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I encountered a problem deleting my own post that contained answers on it. Is there any way I could make my posts with answers invisible to non stackoverflow members at least?

marked as duplicate by ale, psubsee2003, gnat, animuson Oct 8 '13 at 19:46

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 8 '13 at 18:27

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    It is sort of the purpose of SO to let people see how to deal with problems they may have run into... Besides, what's the ideal group of people you want to limit it to (if "at least" members)? – Aleksander Lidtke Oct 8 '13 at 17:42
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    Right, but i suppose there should be a sorf of opt out way ... so that i could delete my own posts at any time – Aleksei Nikolaevich Oct 8 '13 at 17:43
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    Well you can vote to delete them, which may result in the post being deleted far as I know. – Aleksander Lidtke Oct 8 '13 at 17:44
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    if you dont want people to view posts with answers then dont post, kind of insulting you want to delete posts with answers. You are counter-SO – Sorceri Oct 8 '13 at 17:48
  • I am not talking about all posts. There are some of my posts that i do not like, and wish them to be deleted. What's up with that? – Aleksei Nikolaevich Oct 8 '13 at 18:06
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    I think you just need to live with the fact that you was wrong / didn't know something. It's much easier this way. – igr Oct 8 '13 at 18:27
  • Why would you want to do this? It's a public site, and the knowledge generated by questions and answers is largely persistent, by design. – Dave Newton Oct 8 '13 at 18:35
  • @Lidtke Yeah, he just needs another 19,977 rep to be able to vote to delete questions. (And needs the question to be closed.) – Servy Oct 8 '13 at 19:28
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You may not delete questions which have upvoted answers. But, as the owner of that content, you may have your account disassociated from it. Flag the question for moderator attention and ask that the question be disassociated from your ID.

This is not just a feature of the site - it is a legal requirement of the Creative Commons license. You have a "moral right" to have your name removed from your work if you object to its use. The reasons for your objection are irrelevant, so even if you object on the grounds that it makes you look silly, you have legal rights to have the content disassociated from you. (*IANAL)

SO is not required to delete it, however. By posting it, you've agreed to license the content to Stack Overflow and that agreement is binding. The content will continue to exist on SO's servers.

By disassociating the post, you will lose all rep gained (or lost) and it will no longer appear in the list of questions on your profile - it will be as if another user had asked it in the first place.

For more information, see:

  • I've always wondered how deep the disassociation is; if it completely splits the question from you; including post ban calculations; making it a secret loop hole that I really shouldn't mention – Richard Tingle Oct 8 '13 at 21:31
  • @RichardTingle - See the comment thread on this answer: meta.stackexchange.com/a/195147/191410 – JDB Oct 9 '13 at 3:38
  • Interesting, I'm surprised it's not more well known – Richard Tingle Oct 9 '13 at 7:38
  • @RichardTingle - I'd also argue that this is not a "loophole". While a user may request disassociation and SO is legally required to comply, it is an extremely visible process, involving moderators and SO staff. I imagine that if someone attempted to make excessive use of this to get away with posting bad content, the moderators would simply delete the posts and then ban the user for abusing the site. – JDB Oct 9 '13 at 13:47
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When you signed up as a user you agreed to license your contributions to Stack Exchange. The purpose of Stack Exchange is to share knowledge on the Internet, so you don't get to decide on your own that something should be removed.

That said, if an answer is actually bad -- e.g. contains wrong information and you can't update it -- then you can delete it. In that case its presence makes the Internet worse. You can also delete answers that turn out to be redundant; I've done that several times, finding that while I was typing somebody else was supplying a better one. Questions are harder; even if you don't like your question or are embarrassed that you made that mistake, if someone supplied an upvoted answer then you can't delete it without moderator intervention -- and making that case will be hard. Deletion cases need to be dealt with on an individual basis; you can't just wipe out everything.

You can, as noted by others, disassociate your posts so they aren't identified as yours. But you generally can't completely remove (or hide) them; that's not what Stack Exchange is about.