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What should I do if a user posts sensitive information as part of a question or answer?

I came across a post on SO where the OP included their email address in the post (no link because I'm not sure of the privacy concerns). The address is in an excerpt from a debugging log file, and is in a code block so that only part of the text is visible (the address is around column 300 of the line) which is why I believe it was included inadvertently. It looks like a work email address; in this particular case, the OP's profile also has a link to a personal website, which lists a different email (I assume personal) address.

What should I do to warn this user (or any other user that makes the same mistake -- if it was a mistake)? A discrete email to the address I discovered? To the personal address on their profile? Flag for moderator attention? Ignore it?

  • @waiwai933: Heh! I searched for "private" and "personal". – Niall C. Aug 14 '10 at 20:02
  • There's a feature request about giving mods the ability to delete revisions, but I don't know if it's planned or not – Michael Mrozek Aug 14 '10 at 20:29
  • @Michael Mrozek, that's not a feature-request, that's a question. – devinb Aug 14 '10 at 20:47
  • @devinb Oh, good point, I remembered it wrong – Michael Mrozek Aug 14 '10 at 21:01

I would flag it for moderator attention with a sentence of explanation.

Warning: the only real recourse is to delete the entire question.

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    Does the OP get notified of why their question was removed so they can post a corrected version? – Niall C. Aug 14 '10 at 20:00
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    I learned a new word today :-) – Arjan Aug 15 '10 at 16:18
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    Of course you know about this one: "intercourse". It just means "communication" or "contact". So you can say to coworkers "Hey, haven't seen you in a while, we should have some intercourse." – bobobobo Apr 11 '12 at 2:44

I would leave a comment for the user. You can also edit the post, if you feel that is appropriate (the user can always rollback).

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