From this comment:

'Roger Pate' name without hyper-link

The link to Roger Pate's profile page was absent. Why is the link for that user not shown?

Was his account deleted?

  • 1
    I can see the profile: askubuntu.com/users/212194/roger-pate, although.... the account is only 2 months old and there are no comments in the activity log, so it might be someone different.
    – guntbert
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 17:24
  • why the hyperlink on his name wasn't shown? Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 17:26
  • maybe because it's a different user
    – guntbert
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 17:32
  • Might have been deleted considering if he kept telling users to use that command...
    – Mateo
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 18:53
  • @Mateo I doubt that comment was intended to recommend that command. I hope not, since if it did, it would reflect very badly on our community for nineteen users to have upvoted the comment. Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


A link to the post where you found that comment would likely make it possible to determine, for sure, why the user's name is not linkified.

Most of the time when a username is neither a hyperlink nor of the form "user###..." (where the #'s are digits), it means:

  • The question, answer, or comment was created on a different site on the Stack Exchange network.
  • The question it's associated with was then migrated to Ask Ubuntu, to be a question on our site instead of the other Stack Exchange site. If it's an answer, what I mean is that the question it's answering was migrated. For comments (as in this case), what I mean is that the post it's a comment on got migrated.
  • That user either doesn't have an account here on Ask Ubuntu, or they have an account but it is not associated with their account on the other Stack Exchange site (which, from the perspective of the system, is the same thing).

In short, most likely this was migrated from another SE site, where the user's account there isn't known by the system to belong to the same person as their account here (if they have one here at all).

Why do I think unlinkified names usually indicate migrated posts rather than deleted accounts?

Every time I've seen a deleted account, its name was changed back to the original user###... name. I am not totally sure if this is always the case when an account is deleted, though it would make sense if it were; my understanding is that allowing users to delete their accounts is the way Stack Exchange respects our right under CC-BY-SA to choose to insist our names are removed from our work when published in a compilation.

Of course, most people most of the time prefer to exercise their right (also provided for by CC-BY-SA) to insist that their names remain on their work. For example, all of us right now are insisting that right be respected, just by not insisting our names be removed.

The exact circumstances under which it's okay for a user's name to be removed from the work are probably determined by CC-BY-SA and the Terms of Service, together. Perhaps user accounts that are deleted against the wishes of the users, keep the name. I'm not sure. I believe account removal other than by request of the user is quite rare, except in the case of spammers, whose contributions are also soft-deleted (thus visible only to 10k users, and generally not of great interest).

  • What about account deletion?
    – Seth
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 23:46
  • @Seth Good question. I've expanded this to explain why I think that's a less common cause of an unlinkified username, when the username isn't of the form user###.... You'll notice that the section I added is a bit rough; if I have time, I hope to edit this further to provide more concrete details. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 6:07
  • Here's a good example of this occurring during migration. However, the question discussed by the OP was not migrated.
    – kiri
    Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 9:36

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