# Why is “Gone” completely gone?

A long-term suspended user known by many by his real name and lastly named Gone has recently gotten his account deleted. While I do not want to discuss the suspension or anything alike, I would like to know whether the account deletion was on that user's request and if not if the account can be recovered. In the latter case, I would like to see the account recovered for the, uhm, mathematical gems to be found from that user. I cannot think of an action besides mass spam that requires account deletion in addition to a suspension.

Please everyone stay on topic. This should not be a discussion of that user or whether he deserves any kind of punishment or not. I just want to see his posts neatly available in one place.

Edit: The user in question sent me an email. He wants to state explicitely that he did not request for his account to be deleted.

• meta.stackexchange.com/questions/23661/… if a sock puppet account were to be suspended, that would be the fourth strike in which case deletion is not off the table anymore. – Asaf Karagila May 6 '13 at 17:49
• (+1) Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention. I noticed that both these users were deleted at the same time around a week or so ago, but assumed it was at the user's request. Having the content linked together is valuable. Maybe the anonymization upon deletion should still keep a "dummy" profile around so content remains linked. – cardinal May 6 '13 at 22:53
• As far as I can work out Math Gems' meta account was deleted (now user1729), but the main site account was not. – Noah Snyder May 6 '13 at 23:11
• @NoahSnyder I think that on SE 2.0 main and meta accounts live or die together. On the other hand, there were (at least) two Math Gems. One, now deleted, was user23500. The more recent was user75092. It was the more recent account that created the short-lived meta thread about Math Gems deletion. (The thread was quickly deleted itself.) Subsequently, the two Math Gems were merged, with the more recent account acquiring the content originally posted under the older one. The newer account is currently suspended for 1 year. – 75064 May 7 '13 at 0:19
• @Noah: user1729 is a whole other user actually. Bill was 242 and MG was 23500. – Asaf Karagila May 7 '13 at 0:37
• Sorry, I meant 23500. Pulled the wrong number off consecutive comments. – Noah Snyder May 7 '13 at 2:20
• Did the Gone do something wrong at MathSE? I knew him as Bill and I saw his helps to other users. I wish he could be alive here again. :) – mrs May 9 '13 at 9:27
• @BabakS. He was suspended for the third time. There was alot of drama involved that is burried in older meta posts. – Michael Greinecker May 9 '13 at 9:31
• @MichaelGreinecker: I am reading that buried older ones. Is the suspicious period limited or it goes to infinity? – mrs May 9 '13 at 9:36
• @BabakS. It is limited, but becomes longer and longer. – Michael Greinecker May 9 '13 at 9:37
• @MichaelGreinecker: I hope someday someone help us to find out how to treat others wisely. :) I hope, he can be back to us till we can be satisfied by his valuable knowledge in Mathematics. I see that the water can find its way out. Drama... – mrs May 9 '13 at 9:44
• The account has been restored. – 75064 May 11 '13 at 3:21
• @75064: That explains the reputation drop from 2 days ago... – Asaf Karagila May 13 '13 at 9:45
• The statement in the profile of the aforementioned user (particularly the last phrase) is now deliciously ironic, I must say. – cardinal May 13 '13 at 13:59
• Also the first (since he did not actually leave). – Noah Snyder May 13 '13 at 14:38

The simplest answer is that this deletion was a mistake. There are protocols for deleting users with that much activity on the site, and they weren't followed. As a result, we're doing two things:

• Restoring the account from backups.
• Building extra checks into the software to reduce the likelihood of this ever happening again.

These take time - and when this happened most of the team was tied up elsewhere, so the unfortunate timing has made this even slower. That said, we should have everything restored shortly.

• Good to hear. Thanks, guys. – The Chaz 2.0 May 6 '13 at 18:37
• (+1) This is the correct action to be taken. Thank you for your efforts. – cardinal May 6 '13 at 22:59
• It strikes me as more than odd that a mistake like this can happen. Hence I am interested in who made this "mistake". Presumably it will have to be an individual with moderator power. Why do I want to know? Because it appears to be an act of revenge or spite. Many people disliked "Gone". I'm definitely not a fan boy either but if there are moderators on SE who do this kind of thing then I think it would be good to know who they are. – Rudy the Reindeer May 8 '13 at 13:38
• I don't believe this was an act of revenge, @Matt. It was most certainly ill-advised, and I'm not particularly happy about the unnecessary angst it has generated (or the extra work it has caused us). But the person responsible will be stepping down shortly, which - combined with a successful restoration of the deleted account - I consider a suitable resolution. – Shog9 May 8 '13 at 16:45
• This leaves us with either Zev or Eric. Would it not be good to clear the name of the person who did not do it? Just a thought. – Rudy the Reindeer May 9 '13 at 10:31
• – Andrés E. Caicedo May 10 '13 at 20:53
• @AndresCaicedo Thank you for clearing Zev's name. – Rudy the Reindeer May 10 '13 at 21:21
• @Shog9 What you say is completely astonishing for me: if someone who has moderator/admin powers want to delete my account without no reason but ill-adivising then he can do it. Great! But there is some consolation though: some other users will want to see all my posts in one place!!! – user26857 May 12 '13 at 21:27
• Not anymore, @YACP... This has only happened a couple of times, but that's enough: moderator-deletion is now restricted to low-rep accounts, all other deletions must go through us. I should also note that anyone doing this capriciously would not be a mod for very long - restoring accounts like this is a serious pain the rear. – Shog9 May 12 '13 at 21:30

Although the answer by Shog9 settles the question in the specific case, the site had other deleted users whose contributions may be of value. So I would like to answer

I just want to see his posts neatly available in one place.

in greater generality, with a data.SE query Get all answers by a deleted user, together with questions. Given a username such as user242 or something else, it retrieves a downloadable comma-separated file with all answers by the user, along with corresponding questions. More precisely, the results include