I'm pretty sure I have seen a user with a user name like user1234567, that had a grayed out name link, but was active.
(I did not find the example)

From Some User is Shown As Greyed Out, I understand that grayed out user names indicate deleted user accounts.

The last comment from the user was one hour ago - it feels improbable that he had been deleted in that hour.

(I noticed because I wanted to comment on something for him, but was unsure whether he can communicate at all.)

Is there something special about deleting anonymous users? I assumed an anonymous account is based on a cookie in the users browser, so even if the user lost that cookie, we would not notice.


1 Answer 1


It is certainly possible the user did delete their account. If it was a fairly new account, they could have done it instantly without any manual intervention by the Stack Exchange team. Users do this all the time when they ask a question that isn't well received or have an otherwise negative experience and just choose to delete their account. The only time a user would still exist is if the post was disassociated, in which case the displayed name would also be changed to "anon" to anonymize the post.

Without knowing the comment that confused you, we can't know for sure what happened. But if the display name is greyed out, there is no account connected to the post/comment.

  • 4
    Could also be a migrated question - comments aren't remapped to users on the destination site if those users didn't exist at the time of the migration.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 0:43
  • @AnnaLear Oh, that's quite possible. Let's see whether the search syntax has something to match on migration... Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 8:26

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