When we forget to delete sensitive information from our post, we can redact them with the help of moderators.

But also, Stack Exchange sites are archived periodically, and saved to the Internet Archive.

So my question is: Is sensitive information remained in the data dump? If so, can we remove that information from the dump? And how can we do that?


The data dump is made only quarterly, so if the necessity for a redaction is spotted quickly enough (that's something you can do; use the custom moderator flag) and the redaction itself is fast enough (it take ones ♦ moderator to make the redaction, another one to approve it; one CM can also do the job), the sensitive information won't make it into the data dump.

But Google may index it, it may be copied to other sites who are in turn archived, so the old adagium applies:

You cannot really delete something that has been posted on the Internet.

Both Stack Exchange and the Internet Archive have no control or authority over this.

  • Thanks for your answer! I also think it's not a problem for most cases if a redaction is done quickly. But if we post something just before SE Team creates the dump, it's not a case. I'm worried about that edge case. But yes, there are other archive sites. So it's meaningless to be worried only about the rare case on Internet Archive. – nekketsuuu Jun 25 '18 at 6:27
  • But doesn't the DSGVO / GDPR affect this now? I mean the right to forget? Ahem. – hot2use Jun 25 '18 at 9:36
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    @hot2use if you look at the Internet Archive you see only the latest dump is available. So if you requested to be forgotten under the GDPR ruling your data is pruned on the next datadump refresh. That leaves the burden on you to track all leechers of the datadump torrents and ask them to remove your data from their downlloads as well, assuming The Internet Archive consider those that download the dump as dataprocessors and they are willing to hand you in that context a list of the leechers.... – rene Jun 25 '18 at 10:55

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