I've stumbled across an inconstancy in the display of who deleted an answer.

In How to rate your programming skills on Programmers.SE there are currently two deleted answers.

The display of these two questions - one has the name of the owner, the poster, the other has the string "deleted by owner".

The differences that I can see are:

  • that one is a 10k+ user and the other is not and maybe the code for how it handles deletes of answers for these two is different.
  • the dates are about a day apart, there might be different versions of the software (yet, its still rather short of a timeframe)

So... it just looks like a minor cosmetic bug that most never see, though may be hinting at duplicated code that could lead to a different bug some time down the road. Or it could just be that two different releases of SE software put two different strings in the delete message and thats it, never mind, and everything is working as intended.

Of note, there was some tinkering of the self deleted code and display name back on July 17th - Self-deleted posts by deleted users don't show “deleted by owner”. This isn't the discrepancy seen (neither of these are deleted users), but it might help those with access to the code to look in the area of the code.

  • 12
    FWIW, I prefer the "deleted by owner" form. I don't know how many times I've had the internal dialog: Why did X delete that post? How did X delete that post by him/herself? (Glances up at the OP's name.) Oh, its the owner. Nevermind. Aug 18, 2013 at 21:20
  • 4
    Unless there's another Yusubov (who happens to be an ex-mod) who deleted that answer. Obviously didn't happen in this case but it's possible. Aug 18, 2013 at 21:20
  • @ben why it would be nice for ex mods to have some badge on their old mod actions Aug 18, 2013 at 21:22
  • 7
    What if someone registers an account with the name "owner"?
    – Calmarius
    Aug 18, 2013 at 21:37
  • 3
    I could not find any documentation of this so I am posting it as a comment. I believe that for you to delete your own answer if you do not meet certain criteria, then the community has to vote on a delete flag. In this case, I believe the message is "deleted by owner". If you have sufficient criteria and you delete your own answer then the message shows as "deleted by user01123581321". Although I can not find anything linking to this, I do remember coming across a similar issue when I first started here. I think this is "By Design" and not a bug.
    – Travis J
    Aug 18, 2013 at 21:42
  • 1
    @Calmarius I can assure you there are no users named 'owner' on P.SE with the ability to delete someone else's answer. Furthermore, there's a slight difference not apparent in the screen shots, in the first one, the owner's name is actually a link to the account. In the second one, owner is not a link.
    – user213963
    Aug 18, 2013 at 21:42
  • @MichaelT doesn't mean there won't be, or that someone won't change their name to "owner" Aug 18, 2013 at 21:50
  • 5
    brb, changing @MichaelT's ProgSE username to "owner".
    – yannis
    Aug 18, 2013 at 21:52
  • 1
    @psubsee2003 I've tried to never underestimate the nefarious users (intentional or unintentional) or drunken mods... Its just there is a way to distinguish the two... well, at least the two types of deletes... still having trouble with distinguishing nefarious users and drunken mods.
    – user213963
    Aug 18, 2013 at 21:54
  • 2
    If people really believe that users named 'owner' will be an issue, the ambiguity could be removed by changing the notification to "Deleted by owner (Yusubov)" but I think the chance of abuse is slim enough as to make this unnecessary. Aug 19, 2013 at 1:19
  • 3
    Amusingly there are actually two people called owner on SO (though none on P.SE). So "Deleted by owner (owner)" anyone? I prefer this BTW. Aug 19, 2013 at 12:42
  • possible duplicate of Why questions deleted by owner are not marked as "deleted by owner"?
    – VisioN
    Feb 13, 2014 at 8:04

1 Answer 1


Thanks; this should be fixed now

  • Was the OP right in his assumption? Aug 21, 2014 at 22:48
  • 1
    @Shadow no, it actually had to do with profile renames Aug 21, 2014 at 22:50

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