The Creative Commons FAQ states that:

Third, if the licensor does not like how the material has been modified or used, CC licenses require that the licensee remove the attribution information upon request [...] in 4.0, this also applies to the unmodified work.

How do I remove / dissociate my name from a post, in accordance with this clause?

Also, what are the effects of having my post dissociated from my account?

Finally, how will dissociation requests be handled for posts licensed under earlier versions of the license, which do not require dissociation upon request in all cases?

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Before you request to have your name removed from something, consider if it's actually necessary or if it might just cause more problems for you.

Your name will likely still appear on it in other places.

If you're shooting for anonymity, you're not going to get much of it by just slicing your name out of the page. You need to keep in mind that everything you post on the Internet is permanent, with your name permanently attached to it. Removing it in one place might help your situation, but it certainly doesn't make it impossible to track down who originally wrote it:

  • Our content gets cached by a great many sources, including web scrapers. Two large sources would include Google and the Wayback Machine. These sources will still have cached copies of the page as it existed with your name attached to the content.
  • We publish data dumps of all the visible content on our sites. This is historical content and we cannot modify previous data dumps to also remove your name in those places because we no longer have control of them once they are published.
  • Some users will just remember who originally posted something, and we can't prevent them sharing that information with others.
  • You will still appear as the owner of the post in the Data Explorer until it gets updated again at the end of the week.

Additionally, if you participate in the post later, your name will show up on all future participation.

The system will no longer treat you as the author of the post.

If you proceed with a dissociation request, the fact that you're the author will not only be removed from the public display, but also from the internal system records. This means that all reputation you gained/lost from the post (including bounties) will be reversed and the events no longer visible in your reputation log, and future votes and bounty awards on the post will no longer earn you any reputation. Additionally, badges you earned from the post may be revoked.

In addition to reputation and badge earnings, you will lose all author-specific privileges on the post. More specifically, this will have the following effects later:

  • You will no longer receive notifications on the post by default, to notify you of new answers, comments, edits, closing/reopening, etc.

  • Edits you make to the post will no longer be binding if you don't have the edit privilege. They will be submitted as suggested edits which will have to be reviewed by others, and drastic changes to the post will likely end up rejected.

  • You will no longer have binding suggested edit review powers on the post. If you don't have the edit privilege, you cannot review these edits. If you do, your review will be treated as a "third-party" review and at least one other user may be required to agree with your review (as usual).

  • If you don't have the flagging or comment privileges, you cannot flag your post or answers to or comments on it, and you cannot comment on the post or answers to it.

  • Even if you have the view close votes privilege, you cannot view close votes on your post or vote it for closure or reopening unless you have full closing privileges. You will also not be able to see information in close notices that is only shown to the author (e.g. specific close reasons, approve it as a duplicate, etc.).

  • The post will no longer count toward your progress for badges. If the post was counting toward your progress toward a specific badge, your badge progress will be recalculated as if you never made that post, and if it was counting toward a tag badge, that badge will be revoked if you no longer have the required score or number of answers as a result.

Don't abuse the service.

You should be willing to stand by all content you contribute to our network. If we notice a specific user continually requesting their name be removed from posts, that is a strong signal that you are not willing to contribute to this community in an effective and meaningful way and you may find yourself suspended from the site. We are not a platform for you to post or say whatever you want and then turn around to have your name removed from it.

Can I just have the content deleted?

No. Stack Exchange is a collective work to which you have granted an irrevocable license to display, use, and modify your work (i.e., the post). You do not have the right to have it removed from our site.

So how do I remove my name from a post?

If you would like to have your name dissociated from one of your posts, you can request we do so by clicking on the Contact link at the bottom of the respective page. Your username will no longer be linked and will be shown as "anon" on the post. For answers, your name will also be removed from all comments under that answer. For questions, your name will be removed from the question, all answers, and all comments for the entire question.

How will dissociation requests be treated based on the post's license?

The same procedure will be used on all posts, regardless of license version. The procedure is compliant with all versions of the license, including version 4.0 which requires it be performed on original works.

  • 39
    "We publish data dumps of all the visible content on our sites. This is historical content and we cannot modify previous data dumps to also remove your name in those places." I'm interested to know how that aspect of the policy is compliant with CC.
    – fabspro
    Mar 20 '18 at 10:19
  • 5
    @fabspro You should start by asking a new question about that. Most likely, there is a good answer that satisfies the CC license, while still allowing for historical archives. I would also be interested in an answer from a knowledgeable source. May 14 '18 at 14:56
  • 1
    @JonathanDavidArndt I'm assuming that data dumps just become "community wiki" or "anonymous" or something, now that I think about it - because all that has to be removed is the attribution, not the content. But yes might be interesting!
    – fabspro
    May 15 '18 at 7:58
  • 5
    @fabspro It seems we have an answer. Sep 12 '18 at 22:09

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