I have used this site for many years and personally have had my Stack Overflow account deleted twice. During the times I did/do not have an account, I'm more of a lurker. However one of the things that has irked me is just how easy it is to rack up accounts on the Stack Exchange network. While I understand that ease of registration and network integration is one of the goals of the website, the amount of time it takes to create an account (maybe a few clicks) is disproportionately less than the amount of time it takes to delete an account.

The question I have 24 accounts, how can I delete them all in one go? seems to suggest the only way to delete all of the accounts is to go to each site, fill out the request form, and follow the procedure. This is (IMO) simply ridiculous as I don't want to follow the steps (which IIRC waiting for support to contact you, doing an activity to confirm your identity, and e-mailing them back) for every account.

The fact that I may continue to "use" the site (visit, lurk whatever) does not imply I want an account or want it to be easy to make an account, because then I'm back to square one. I'm not going to lie when I say this site is addicting and I find it depressing how high the barrier is to kick the addiction.

I am not criticizing the individual deletion procedure, but merely asking why there's a lack of a network-wide procedure. It smells like bad UX[citation needed] to me. Is there an official explanation for this or a compelling argument for why this is a good idea?

  • 2
    Have you seen how difficult it is to leave a gym membership or cable company? Compared to that, leaving a SE site is a breeze.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jan 22, 2016 at 23:54

1 Answer 1


I find it depressing how high the barrier is to kick the addiction.

You've answered your own question.

If all you intend to do is "kick the addiction"... just don't come to the site anymore.

Deleting an account hurts the site. It makes following comments you were @ referenced in confusing. It makes it impossible for someone to see what other answers that the person who wrote "this" answer wrote.

Account deletion is a big deal. The primary purpose of even having such a process is so that you can distance your own personal identity from a site. It's not just for "I don't want to participate anymore". It's for "I wish to completely annihilate this online persona."

That being said, if someone is going to delete their account, it does make sense to delete it from the entire Stack Exchange network. If you're going to un-person yourself, it should be complete and total.

  • 3
    I like this answer a lot. However, please keep in mind that there are a lot of people here and a lot of different reasons for wanting deletion; hard to make everyone happy.
    – Shog9
    Jan 23, 2016 at 0:17
  • It's too easy to create an account when you already have one. I'd like to stop the vicious cycle altogether by removing my presence completely.
    – user231078
    Jan 23, 2016 at 0:27
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    @remyabel: My ultimate question remains. If you don't use the account, so what if you accidentally created one for a different site? Jan 23, 2016 at 0:34