I noticed I had a user ignored on chat which was very offensive. I ignored the user times ago so I even forgot about all this. Now I was seeing my chat preferences and I noticed the profile card of that user, which was still as offensive as it was, so I wondered if that user kept his account or not.

It seems the main user got deleted, but not the chat user. I am not sure if this is a bug or intentional, but I assume it is never though of for now, so this is the future request:

Can we please automatically delete the chat profile if the main user is deleted?

  • 4
    And can someone please delete this user? -- Challenge accepted.
    – user102937
    Mar 31, 2016 at 15:03
  • I wouldn't worry about that.
    – user102937
    Mar 31, 2016 at 15:04
  • I suspect the flag was automatically dismissed when I deleted the user.
    – user102937
    Mar 31, 2016 at 15:06
  • 1
    OK, dismissed...
    – user102937
    Mar 31, 2016 at 15:08
  • Had a terrible night's sleep last night. A link would really cheer me up.
    – user1228
    Mar 31, 2016 at 15:59
  • @won't that is in the revision history but Robert already nuked it. Mar 31, 2016 at 17:05
  • Come on, some hints at least? I'm really feeling down today :(
    – user1228
    Mar 31, 2016 at 17:17
  • A user with a swastika as profile image @won't Mar 31, 2016 at 17:21
  • oooooOOOOOoooooo!
    – user1228
    Mar 31, 2016 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


On Stack Overflow and Meta.SE, each of which have their own chat server, this makes sense. However, the other 150 sites on the network share a chat server, where it's more complicated.

On the shared chat server a chat user has a parent account, an account on one of the sites. Sometimes that account gets deleted, leaving an orphan chat account. That's messy. But we can't assume that the user has no other accounts. A deleted (as opposed to abandoned) main-site account might mean the user was deleted network-wide (in which case we also want to delete the chat account), but it might have been more localized. What we don't want to do is to nuke a chat account that somebody is using on Programmers just because he deleted his account on Philosophy and it happened to be his chat parent. (Chat parents are assigned automatically and most people probably never touch or even notice them.)

The root problem is that when a chat user's parent account gets deleted, the chat account doesn't get reparented. We should fix that, and delete the chat account only when there is no remaining account on that user's network profile that is relevant to the chat server in question.

How we choose a new parent doesn't matter all that much, as the user (if still around) can change it if he wants. Choose any of: oldest account, then-highest-rep account, random.

(Possibly related: if we don't already, we probably ought to delete the network account when the last site's account goes, too.)

  • I am not sure I understand your answer. How is the deletion of a SO chat user profile related to the network profile? Can't you just delete the SO chat profile only? Apr 1, 2016 at 6:43
  • @PatrickHofman oh right; SO has its own chat server (as does Meta). The other 150 sites, though, share a single server, and somebody deleting his account on Philosophy shouldn't lose his chat presence on Programmers. I'll clarify. Apr 1, 2016 at 13:03
  • Yes, indeed. So you can't delete your Philosophy chat profile without deleting it on Academia too? Apr 1, 2016 at 13:04
  • Correct -- the chat profile is per server, not per site. For SO they're the same thing, but for most of the network they're not. The chat account associated with your Philosophy account is the same one as the chat account associated with your Academia account. Apr 1, 2016 at 13:11
  • Okay, that complicates the matter. Thanks for your explanation. That can't be a moderator action then, it should be an automated script. Apr 1, 2016 at 13:12

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