I will start with the question/discussion topic then follow with what motivated me to post this.

How can it be that ordinary member of the community with valid existing questions and activity suddenly disappear without leaving any trace he/she ever existed?
By disappearing I mean that Questions/Answers/Comments that member had are gone and the profile page give back Page Not Found.

Account deleted? Can't explain how the questions disappeared with all their answers.... deleted account just cause the question author name to become grey and unclickable.

What motivated me to ask this is the following:

  1. Yesterday someone posted here on Meta bug report, client side script error in IE7 browser that happens in the chat area.
  2. I have verified the bug, posted some details as Answer and even got comment that moderator was working on the problem.
  3. Couple of hours later the bug report changed to and indeed, the bug was fixed.
  4. The member who reported the above bug reported another one, again with IE7 this time about image upload.
  5. After long comments discussion it was concluded that IE7 is not well supported and this time the bug is not going to be fixed. Fair enough.
  6. Couple of hours after my last activity in that second bug report I suddenly noticed the Question got deleted "For moderation reasons". Same all his other questions including the above bug report that was verified and fixed. The user account itself vanished into the 404 void.

What could be so horrible to deserve such a thing? Suppose he violated rules or posted inappropriate contents - there is the Suspension Box for such cases, isn't it?

And even if his account got deleted by his own request, why delete all his posts and valid contents?

Hope someone can shed some light both on the specific case (those who should surely know I mean) and on the topic in general, as it really baffles me.

  • 1
    There is another level of deletion - destruction. Deletion just removes the user but leaves their posts "orphaned". Destruction removes the user and their posts.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Apr 14, 2011 at 10:42
  • 2
    Thanks @Chris wasn't aware of that. Still, wonder what was so horrible he had to be nuked like that? Apr 14, 2011 at 10:44
  • As an aside, in the example case the 404s still reveal that the posts are still known in the database, but no longer are publicly accessible. (When mangling the slug in the URL, it first gets to be 301 Moved Permanently to the good URL, after which non-10ks or non-moderators get their 404 Not Found. This does not seem to apply to the user profile?)
    – Arjan
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:00
  • @Arjan, yeah, 10k users can't see deleted user profiles, I am not sure moderators can or not.
    – YOU
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:02
  • Can someone name he who shall not be named? Otherwise it's just annoyingly confusing Apr 14, 2011 at 11:19
  • @Kop backstabber was his name and here is the second bug report I mentioned. I just didn't want to stir things up too much. Apr 14, 2011 at 11:23
  • There can only be one "he who shall not be named" meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19478/the-many-memes-of-meta/… else we have to revert to "they who should not be named" or even "them". Apr 14, 2011 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


Well, that's because that account is created by the user who is currently suspended.

And the content of the posts is not destroyed, you can see it if you have 10k.

  • Other suspensions are publicly visible. So this is yet another type of suspension, or did it somehow trigger stage 4?
    – Arjan
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:04
  • @Arjan, nope, his first account is publicly visible.
    – YOU
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:04
  • Aha, merged accounts or something like that. There's always an easy explanation!
    – Arjan
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:06
  • @Arjan, what do you mean merged account? his first account is normal account like the one in your example. but he created new account after suspension and posted those.
    – YOU
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:07
  • (Now wondering why someone would create a new account to post valid bug reports. But well, that's a different matter entirely.)
    – Arjan
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:07
  • Ah, I figured sock puppet (or duplicate) accounts would be merged, but well: solved I guess.
    – Arjan
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:09
  • well, I don't know his mind, those are valid reports and reasonably acceptable (for me at least) except he is quite hot on posting multiple questions.
    – YOU
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:09
  • @Arjan, the account didn't get merge, its just got deleted, as far as I noticed.
    – YOU
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:10
  • How can you know for sure? Thanks for reasonable explanation though of illegal breaking out of jail. Apr 14, 2011 at 11:16
  • @Shadow, Well, at least He, and Stack Overflow moderators (or at least Jeff) knows it. I don't want to post some links/imgs to prove, since I have nothing against him. His posts was ok for me. But I don't know how Moderators would think.
    – YOU
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:20
  • @YOU fair enough but just curious what tools you're using to detect such things? Apr 14, 2011 at 11:24
  • @Shadow, No tools this time (except seeing deleted posts), I was just online when he was suspended, and also when he posted new reports with new account.
    – YOU
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:26
  • OK I'll take your word for it - still can't see any reason to delete the valid bug reports (especially the first that has actually contributed to the site) but at least some light has been shed. :-) Apr 14, 2011 at 11:30
  • @Shadow, I agree with that. I think you just post new thread with - "please undelete this valid bug report" - and link to that post?
    – YOU
    Apr 14, 2011 at 11:32
  • @YOU and make it feature request? Or support? Apr 14, 2011 at 11:35

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