rene The edit history shows "redacted by user" with the name of the person who did it but at this point this is only shown moderators.
    – Taryn
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 19:25
  • 1
    Can/should non-moderators see the redacted content while the flag is being reviewed? Given that only moderators can take this action to begin with, and that it's generally done for the users' protection, I would think the best course is for the redaction to appear effective immediately to non-moderators even if it's ultimately temporary (i.e.: flag rejected).
    – Iszi
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 20:09
  • 5
    @Iszi The problem with hiding it immediately is that it's pretty much the same as not having another moderator review it. By forcing another moderator to review the change, we're making sure there is some community oversight. However, if the content is really awful and shouldn't be seen until the redaction is complete, then the mod could delete the post until final approval as directed here.
    – Taryn
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 20:41
  • Does this ability also transfer to comments? In other words, could a mod redact ("destroy") a user's comment or their own? If someone claims that a mod was abusive/rude, but the conversation was subsequently deleted, would it still be visible to other mods and to the team? Could a mod hard delete a brief diatribe? I suspect they cannot but I'd like a confirmation, please. Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 6:49
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA Moderators have the ability to edit comments which they would do on rare occasions, but the ability to redact does not exist outside of the post. Deleted comments are still visible to other mods/staff and they can also see the revision history of an edited comment, so there is no hard delete with comments.
    – Taryn
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 13:48
  • Thank you so much for answering! Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 14:11
  • Out of curiosity, if a question only has 1 revision and it is redacted, what happens to its visibility when going to the question? Commented May 22 at 22:53

I like this idea because moderators are almost always the ones that spot this and bring it to our attention.

In order for this to be implemented, we need to be able to soft delete (or hide) revisions. Currently, destroying a revision of a post means just that - hard deleting it. While I'd like to keep that functionality around for the next time someone asks a boat programming question a rainy day (or if we ever really need to hard delete a revision), I'd much prefer just setting a flag on that revision indicating that it's diamond only.

When we get that accomplished, there's positively no reason to keep the feature from moderators. Not going to toss a status on this yet, but I do intend to pick this up after we finish this round of tool improvements.


This isn't nearly as easy as we thought it would be, just due to the way history on posts is recorded and the amount of code that needs to read specific things from that history. However, we've got an idea in the works that would allow moderators to make 'surgical' changes to certain revisions, which we think might actually work.

Not yet sure on time to deployment, but it's something we'd really like to get out soon. I'll continue to update this post as we make progress.

  • Note, I have this in our queue of features to discuss for possible implementation, but it might take a week or two before we get a chance to really look at it.
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 13:12
  • That's an excellent option. Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 15:23
  • I didn't know you guys could delete revisions. That's why I've never flagged anything like that.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 4:28
  • 4
    Is there still a possibility to get this implemented, or have you guys completely give up on the idea?
    – bfavaretto
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 16:24
  • Just to close the chapter on this, I imagine the solution you mention is the one in bluefeet's post? It would be nice for this answer to say that explicitly.
    – E.P.
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 21:17

In the case of questions where the OP has added personal details you can as a moderator

  1. Post a new question quoting the old question (or ask the OP to repost a very similar question)
  2. Close the old question
  3. Merge the old question into the new question
  4. Delete the old question

The new question wont have the revision history of the old question, but all answers from the old question will be preserved.

  • Moderators can redact revisions. Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 1:08

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