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From what I understand a 10K+ user can see all deleted answers. Does a deleted answer remain visible to the 10K+ users forever?

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    $\begingroup$ No. The evolution of Sun will eventually incinerate the Earth, permanently deleting all Math.SE answers. And 10K users themselves, for that matter. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Mar 4 '13 at 14:40
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    $\begingroup$ @5pm: It is possible that until then human race have escaped the planet and took the SE databases with them. And until then they are all with much much more than 10K reputations so in fact there is no answer which is "deleted". $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 4 '13 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ @5pm: A similar example is when Krypton was destroyed and they sent Kal-El with the KryptonExchange databases (to whom Jor-El had access, being a scientist and all) to teach him about stuff. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 4 '13 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but perhaps noone will be able to find it. MSE disabled some search options related to deleted posts, a year or two ago. If I know the exact number of some post, I can see it, but the numbers are mixed, both questions and answers get them. So going through one by one is next to useless. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Mar 4 '13 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ @WillJagy Indeed, my recent experiment found 31721 deleted/migrated posts among all posts numbered 1-312566. Literal decimation. I expected the rate to be higher among older posts, since the questions without upvotes or answers get auto-deleted after a year. Not so. Among the first 200000 posts, 8.7% got deleted/migrated. For the posts numbered 200000+, the deletion/migration rate is 12.7%. I don't think this has to do with any policy shifts, since the numbers are driven by deleted answers, and those are typically self-deleted. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Mar 5 '13 at 1:01
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Yes, but you can request the stackexchange team to delete a post of yours permanently.

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    $\begingroup$ And the probability of that request being granted is $0$ unless the user mistakenly included confidential information in the post. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Mar 4 '13 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ @5pm What is the basis of your comment? $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Mar 4 '13 at 16:06
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    $\begingroup$ Two quotes by Atwood: (1) there is no concept of hard deletion of answers. It simply doesn't exist, and never has. (source) // (2) Developers and certain other members of the Stack Exchange staff have the ability to delete revisions. This is rarely used; two circumstances I can think of: User posts his or her password or SSN ... A really silly set of edit wars going back and forth on a post for 10+ revisions -- I like to remove these. (source). $\endgroup$ – user53153 Mar 4 '13 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ @5pm Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Mar 4 '13 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ I can confirm that posts a generally only hard-deleted if they contain confidential or private information. But you can request that your user is disassociated from the post, effectively anonymizing the post. $\endgroup$ – user9733 Mar 4 '13 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ @MadScientist Is the dissociation to which you refer different from account deletion? I never heard about this option. Is it described somewhere on meta.SO? $\endgroup$ – user53153 Mar 4 '13 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ @5pm So what you're saying is that if you want your post deleted, you just gotta edit your password and SSN into it. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Gruber Mar 5 '13 at 8:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexander The quote I gave refers to revisions of a post, not the entire post. $\endgroup$ – user53153 Mar 5 '13 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ @5pm Yes, it just removes the user from the post, the post becomes an anomyous post as if the user was deleted. I don't think there is much documentation on this, this is something only certain SE employees can perform, it is not something the moderators can do. $\endgroup$ – user9733 Mar 5 '13 at 15:29

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