I had been using math.stackexchange with my real name. As I begun noticing that stackexchange community is SEO friendly, I decided for privacy reasons, to change my username to just my first name. But soon I noticed that all the mentions in the comment's section that have been made to me, remain the same (with my old name/surname).

I want those deleted, so that my real name is not searchable on this website. Deleting the whole post isn't of course a proper solution -and in many cases, the stackexchange platform won't let me delete them cause answers have been made "by people who invested time and energy". Legit enough.

I was hoping that, at least by deleting my account, my name would dissapear.

Your questions and answers will remain on the site, but will be disassociated and anonymized (the author will be listed as "user816511") and will not indicate your authorship even if you later return to the site.

But then I read this:

Your old username will continue to be visible in comments that reply to you, as well as in the Stack Exchange Data Explorer until it gets updated at the end of the week and in monthly data dumps published when your account was active.

Wouldn't be a good idea that if one changes his account username then the website updates the relevant records on the comment's section too?

It seems I am at a dead end, but I really need to sort this matter.


Thanks to Matt Samuel's answer, I flagged the comments asking to replace my full name with the current username (which is my first name) and stackexchange mods directly assisted me. Thank you all.


I think the best you can do is flag each of the comments for moderator attention and explain that you want the entire comment deleted due to the fact that it contains your full name. The moderators will more than likely oblige.

There's no automated system to change the comments, and it seems unlikely that the moderators will take the time to edit them, so the best route is to have them deleted if you don't want people to see your former display name.

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    $\begingroup$ If the OP simply wanted to delete comments, I think he could do that without any help from the moderators...? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 28 '20 at 18:09
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak The comments that contain the OP's username would not be comments posted by the OP, so they could not delete them. $\endgroup$ – Matt Samuel Aug 28 '20 at 18:10
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    $\begingroup$ @MattSamuel There may be valid comments made to this user which don't warrant deletion solely on the basis they ping a user with a changed name. Are you expecting mods to delete pinged names from comments upon demand? So if I change my username, are you suggesting I'm entitled to expect moderators to delete all the thousands of comments directed at me? $\endgroup$ – amWhy Aug 28 '20 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ Sometimes certain things can't be undone; "c'est la vie". $\endgroup$ – amWhy Aug 28 '20 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps 1000 helpful flags would be nice show on a profile :P @amWhy $\endgroup$ – Anindya Prithvi Aug 28 '20 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy This user has made 157 comments, I don't think there are thousands of comments directed at them. $\endgroup$ – Matt Samuel Aug 28 '20 at 23:33
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    $\begingroup$ It's not the mod's job to clean up after a user, particular if comments made to the user are worth keeping in the thread. Why don't you go and edit 157 posts, and come back and tell me whether you think the amount of time you spent doing so is an appropriate expectation of a mod, for every user who decides to change their user name and expects a mod to clean up their paper trail. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Aug 28 '20 at 23:37
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    $\begingroup$ Can mods not edit, rather than delete, comments? $\endgroup$ – user1729 Aug 29 '20 at 9:49
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with amWhy though - this is too much effort to become a standard way of doing things. However, I guess if you give a good reason then the mods can use their judgement. (But always in my mind I wonder what a "good reason" could be, because many people have the same name, and people can fake a name, so I am skeptical as to whether someone could genuinely connect a user here to their "real life" self, unless the user had gone out of their way to make the connection clear.) $\endgroup$ – user1729 Aug 29 '20 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ Well there are very few comments that actually mention my name, so with a little willingness I hope I will sort this out. Thank you everyone $\endgroup$ – Dimitris Aug 29 '20 at 19:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Dimitris Using SEDE queries you can find all occurrences of @username under your posts and your comments. (Of course, that includes replies to other users.) You can probably obtain such comments also using API, but I am not good enough with JavaScript to get them in this way. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 30 '20 at 6:49
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    $\begingroup$ You could also look at the comments containing some specific text. If you need some further improvements to those queries, feel free to ping me in my chatroom. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 30 '20 at 6:54
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, very userful, I found 8 mentions! $\endgroup$ – Dimitris Aug 30 '20 at 7:06
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    $\begingroup$ UPDATE: I flagged the comments asking to replace my full name with the current username (which is my first name) and stackexchange mods directly assisted me. Thank you all. @MartinSleziak $\endgroup$ – Dimitris Aug 30 '20 at 14:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Dimitris Glad it worked out. $\endgroup$ – Matt Samuel Aug 30 '20 at 15:00

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