Let's say that I discovered a user who joined the site as an underage user (less than 13 years old) but is no longer an underage user. An example of this could be that they joined the site in 2018 as 12-years-old but is now a 15-year-old. Should I report them so all content posted by them as an underage user is deleted (per the age policies) or are they fine now?

To clarify, no I am not underage, and no I am not talking about what happens to underaged users. I ask what happens to previously underage users.


3 Answers 3


Nothing - most likely.

If your account still claims to be underage (your profile states it, for example) and that is reported to us, we assume the account holder is the age noted and will act accordingly. If there's no indication that someone is currently underage, then we leave the account alone.

Important note, 13 is not the cutoff globally, so people between 13-16 may still have an account removed if we feel it's necessary - for example, we have indication the account user is in or from an EU country. Also, it's not generally the content they create that is an issue, from what I understand. If they're not posting personal information (which is generally the case), then the concerns are generally the user's PII - we can't have their name/email address on file, which is why we destroy the internal record about the account but don't generally remove the posts they created.

  • 3
    It's a general statement and doesn't pertain to you. The answer is written to address anyone who might read it.
    – Catija
    Feb 17, 2021 at 3:55

Nothing happens.

Consider the more extreme case: a user who is deleted as underage is free to come back when they can legally create an account. Those who had valuable content can request that it’s merged into their new account:

[W]e usually give them their old profile URL and tell them to come back to us when they are of age and we will restore all of their past content.

We can reassociate all their past posts and comments to a new profile down the road, and have done that for some users in the past. All it requires is knowing the previous user Id number. That is why we give them their old profile URL to hold onto (because of the way underage deletion works, it is not possible for us to look it up again once the deletion is performed).

A: Under age users - could they store their own data until of age?

In fact, if it was valuable content then it likely was never deleted even when its owner was. (The example that comes to my mind is Writing’s [young-author] tag, where most post authors get their accounts deleted, such as with Is it ok to be 11 and be writing a book while behind on school work?)

Being underage is only a Terms of Service violation because it is legally required to be, and deletion is a consequence of not being able to store the underage user’s data, not a punishment.


From the moderator's perspective - we are under the obligation to report underaged users if they say they are underaged, but not to investigate. As such, we're going to assume that users truthfully self report their ages.

Since the goal here is to preserve the privacy and personal information of underaged users, if they never self reported before the cut off age, we never had it, and there's no need to report.

As far as the moderators are concerned, there's also no requirement to report users retroactively. There would be nothing for the community team to do and in general it would be a waste of time for everyone involved.

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