In the Community Moderator Elections page, when there is a former moderator who since deleted their account on the site, it's showing an image saying "Departed" instead of their flair. Example:

Image showing "departed" instead of the flair

This is... not ideal, to say the least.

Can this please be changed? Following is my own suggestion, other suggestions are welcome.

I suggest making it consistent with most other places showing deleted users, by showing the Community user flair:

Community user flair instead of "Departed" image

This will still give the info of "there was an elected mod here, that has since deleted their account", but in a more elegant way.

  • 3
    The community user shows with a diamond. That's rather confusing; it looks like a suspended moderator named "Community" in that case.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:21
  • 2
    @Mithical that's the case in any place showing Community user: 1 rep, with a diamond. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:22
  • 5
    Yes, but specifically in the context of moderator elections, showing a placeholder with a diamond is rather confusing.
    – Mithical
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:25
  • @Mithical the tooltip will still show the same message... but anyway feel free to suggest something better, or downvote if you prefer to keep it the way it is now. :) Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:30
  • Just curious, what specific problems with this sign did you want addressed? I had assumed a major part of this was the use of the word "departed"; but that wasn't really explicit in the question, and seems to be different than how SE interpreted the problem.
    – JMac
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 14:57
  • @JMac my personal problem was first of all the image being almost unreadable. Agree using the word "Departed" isn't great, but couldn't come with a better solution other than using a "fake" flair, which has been rejected by the dev anyway. Since it doesn't say even the name of the departed mod, I don't think that it's a big problem. Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 16:13

4 Answers 4


Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I have gone ahead and used the image from Rand's comment. Election results are update on SciFi and Philosophy. I appreciate everyone's efforts here.



I find using the Community user there very confusing. And I know who the community user is, it would be far more confusing to new users. If we don't need a specific user to be there, and presumably we don't since we don't have one now, why not use something that clearly indicates that the user has been deleted? Something like this, with a generic user card:

mockup showing a generic user card

  • Do note, this will require additional development effort: the page is showing the flairs of the users, so what I suggest is an instant change. This one requires the developer to first create such a fake flair, then link to it. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:32
  • 3
    @Shadow9 creating the fake flair is not the issue. Just the image. I cannot spend so much time on this and don't think that I can get a designer to help with the image any time soon. That is my limiting factor. But the style for the flair is already set up Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:37
  • @Shadow9 good point about the grey, done. But I'm not sure it would need more development. We already have an image shown there, the "departed" one, so if one image can be shown, another one can be shown just as easily.
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:38
  • @Yaakov idea: create a sock, name it "Deleted User", assign it the deleted user image as avatar, then just copy its flair. I found something close, but not enough. Hmm... on second thought... this is site-specific... so might not be ideal. :/ Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:52
  • 1
    Still looks like a suspended user with username "Deleted User". Compare workplace.stackexchange.com/election with scifi.stackexchange.com/election - it's clear that in one case there is still a user there, just one who's not a mod any more and has 1 rep, while in the other case there is no user any more. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:53
  • 3
    @Randal'Thor my main focus would be on removing the word "departed" since these users are, I hope, still very much alive.
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 12:06
  • @terdon Fair point. Maybe change "departed" to "deleted"? Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 13:41
  • 2
    Deleted users shouldn't have fake rep. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 15:26
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio fake rep? If you mean the "1" in my mockup, that's just my lack of design-fu. I quite agree no rep should be shown.
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 15:36
  • @Randal'Thor "Removed"? "Gone"? HTTP 410 comes to mind.
    – Mast
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 7:42
  • terdon and @Mast, how about this? Any feedback? (It seems Yaakov is actually working on this right now.) Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 15:08
  • @Randal'Thor Looks good to me.
    – Mast
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 15:18
  • @Randal'Thor yeah, that works.
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 15:21

Remember that this is a very special and rather unusual situation, a former moderator who won an election and later deleted their account. I think it's OK to have a very special and unusual way of showing that that happened.

Community bot's flair? For people who don't know what the Community bot is, that looks like a moderator called "Community" with 1 rep. Worse, people might see that flair as an election winner and assume it's an actual person, and start asking it about edits to their posts or whatnot. Or if they know it's a bot, they might think something weird is going on if bots can win elections.

Normal-looking user flair? I don't like terdon's suggestion either. It looks like a former moderator was suspended and took the username "Deleted User". Which might, you know, actually happen - former mods have been suspended before. I think the two situations (deletion or suspension of a former mod account) should be clearly distinct at a glance. Not least to protect the honour of deleted mods, who might have self-deleted their accounts while always in good standing with the community.

Compare this page and this page. One of them has a former mod who's now suspended (1 rep); the other one has two former mods who're no longer users (no user flair). You can easily tell which is which, and it should be that way.

TL;DR: let's keep the existing format for displaying deleted former mods. Namely, some special image which doesn't look like either a real user or the Community bot. It might be good to changing the specific image used, as the existing one is somewhat blurry and odd, but I'm no graphic designer so I'll leave it to someone else to create/propose a new image. This is the best I've got:

enter image description here

Which would look like this, in-situ in the Science Fiction & Fantasy election page:

The current and suggested 'Departed' images in the fantasy.se election page

  • Well, while I agree with some points here, the current image showing "Departed" is just bad. It's blurry and hard to even read it properly. If you can come with a better image, I'll support your suggestion. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:10
  • @Shadow I see your point. But from past experience and Yaakov's comment, do you think it likely that the image is going to be replaced any time soon? They can't get someone internal to design it just now, and I doubt they'd just use something provided by the community. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:14
  • 5
    If it fits the bill, I will use an image provided by the community. Need something very generic. Obvious what it is for. Not confused with any actual user, obvious that it represents some user whose account was deleted, that won an election in the past. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:17
  • I believe that if we come with something good it can be used. The current image wasn't made by any professional graphic designer either, more likely it was quickly made by the developer fixing the bug few years ago. (It used to show just a broken image.) Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:17
  • @Shadow I've edited my answer to say no problem with changing the exact image used, just not to make it look like a flair. (To me the existing image is kind of nice, a throwback to the days when an unexpected edge case could be dealt with just by "Shog whipped up an image to patch this bug" rather than "weeks of internal review involving devs and designers". It has history. But maybe not many are aware of that history; the "Departed" image was first created for my mod site in 2016.) Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:19
  • @YaakovEllis any chance to change the flair code to handle deleted accounts and show something dynamic instead of an error? That would be perfect. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:19
  • 1
    @Shadow9 this doesnt use the flair code. It is html saved in a db field Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:26
  • @Shadow I added an image to my answer. Just in case you didn't believe me when I said I'm no graphic designer ;-) Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:27
  • @Randal'Thor good enough! :) Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:34
  • 1
    @Shadow9, I disagree, having swapped one of the images on scifi.se using browser Dev Tools,... it's far too different from the flares that are already there to the point that it leaps out of the page as the MOST IMPORTANT THING ON THE PAGE (imagine that's in red with a border =). How does it improve the page more than the existing image?
    – Rob
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 11:45
  • (No slight to your graphic design skills was intended by my comment, Rand al'Thor)
    – Rob
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 11:46
  • 5
    Whatever we do, I think it's important that we don't use the word departed since that can be taken to mean that the missing user is dead.
    – terdon
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 12:07
  • 1
    @Rob Fair point. I thought of that too when making it. Perhaps a similar thing with a less obtrusive colour? Like grey? Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 13:42
  • Yup, grey seems more reasonable, it wouldn't "pop" out of the screen then =)
    – Rob
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 14:40
  • 1
    @Rob Changed my image. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 16:07

This isn't consistent. This election was won by a now-deleted moderator but their flair remains (along with badge and rep count intact). However, the elevator pitch post has been removed.

enter image description here

  • 1
    MaskedMan isn't deleted. The account is suspended, that's totally different. Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 8:01
  • 3
    @Shadow9 Snow is the deleted one.
    – Departed
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 8:02
  • 1
    Oh, so it's likely caching. Where's that page? Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 8:03
  • 2018 TWP Election. I don't think it's a cache issue.
    – Departed
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 8:05
  • I asked a separate question for this. Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 8:06
  • @Departed huh, weird. Looks like a dev manually changed something, let's see if iBug's report will get a reply. Anyway, that's likely something new and not automated. Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 8:10
  • I remember asking Shog about this in chat, but I don't remember what came of it... Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 8:46
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog you probably got kicked from chat over it ;)
    – rene
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 9:21
  • @rene Did you find the relevant log entry? Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 9:22
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog I didn't bother to look but I trust your memory. It is younger and better than mine
    – rene
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 9:25

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