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If a user posts spam or breaks the rules enough, moderators may delete their account. They can just recreate their account, but is typically accompanied by a suspension anyway. In this case, why not just suspend them without deleting their account?

I ask this because I saw Suspensions for spammers. Why not deletion? and I am wondering the opposite.

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    I must admit, considering how easy it is to recreate an account it does feel pointless at times to do it.
    – Mast
    May 25, 2023 at 19:11
  • Most of them don't come back though (at least not identifiable as the same person), so basically it's just hoping they don't. Once you get the hang of it, destroying obvious spammers becomes routine.
    – Mast
    May 25, 2023 at 19:14
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    The public answer is that it feeds their IP to SpamRam. The details of that are not shared (the team doesn't want to give the spammers any ideas, naturally), but it helps keep at least some spam out of the door. Just because they recreated their account, doesn't mean they can use it to post more spam (unless you count account profile spam, which is really hard to stop). But I'd like to see a more thorough answer on that if possible.
    – Mast
    May 25, 2023 at 19:28
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    Deleting account removes the user from the users page. Having spammers there is just noise, and some also have spammy names, or offensive. May 25, 2023 at 19:33
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    @ShadowTheSpringWizard Oh, sometimes it gets really old really fast. Last year we had a wave where I had to remove over 1k of accounts that looked something like this. Some of the names were quite, ehm, adult, in nature. But the Team doesn't really care about those unless it gets extreme like back then.
    – Mast
    May 25, 2023 at 19:41
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    Suspending an account involves multiple steps, just nuking the account is one / two clicks.
    – rene
    May 25, 2023 at 20:20

1 Answer 1

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First, you need to realise that deleting accounts is the default. Moderators on most sites delete far more accounts than they suspend┬╣. The majority of these deleted accounts have only contributed blatant spam, nonsense, or abusive stuff. If an account without positive contributions does something that would otherwise lead to an immediate suspension (i.e., without warning), it will likely get deleted.

We delete these accounts because there is no use of keeping them whatsoever. While the account can be recreated, this rarely happens or the person behind the account is using several accounts anyway to distribute spam. We also do not need to keep a history of these accounts, because they do not use subtlety or similar.

By contrast suspension is a luxury treatment for users where moderators see some potential that they positively contribute to the site again, who have a history that is worth keeping, or similar. It comes with a message explaining the suspension, the account is still visible, and some other perks. A suspension causes considerably more work than a deletion, not only by the act itself but also by alerting other moderators that this happened, appearing in special lists, etc.


┬╣ Thanks to rene, here is some data for 2022:

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