Can moderators / high-rep users delete revisions from the revision history?

I am asking this because the revision history for this answer here seems to be missing the original posted answer (which I saw and clearly remember).

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    That's a good question. I know I've seen it done by Jeff, but I don't see anything available to me. It may be a dev-team-only function. – mmyers Jul 21 '10 at 19:41
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    Rewriting history and changing the time stream? That sounds exactly like something Jeff would do. – Grace Note Jul 21 '10 at 19:44
  • I flagged a couple posts for moderator attention that accidentally included passwords in code snippets, and I've never seen the revision wiped out, so I assumed moderators can't do it. Naturally the dev team can – Michael Mrozek Jul 21 '10 at 19:49
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  • @Grace Note: To be fair, it was one of those old rollback wars. 50 revisions of nothing but rollbacks. – mmyers Jul 21 '10 at 20:03
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    @Grace Jeff or a Terminator. Whoa. Suddenly it all makes sense. – devinb Jul 21 '10 at 20:03
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    @mmyers I don't doubt his good intentions, but Jeff has a very long history of altering the flow of events. Or, at least, for now he has such a history... – Grace Note Jul 21 '10 at 20:13
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    I would certainly hope that someone can delete revision history, if only for the event of an accidentally pasted username/password in a code snippet. – Mark Rushakoff Jul 21 '10 at 22:18
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    @Mark: can't delete memories or Google results. If you post your password, you'd better change it ASAP. – Shog9 Jul 21 '10 at 23:36
  • In Wikipedia, deleting revisions so hard even the low-level admins can't see it is called Oversight. – Andrew Grimm Aug 15 '10 at 2:31

No, neither moderators nor high-rep users have the ability to delete revisions. The dev team can, as long as there's a subsequent revision (they can't delete all the revisions for a given post)

This comes up when users accidentally post their password or other confidential information. You can edit the post to remove it (creating a new revision), flag it for mod attention, and a mod will contact a dev to have them delete the original revision. You can tell when this happens because revision 2 will show up as revision 1 in the list, but both revisions still have entries in the history, so revision 2 will now be empty. For example:

Screenshot of the revision history

Update: as mentioned in the June 2015 edition of the moderator newsletter (which is open for public view), Community Managers can now alter specific revisions rather than just deleting them. This means that it is no longer necessary to do an edit in order to create a revision - redactions can be made directly.

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  • You know that your (accepted) answer isn't answering the question? Why are you posting it then? (SCNR) – Paŭlo Ebermann Apr 18 '12 at 19:29
  • @PaŭloEbermann I was completely confused for a good 10 seconds before I figured out what was going on – Michael Mrozek Apr 18 '12 at 19:32

I am asking this because the revision history for this answer here seems to be missing the original posted answer (which I saw and clearly remember).

This is most likely because the OP edited it within the 5 minutes editing grace period. In that case there is no revision, and the old revision is modified instead.

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High-rep users cannot delete revisions from the history. Of course I consider myself high-rep, but that is a discussion for a different question.

According to @mmyers, it is not a diamond-mod ability either.

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  • mmyers appears to believe that it is dev-team-only. Which means DB-Access most likely. – devinb Jul 21 '10 at 19:42
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    @devinb: They use Access as DB? shiver – Ladybug Killer Jul 21 '10 at 19:53
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    @Ladybug: That sounds frighteningly like my job. – mmyers Jul 21 '10 at 20:00
  • @mmyers: I pity you. And it does not happen very often that I pity someone. – Ladybug Killer Jul 21 '10 at 20:10
  • @Ladybug: Actually, I've been pulled off of Access duty. Now my main complaint is that we have to use Visual SourceSafe. – mmyers Jul 21 '10 at 20:22
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    @mmyers Did you do something to deserve this punishment? Is this just a hazing phase? I can't understand such willful cruelty. – devinb Jul 21 '10 at 20:23
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    @devinb: And I use IE7 on Vista. Would you like to know why I hang out on SO as much as humanly possible? :D – mmyers Jul 21 '10 at 20:28

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