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


I have been notified that I cannot post this information anywhere online and I need this question to be taken down. I have edited the specific information out of it, but the revisions would hold the information.

  • This has been asked before; while I look for the source, the quick answer is to edit it (as you have done) and e-mail [email protected] with basically the same information you've written here to ask for a hard delete.
    – Pops
    Aug 24, 2010 at 14:13
  • 3
    I'm seeing if I can raise any of the devs on chat to do a hard delete. In the meantime, I've soft-deleted it so only 10k users can see it.
    – mmyers
    Aug 24, 2010 at 14:15
  • Surprisingly (to me, anyways), there's no official answer at either of the two questions I was thinking of: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/21938/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/21938/…
    – Pops
    Aug 24, 2010 at 14:19
  • 1
    @Pop You messed up your copy-paste.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Aug 24, 2010 at 14:27
  • How long has the question been online? If you're lucky, google has not yet crawled it. If not, you'll probably have a hard time de-publishing it. Aug 24, 2010 at 14:33
  • @Grace, thanks, I'm not having a good morning; meta.stackexchange.com/questions/48364/…
    – Pops
    Aug 24, 2010 at 14:35
  • @Tobias, too late.
    – Pops
    Aug 24, 2010 at 14:36
  • 3
    Google has cached it, I've been able to see it through its cache. Be careful next time, once something is published on the internet it can't be unpublished Aug 24, 2010 at 14:36
  • @Pop: That's bad then, I guess even asking them to remove it there is no control where it will already have landed Aug 24, 2010 at 14:53
  • Google's cache isn't so bad. I just needed all direct references to go away. It might not be as bad as I made it out to be, but I couldn't just leave those numbers sit. Aug 24, 2010 at 14:59
  • @Tobias Google seems to index SO questions pretty much instantly Aug 24, 2010 at 15:26
  • 1
    @corey - launch codes? :)
    – Kev
    Aug 24, 2010 at 15:28
  • @Kev I wish... Student IDs. Aug 24, 2010 at 15:33
  • @Corey - looks totally meaningless to me. Could've been worse, like your SQL server connection string :/
    – Kev
    Aug 24, 2010 at 15:35
  • @Corey, hey, look at the bright side; you got 20 valuable Meta rep out of it.
    – Pops
    Aug 24, 2010 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


Use the "Request Moderation Attention" flag option and explain your situation. (I have done this for you already.)

  • Thank you. I really appreciate it. Aug 24, 2010 at 14:15

After reading Remove a page or site from Google's search results I saw that it was possible to ask google to delete a page from its index faster than usual:

The URL removal tool is designed for URLs that urgently need to be removed, such as URLs that accidentally expose confidential data. If you recently made changes to your site, Google’s crawlers will see this when recrawling URLs, and any outdated pages will naturally drop out of our search results over time. There’s no need to request an urgent removal.

I then went to the URL removal tool and filled a request on your behalf. Since the page has already been taken down (returns a 404 code) anyone can request an urgent removal. Its status is currently "Pending".

EDIT: I checked it and it shows up as "Removed".

  • +1 I didn't know about that tool.
    – Pops
    Aug 24, 2010 at 15:19
  • try not to post any private content but if you do so then just email to [email protected] and be patient for one day indeed they will help you but don't forget to flag your question with your reason also that's all. Feb 1, 2021 at 8:17

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