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It's a known fact that users with lots of activity (conflicting posts as to whether votes or reputation are considered) qualify for potentially having their votes preserved in case they request their account be deleted. In that case, an employee has to go through the profile and check to see if they've engaged in voting fraud before making a decision on whether to preserve votes (transfer them to the Community user) or invalidate them as normal.

Recently, I've come across two documented cases (one here, can't find the link to the other) where, after waiting a full week after the deletion timer said their account would be deleted, the account still hasn't been deleted. It would be nice to have more insight into the background process behind this procedure, including how often the queue of users awaiting vote inspection for deletion is checked, and how long it takes for the actual investigation.

Also, what if a user cancels the deletion during this delay? Will the deletion be cancelled, or will it still be carried out since they let the original timer lapse after 24 hours?

Finally, if a user who's deletion is "stuck in the mud" contacts SE, will it expedite the request or will it just hold it up further? It used to be that hold-ups for vote inspection would cause the deletion notice to temporarily disappear (as if it were cancelled), and re-requesting deletion would prolong the process.

  • I think that I witnessed a case on Aviation where the waiting time has been quite longer than a week. I guess the time it takes depends on the availability of SE employees and the priority the task has. – Federico Apr 17 at 12:49
  • @Federico Or maybe, after reading some other posts, some users are contacted regarding the deletion request, and these users just haven't responded? – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Apr 17 at 12:50
  • It would be very nice if others told me how this question is potentially lacking in information, so that I can edit it to make clarifications. – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Apr 17 at 12:59
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    I assume the downvotes aren't due to lacking information, but rather from people who disagree with the general idea behind the question and what it implies. – Shadow Wizard Apr 17 at 13:27
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How long do they need to wait?

Varies. Generally someone only checks that queue once a week, on either a Monday or a Friday. But sometimes they forget.

What happens if they cancel the deletion?

The deletion will be full-out cancelled. Cancelling the deletion from the banner on their profile has the same effect as us clicking the "Reject" button in the queue where they're waiting. Everything is cleared out and the profile is no longer scheduled.

Will contacting us expedite the process?

Errr, maybe. If they just went overdue, they can expect a message telling them to wait. If it's obvious someone has forgotten to check the queue and their deletion is over a week overdue, we'll usually ping someone to go take a look.


It used to be that hold-ups for vote inspection would cause the deletion notice to temporarily disappear (as if it were cancelled), and re-requesting deletion would prolong the process.

To clarify one thing, that never prolonged the process, ever. What happened is the user just started getting multiple scheduled deletions in their history, and would end up in the waiting queue multiple times. It was confusing as hell for the user, but did not cause any adverse effects to anything. The banner logic was changed simply to make it clearer to users they were still waiting and that the deletion wasn't cancelled.

  • Who is "someone" in this context? SE employee, moderator, someone else? – Liam Apr 18 at 8:44
  • @Liam SE employee/developer – MEE the sneaky user May 11 at 6:43

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