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I've come across a deleted answer that is obvious spam: it's nothing more than a link to a site selling high-end purses. The answer has been deleted, but it's still visible to me as a 10k user. It makes me mildly nervous to have a link to a suspicious site sitting there where I might accidentally click on it. (Usually I've got pretty good aim with a mouse, but I have made mistakes before.)

What is SE's policy here? Do the mods have a readily-available mechanism for purging posts from view of 10k users? Note that this answer dates back to August 2010, so I understand that any such mechanism -- if it exists today -- might not have existed back then. Maybe more recent spam-handling procedure prevents this from happening?

Also, is there a verb to describe such an action? The best I can think to use is "obliterate", "super-delete", or "delete it harder".

  • I believe destroyed is the usual term – Richard Tingle Oct 2 '13 at 13:44
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    Discount Gucci Handbags? – MikeTheLiar Oct 2 '13 at 13:45
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    Posts don't get destroyed. – juergen d Oct 2 '13 at 13:46
  • @mikeTheLiar As far as I can tell from the post, these Gucci bags are not even discounted. – apsillers Oct 2 '13 at 13:48
  • The term in programming is just "hard delete" vs. the "soft delete" that is normally used. – Shadow Oct 2 '13 at 13:52
  • On deleted answers/questions, shouldn't links be un-hyperlinked, i.e. still show the URL of the intended link, so it's there for demonstrative purposes, but it shouldn't be clickable. – Dan Hanly Oct 2 '13 at 14:00
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    Closely related: Are spam answers ever deleted permanently? – ale Oct 2 '13 at 14:44
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The answer has been deleted, but it's still visible to me as a 10k user.

Yes - and to mods as well.


What is SE's policy here?

Same as all other deleted content - it is soft deleted.

Do the mods have a readily-available mechanism for purging posts from view of 10k users?

No, they don't. But they can edit it out.


There has been a recent change, where a placeholder message will come up on deleted answers that have at least one spam flag that was resolved as helpful, which replaces the answer text and contains a link to the answer revisions (so 10k users can still see the answer if needed).

  • I sometimes see team members mentioning they can hard delete revisions (e.g. to remove any trace to sensitive/private information like passwords), isn't that such a "readily-available mechanism"? – Shadow Oct 2 '13 at 13:50
  • @ShaWizDowArd - only if there are revisions. And even then, not to be done lightly. – Oded Oct 2 '13 at 13:52
  • Sure not lightly... but if you nuke the only revision doesn't it cause the whole post to go poof? ;) – Shadow Oct 2 '13 at 13:53
  • @ShaWizDowArd - Not sure it does. We still have post histories and other items that require cleanups. One way or another - destroying revisions != hard deleting questions and is not the same as a "readily-available mechanism" (which, if we ever do implement can be abused). – Oded Oct 2 '13 at 13:58
  • Thanks, editing seems to be the ideal solution here. I don't mind seeing it and letting it remain visible in the edit history, I just don't want it where I can easily click it. – apsillers Oct 2 '13 at 14:11

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