I used to think that involuntary account destruction or deletion was a drastic penalty that was issued only to users whose only contributions were spam or offensive content.

I just recently encountered a non-new user (with an established profile with over 100 rep on one of our sites) join another site and immediately post red-flaggable content. I flagged the content and the offending post was deleted, but the user's brand-new account on that site was also deleted, while their other network accounts (including the one with previous constructive contributions) were untouched.

What are the rules on when a moderator should summarily shred a user's account when that user has constructive contributions elsewhere on the network? More generally, if an established user joins a new network site, are they in serious danger of having their account deleted for failure to understand the social context in which they are participating or is deletion reserved for people with no desire whatsoever to contribute constructively - drive-by spammers, trolls, etc.?

  • Users who join a new site are given 100 rep as a one-off because they are shown to understand the basics of the SE network. Why are they not given 9999 rep even though they understand how to use the mod tools? The difference is exactly that they don't know the details of that particular community yet. Just because they've managed to contribute constructively on Sites X, Y, Z doesn't mean they are anything more than a spammer or troll on Site W (or indeed on multiple other sites).
    – Nij
    Jul 5, 2020 at 6:27
  • "over 100 rep": that's a trivial amount of rep. It may be that the moderators of one site don't get to see the problematic behavior the moderators of another site have seen. Or it could be a repeat account for someone no longer welcome that just happened to evade detection on some of the site in the network. We regularly remove accounts when they are sock accounts or ban evasion accounts, but not remove all content. Jul 5, 2020 at 12:21
  • It is destruction (deleting the account and all their content, regardless of score) that's reserved for spammers, trolls and abusive (offensive) accounts, perhaps you were thinking of that specific scenario? Jul 5, 2020 at 12:22
  • Contributing non-problematically should not be a licence to avoid destruction for the sort of problem behaviour that merits destruction. Moreover that response was already limited to one site.
    – philipxy
    Jul 9, 2020 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


is deletion reserved for people with no desire whatsoever to contribute constructively - drive-by spammers, trolls, etc.?


In some cases there may be some less obvious considerations that a regular user might not see from the particular account in question. Considering account deletion by nature is destructive, and annoying for the CMs or Devs to fix when we get it wrong, we tend to try to be pretty sure there's cause before we do so.

For practical purposes - we mainly look at behaviour on our own sites, but may request or be asked to look into deleting a user who may have put one or more accounts they use in a situation that warrants it

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