I just saw an example of user who posts a good answer, then deletes his/her account: enter image description here

Here is an other example. Do you know why? Is it a user who creates an account and delete it? Or a guest?

In the later case, it would be better he/she creates an account as the contribution could improve our website.

Note that it seems there are no typos in the answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, weird. I don't know why either. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Apr 22, 2013 at 19:38
  • 25
    $\begingroup$ I think this user is a well-know MSE addict who has tried to escape his drug several times but always lapses back. $\endgroup$ Apr 22, 2013 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ There were a lot of addicts, do you know who was that? $\endgroup$
    – Norbert
    Apr 24, 2013 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ if they don't delete their account soon they will not be able to delete it in future. $\endgroup$
    – user59671
    Apr 30, 2013 at 11:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelGreinecker But why delete it? If I wanted to pretend to leave SE I'd delete my current account and then just make new one with a different name. Problem solved. $\endgroup$ May 2, 2013 at 6:12

2 Answers 2


I don't known why those particular users deleted their accounts, but yes, that is (usually) what a grayed-out username and "blank" avatar indicate. People can leave for all sorts of reasons; they got into an argument with a different user, they don't want their name associated with the site, etc. There isn't really much we can do about it; the moderators can ask the user to reconsider, but if they confirm they want it deleted, we'll do it.

When a question is migrated from one SE site to another, and someone who posted an answer on the source site does not have an account on the target site, then after the migration, their actual username is displayed, but grayed-out, and with the "blank" avatar (if they later extend their SE account to one on the target site, the username and avatar should update to normal). Some people have usernames that are of the form "user####" in which case this appears the same as the previous reason (though checking through the users on the source site will reveal if there is someone with that username there.)

  • $\begingroup$ I have seen it happens more than once, that a transient user posts something and for some reason their account gets deleted a few minutes later. I recall someone who even posted an answer-edit to their own question like that. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Apr 22, 2013 at 20:01

Another possibility: These are MSE users that don't want to log into their account for some reason.

For example, they may be using someone else's computer, and normally log in through facebook, but want to post an answer without logging into facebook. Perhaps their host doesn't want them using facebook, perhaps there is a network policy banning facebook, perhaps it's a questionable computer and the user is worried about typing their facebook password in public.


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