I was wondering, because now that I have more than 10k rep, I am able to see deleted questions and answers, which shows that even if you a post, it is not really gone, just invisible for most and you can't really interact with it.

And I can see that this is a good thing in most cases, for instance if somebody was bullying someone else, and trying to mask it through deleting posts, they would probably be spotted by a moderator or a 10k+ user.

However there are some more special extreme times when this may not be a good thing, so for instance if someone found out where another user lived and then posted their personal information such as their address, if that post was then deleted, moderators and users 10k+ would still be able to see it which wouldn't be a good thing because even if all of those users are trustworthy, it's still not a very nice thing, and also accounts get hacked, and computers get hacked so the information wouldn't necessarily be very safe just hidden on the site.

So, for probably rare, but possible extreme cases, can moderators delete posts permanently so that they are not just hidden, but nobody can actually see them? And they can never be undeleted. I understand that there is such a feature for moderators in chat where they can purge the message history as well as delete the message in extreme circumstances, so is there a similar feature for the main site?

And if there is not, then there should be.

1 Answer 1


Such a process exists, but moderators cannot do it by themselves. They need help from an employee. The process is described here:

In the past, we've handled requests to delete sensitive information (passwords, etc.) from posts by hard-deleting revisions. This was... a bit dangerous. Henceforth, the team will handle these requests by altering each problematic revision in-place; an annotation will be added to redacted revisions to allow for moderator oversight.

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These are currently visible only to moderators, and the actual data that was redacted remains inaccessible to everyone. Combined with the new "contact" UI, this should allow for considerably less overhead.

As a reminder, when requesting the removal of sensitive information:

  1. Make sure it's really sensitive. Someone posting their email address in a post seeking a reply probably isn't sensitive; presumably they intended to do that, so just edit it out & tell them to not be selfish.
  2. Edit out the sensitive information.
  3. Delete the post.
  4. Contact us. We'll undelete once the revision history has been redacted.

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