As a moderator, it can be beneficial for me to know whether or not an unregistered account is "still alive" or has been thoroughly abandoned.

An unregistered user has only a cookie based session, without actual login credentials. So if all of the sessions server-side are no longer valid (which is generally caused by said user not coming back for a long enough period), the account is effectively abandoned, this means that

  • User will never reply to comments
  • User will never add details to their question
  • User will never revise his answer

It can also means content can be edited/closed/deleted more aggressively, because the user in question cannot do it himself (even if they were here and wanted to).

In light of that, can we have a moderator ability to see whether or not a user still has valid sessions and have a chance of logging in to their unregistered account? I know it's not foolproof (as user may have cleared cookies on their side to cause the same effect), but it's "close enough" and will help with 99% of the cases.

  • In most cases where the user doesn't have a valid session, what action would you take?
    – user50049
    Apr 27, 2015 at 19:59
  • @TimPost I'd usually check for that in response to a flag or a low quality post. If the post is unsalvageable (which more often than not, it is), I can safely delete without attempting to offer advice, or wait for OP to return and reply to me or try to edit their question. Apr 27, 2015 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


Check if it has been six months

If it's been more than half a year, the cookie has expired as it is valid for six months (cf. How long does an unregistered user's cookie remain valid?), so that's the breaking point for a session. So until we get a nicer way to see if there's still a session this might be your workaround.

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