I've recently noticed (within the last few weeks or so) that when I view certain users' network profiles and click on the 'Accounts' tab, some of their accounts are highlighted with a grey background:

enter image description here

There doesn't seem to be any pattern behind which accounts are highlighted in this manner, but I'm assuming there must be one.

What do these grey backgrounds signify?


Greyed-out profiles on a user's network account are ones that the user has hidden from general view. Only moderators and the user themselves can see them on the network account page.

As you're a moderator on at least one site, you see these on all network profiles which have hidden communities.


If you hover over any of the greyed-out profiles, the answer is right there in the mouseover text:

This account is hidden - you can see it as you are a moderator on the network

Stack Exchange has a lot of useful information "hidden in plain sight" in mouseover text. If you don't know what something means, check if there's any mouseover text :-)

  • Alternatively, right-click → inspect element. The meaning of the presentation is often conveyed as some class name or ID in the DOM. – Sebastian Simon Dec 19 '20 at 23:43
  • 1
    @user289905 While some semantic CSS classes are still available on SE, Stack Exchange has, for quite a while now, been moving away from using classes which have a semantic relationship to what the element or HTML structure is. To a large extent, Stack Exchange uses CSS classes as if they were just abbreviations for specific individual properties and values. In other words, on SE, the list of classes on an element will largely resemble what would be in a style attribute, with all of the properties applied individually, just abbreviated. – Makyen Dec 20 '20 at 4:10
  • @user289905 Yeah, but all that (your and Makyen's comments) is totally Greek to me. Mouseover text is something that's accessible to non-tech people too. – Rand al'Thor Dec 20 '20 at 8:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .