I am writing for a friend who cannot ask a question here on Meta.

He has been suspended last week, asked to delete his account[s] and a message said that accounts cannot be removed before the end of the suspension.

Since he has been suspended for ten years, that seems tantamount to right being denied. Is that fair and acceptable? How can that be overcome? Why didn't they just remove the account permanently?

If somebody doesn't believe it, they can check here, no reason is given. Not just because he's my friend but I am sure that a suspension of ten years makes no sense.

  • 11
    I think fair and acceptable went out of the window when your friend did whatever it was that got him suspended for ten years.
    – yannis
    Dec 15, 2015 at 14:54
  • Also, the longest a moderator can suspend an account is one year (source). Are you sure you are telling us the whole story here?
    – yannis
    Dec 15, 2015 at 14:59
  • @Yannis but SE employees can suspend for much more. I've seen someone suspended until 2048 or so. Obviously it's someone SE badly does not want back, ever. Dec 15, 2015 at 15:02
  • Ah, a network wide suspension. It's definitely a SE employee then.
    – yannis
    Dec 15, 2015 at 15:06
  • 5
    @Yannis I've only two ideas on why SE would decline to delete an account. One is to use it to keep information abotu a particularly troublesome user in one place, the other would be a user abusing deletion requests and requesting deletion for new accounts over and over again. Dec 15, 2015 at 15:06
  • what is the point of downvoting my question?
    – Praha
    Dec 15, 2015 at 15:07
  • 10
    Tell that "friend' of yours he can use the private messages channel to communicate with the team, I'm pretty sure that at some point in the beginning he/she got fair amount of warnings. Not that there's high chance the account will be deleted, but that's better than sending messengers on your behalf and putting it all in public like that, where we have zero knowledge on what's really going on. Dec 15, 2015 at 15:08
  • @ShadowWizard, don't shoot the messenger, he will be reading your messages.
    – Praha
    Dec 15, 2015 at 15:10
  • Is account deletion abuse a thing @MadScientist? What am I saying, of course it is... <sigh>
    – yannis
    Dec 15, 2015 at 15:10
  • @Yannis when account is deleted, it's a hard delete, the records are wiped, so it's harder to keep track. They probably expect this user to come back, and want it to make it easier to check if it's really the same user based on past content/records/etc. (IP address can easily be changed) Dec 15, 2015 at 15:13
  • 6
    @Praha: "what is the point of downvoting my question?" It's to say that they don't agree that preventing account deletion due to suspension is denying ones "right to delete" their account. Dec 15, 2015 at 15:14
  • @Praha I'm not shooting anyone. Just delivering my own messages/opinion. Dec 15, 2015 at 15:14
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the specific reason for denying a deletion request on this grounds no longer exists, as the system now reinstates suspensions on recreated accounts. Apr 19, 2019 at 22:50
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of My account has been temporarily suspended; what does that mean? - read that FAQ carefully (look for /delete) and it answers this question, thus this is a dupe.
    – Rob
    Apr 20, 2019 at 3:41

2 Answers 2


Even moderators can't suspend users for ten years (the most we can do is a year), so that had to have been imposed by an SE employee. The few cases where I've seen a network suspension of that duration had to do with the most persistent or abusive trolls, people who kept creating multiple accounts to avoid suspensions and kept abusing the site.

In those cases, the central account is suspended effectively forever to use as a point of reference. The account is annotated with what this person did and what we should look out for in case they create additional accounts to work around any limits SE put in place.

Almost always, when a suspended user requests account deletion its so that they can create a new account and bypass the suspension. The system blocks the most obvious attempts at this, but not all of them. Having a reference that reminds moderators of what went down with their last account(s) lets us catch them early if they work around the system and find a way to come back.

It's not surprising that SE would deny an account deletion request like this.


Whether you agree on not, if an account is suspended for 10 years, the user has something that bad he is banned for a very very long time.

I guess the denied request for deletion is not as bad as what he got suspended for. (In this case, for sending the message the request was denied the SE team deserves credits already)

Keeping the account might be a strong message to other abusive users not to do the same. If every user that is suspended for a long time requests deletion, the deterrence might be less effective.

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