For a non-deleted user, following a link of the form <sitename>.stackexchange.com/u/<userID> will redirect to the user page <sitename>.stackexchange.com/users/<userID>. (Try it on this random user: https://meta.stackexchange.com/u/278659 )

For a deleted user, trying to visit their user page will result in a "Page Not Found" error unless one is a diamond moderator on the site in question. So when I visit, for example, this page, I see a stub as described here. But the /u/<userID> page doesn't redirect to there: when I click this link, I see the same "Page Not Found" error as you!

Please can the /u/<userID> page redirect to the /users/<userID> stub even for deleted users?

This may look like a stupidly trivial request, but Smokey, a network-wide user-maintained spam/rubbish detector, reports bad posts with a link to the /u/<userID> page and not the /users/<userID> one. Thus, for instance, when I see a report of a nonsense post from a user with an inappropriate username, and click the user link to delete or rename the user if necessary, then if another mod has already done the needful, I have to manually edit the URL from u to users in order to check exactly what happened.

  • 7
    Maybe Smokey should be modified to use the canonical link.
    – ale
    Jun 23, 2017 at 18:56
  • @ale github.com/Charcoal-SE/SmokeDetector/pull/879
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jun 23, 2017 at 19:58
  • ^ CI failing; I'm holding off merge until that's fixed :)
    – ArtOfCode
    Jun 23, 2017 at 21:18
  • 2
    @ale Those four characters can be more valuable than you'd think. It'd be better all around for the canonical link to work as folks would expect.
    – Undo
    Jun 25, 2017 at 15:02
  • That Smokey PR is now live, BTW.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jul 1, 2017 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


Starting with the next build this has been implemented.

The short-style /u/{id} redirect will work for deleted users (assuming the viewing users is a moderator) if we still have a record of their deletion (various things might result in there not being a record, but generally there is one). If there is no record, we'll continue to 404 as we do now.

  • Just curious, what exactly can cause a removal of the record? A GDPR request? Something else?
    – MEE
    Jan 9, 2019 at 20:34
  • Legal things mostly, GDPR, underaged user, if somehow there's content that we cannot legally keep around (IP, PII, etc.). Jan 9, 2019 at 20:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .