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  • On this question, a user is mentioned who is "suspended" till 2292, which means the suspension period expires on the 23rd century (2201-2300).

  • This question mentions another user who is suspended until 2118, which is the 22nd century (2101-2200).


Why can't they just delete the account instead of doing like this?

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Think about it that way: all the information that sits in your account is still "yours".

Banning you means that you can't do anything that has effects on other users.

But you can come in and check on your content. Whereas deleting your account deprives you from doing so.

In other words: a ban is visible to others, and it prevents you from any kind of interaction with other users. That prevents the banned user from causing further harm.

But as said: their "content" and the information around that, is still "theirs". There is no point in taking that away from them.


And from a philosophical point of view: I think there are examples of users that received serious bans, but who learned their lesson and asked for the ban being lifted. To then become very helpful members of the community. With "capital punishment" (account deletion), that would not have been possible. But this is kinda hearsay from my memory.

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  • of course, nobody could ever create a sock puppet account..... – Richard says Reinstate Monica Nov 25 '19 at 16:21
  • It's also bad form. It just looks petty and vindictive rules lawyering – Richard says Reinstate Monica Nov 25 '19 at 19:04
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    "There is no point in taking that away from them" Also, I've heard that content laws affect this decision. Deleting an account might violate the user's right to their own intellectual property, since the post is no longer attributed to them. That's one argument I've heard as to why SE pretty much only deletes accounts upon the user's request nowadays (just to be on the safe side). IANAL, though if this were confirmed by someone who knows what they're doing, I'd be glad to see this edited into this answer. – user45266 Nov 25 '19 at 20:04
  • @RichardsaysReinstateMonica A sock puppet is the same person. But it is a different avatar, that starts with reputation 1 and privileges 0. Not very attractive for users that already established a decent number of posts. – GhostCat salutes Monica C. Nov 25 '19 at 20:21
  • @GhostCatsaysReinstateMonica maybe not, but the point is, it won't stop them. – Richard says Reinstate Monica Nov 25 '19 at 20:42