It's a known fact that users who've cast a lot of votes qualify for potentially having their votes preserved in case they request their account be deleted, because invalidating all their votes as is done normally can cause too much disruption to a lot of other users. In that case, an employee has to go through the profile and check to see if there's any reason not to preserve the votes (e.g. 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.

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    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
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 12:49
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    @Federico Or maybe, after reading some other posts, some users are contacted regarding the deletion request, and these users just haven't responded? Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 12:50
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    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. Commented Apr 17, 2019 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. Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 13:27
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    This is a politely worded question for factual information. Downvoting it because one disagrees with the positions the OP has taken or because one regards closing one's profile as treasonous makes me glad I have requested deletion of my profile.
    – user540056
    Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 20:45
  • @ab2MonicaNotForgotten That's exactly right; as a matter of fact, this question had a negative score before it was recently brought up after another user made a similar post just after the original scandal began. Commented Dec 28, 2019 at 21:12
  • Random downvotes are part of the Stack Exchange experience... Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 23:21

1 Answer 1


Note: The support team has now taken over responsibility for processing this queue and has set up a schedule for making sure it gets processed.

How long do they need to wait?

The support team is automatically poked and prodded to check and process the queue every Wednesday and Friday. Someone may browse the queue more often than that, but Wednesday and Friday are the only guaranteed process days, excluding holidays.

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?

If the deletion just went overdue, they can expect a message telling them to wait.

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.

  • Does "guaranteed process days Wednesday and Friday" include holidays as well? Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 21:08
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    @Sonic No. Sorry I meant to rewrite that line, not just delete it. We were previously willing to process on a day before or after, but now that we are notified on two different days, we just don't process on holidays (no substitute, just wait for the next day).
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 21:13

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