I prefer to delete old accounts that I no longer use or want, for privacy and security reasons.

Say I have an account on a SE sub-site. It's at the default score, or maybe +/-5. So usually in the range 95-105, due to the association bonus. I've asked a question or two, got no (useful) responses and no longer have any interest in them.

I can create a new account and start with the default score again any time if I have questions in future, or want to become an active member of the community.

If I delete the account what, if any, are the consequences?

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    If you've voted on posts your votes are removed. Jan 22, 2019 at 10:24
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    Interesting, I have to pick between my security/privacy and hurting other people's rep. Seems off when after a few hours you can't retract votes anyway, unless the post is edited.
    – user
    Jan 22, 2019 at 11:53
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    what's the problem with your security or privacy? You can choose to not have your site profile displayed on your network profile, and you can change your name/bio for just that site as well. Jan 22, 2019 at 11:55
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    @TheWanderer: Unfortunately, it's easy to use the API to reliably reveal every single associated account. Hidden Communities is like an Aesop's fable of the problems with security through obscurity. Jan 22, 2019 at 12:08
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    @NathanTuggy even then, unless you state your name and location in your bio, I don't really see what privacy issue there might be, unless you have someone stalking you through your account, in which case contacting SE might be a better solution than starting over. Jan 22, 2019 at 12:10
  • "I can create a new account and start with the default score again any time if I have questions in future" - Yeah, and by that also lose all control of your previous questions, should they ever get updates/answers. Creating a new account every month whenever you have a new question really is...a complete nuisance for everyone involved. Jan 23, 2019 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


I don't agree with your reasons for deleting your account. I think it's unsubstantiated.

Think about the dilemma SE employees would be in, if they were to take your Question seriously. They can't say, "Oh, yeah! That's right! You should be VERY concerned about all the hackers getting every juicy bit of information about your life here on SE because we are so insecure and hackable here. So, we've made deleting your account as often as possible as easy as possible. Here's the FAQ we update daily on precisely how..." No sarcasm intended; they would have to say something somewhat along those lines in order to help answer your Question for the reasons you stated.

If "privacy" is your concern, there should be other ways to handle your underlying problem:

  • Don't link social accounts
  • Don't give information about yourself (which is unusually easy on SE to not give)

I would normally add, "Opt not to enter your credit card," but there isn't even an option for that on a normal profile.

Of all websites with "privacy" issues, I don't think Stack Exchange is at the top of the hacker's list because there just isn't much there to get.

But, I don't even identify with your concern because, as my username shows, I'm not afraid to tell the world who I am when commenting on their wisdom, work, curiosity, and research.

I can't speak for the many high-reps who remain anonymous (fine by me), but they don't seem concerned about deleting their accounts as a way of protecting their privacy. Maybe that's your answer. Or, maybe your question is better asked on IPS, "How will people respond if I want to delete my social accounts often?" or LifeHacks, "Is deleting my SE account on a routine basis the most efficient way to maintain my privacy?"

I think, maybe you're overly worried, and now, as your OP thread says, you're concerns are affecting other people.

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    ...but, I did upvote your question because NO question worth answering can logically be a "bad" question in the mind of the person who earns rep for answering well. Jan 23, 2019 at 15:51
  • I see where you are coming from but the other issue is the way accounts are linked. @ShadowWizard's link offered some hints about how to limit that, but I think the API still lets you link accounts. In this age of doxing I've had people link accounts and turn seemingly innocuous information and posts into weapons, e.g. quote mining.
    – user
    Jan 23, 2019 at 16:26
  • Alright, but you know what my solution is. :-) Love you! Jan 23, 2019 at 16:27
  • At least it's not linked to your SO stuff. That could be really bad, with it having a jobs board.
    – user
    Jan 23, 2019 at 16:28
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    I'm going to check the security site and maybe ask a question over there, as you suggest.
    – user
    Jan 23, 2019 at 16:29
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    See, with bosses who stalk social media, IMHO—for myself—those are not the kinds of bosses I want to work for anyway. Jan 23, 2019 at 16:30
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    You know, you might also turn your last comment into a Q for the Workplace site also. That's a real concern for many people, just link here so I can answer if you do :-) Jan 23, 2019 at 16:31
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    The best suggestion we have for people in that case @user , is to have two separate accounts. As long as there's no cross-voting between them or other shenanigans, we're OK with that. So, you can have a professional account that you use for work-related stuff and a personal account you use for posts you don't want attributed to your primary account.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jan 23, 2019 at 17:34

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