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Currently, when a user deletes his account his answers are preserved and show up with an anonymous username like "user3624".

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But as tcrosley points out you can't search for that user in the user tab, nor can you do text searches like "user:3624 audio" if you're looking for answers regarding audio by a user who left and was an audio expert.

I think it would be useful to have his account replaced by a dummy, just showing "user3624" instead of his real name, which shows his answers, and would allow filtered text searches as well.


Despite the user's leaving I don't think he would want to deny us his answers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ His answers are still there, but they are supposed to be annonymized, you are not supposed to be able to tell they are from him. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Sep 17 '13 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: But it's useful to know answers are from him since he is very knowledgable. To me, this user saying something carries more weight that someone unknown saying the same thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 17 '13 at 14:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop But he has asked for the account to be annonymized. The way for it to still be tagged as him for him to not delete, but he chose to delete, it is now annonymized, that is his right, not something we can take away. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Sep 17 '13 at 15:00
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"But he has asked for the account to be annonymized."

Making the site searchable for "user:3624" doesn't conflict with that. His name will still not be shown. Making a dummy account with the name "user3624", like Federico Russo suggests, will allow you to access a list of "user3624"'s answers, whoever that is. It would be just as anonymous as it shows now in the answers, just searchable.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, technically speaking, they won't be "as anonymous" - if you know they come from the same person and you know that one of them came from a known person then you know they all came from that same known person, that's it. To make them completely anonymous you have to at least attribute each of them either to a unique dummy user or the same dummy user (similar to Community). That's end of boring talk. I think the current solution with replacing a real looking name with a dummy name would suffice. \$\endgroup\$ – sharptooth Sep 23 '13 at 9:43
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It is indeed strange that after making the user "anonymous," all their old posts are under the same name. So we know the same person wrote multiple posts. Yet despite this, you cannot browse a list this user's other posts like we can with other users. Fear not, there are a couple workarounds to this problem:

1. Use Google search

user3624 site:electronics.stackexchange.com

Here are the results for that search. Admittedly, there are some problems with this. It only shows the pages on which the text strings appears. There's no way to filter only the answers from that user or do sorting of the results.

2. Use the StackExchange Data Explorer

If you want more detailed results, sorting, filtering, etc. you can write a search query here.

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