This answer was reported as spam, and also got deleted (you must have at least 10,000 reputation to see deleted answers), but the poster's user account still exist. Shouldn't that be deleted as well?


1 Answer 1


Excellent work handling this quickly, and thanks for reporting the user! However, there were two little things that should be changed: First, the user account should be destroyed, not deleted, and second, the post should be flagged as spam, not deleted.

Destroying vs. Deleting a User

You probably mean the same thing by both words, but they're slightly different on the back-end. Deletion does the following:

Deletes this user account, denormalizes identity on any posts they own, and deletes any negatively voted posts they own. Does not delete any content scored 0 or higher.

Note that it only deletes negatively-voted posts. Zero-voted and upvoted posts will become owned by an 'anonymous user' empty profile, which is not what we want. If the spammer had managed to slip something by that didn't get downvoted, it would simply become disassociated with the account and be harder to find and delete. Instead, we want to destroy:

Deletes this user account and deletes all content they own. Only usable on users with less than 500 reputation.

"Destroy" is the preferred mechanism for spam users. If an established user with valuable contributions wanted to quit and didn't want to leave their name behind, we'd use the "delete" option.

Flagging as spam vs. deleting an answer

It's great that you were able to cast a delete vote, but the preferred mechanism for stuff like this is the spam flag. More people can cast it, and it has the added effects of:

  • 3 flags (spam or offensive): post is banished from the front page.
  • 6 flags (spam or offensive): post is locked, deleted, and the first revision owner loses 100 reputation.
  • 1 flag from a moderator has the same effect as 6 flags from normal users: instant destruction.
  • Because a question with 6 flags is locked, a 10k reputation user cannot meaningfully undelete it.
  • Each spam flag counts as a downvote for calculating the post's score (it does not affect the users reputation).

Posts killed with a spam flag are also used to improve spam detection heuristics.

One more thing: If the user had posted many spam answers, there's no need to flag each individual post as spam. Post a mod flag to the effect of 'This user is a spammer' and destroy will take care of the whole thing in one fell swoop.

  • \$\begingroup\$ [superMod mode = off] \$\endgroup\$
    – clabacchio
    Apr 16, 2012 at 14:32

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