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    • CommentAuthorMagicandi
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2009

    How do I go about closing my MathOverflow account?

    Thanks, MagicAndi.

    I can delete your account if you ask explicitly.

    • CommentAuthorMagicandi
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2009

    I would like you to delete my Mathoverflow account, username Magic Andi, profile page

    I had previously contacted Anton Geraschenko via email asking for this to be done, but had not received a reply.

    Thanks, MagicAndi.

    @MagicAndi: Sorry, I don't remember getting an email from you, but I could easily have missed it. I've deleted your user.

    Note that one of your questions (and your answer to it) still exist. Let me know if you also want me to delete these (though I'd rather not delete the question since it has so many answers).

    Request removed

    @Simon: Deleting your account would not have the effect of deleting your questions. Deleting the questions would have the effect of deleting answers that other people put effort into, which is unfair to them. I'm happy to delete your account for you if you like, though you can effectively do this your self by simply not using it, and changing your username if you like. I would like to get permission from (at least) Tim Perutz, the author of a substantial answer to one of your questions, before deleting your questions. Shall I contact him about this?

    • CommentAuthorMariano
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2011

    Hmm. Could be discuss introducing some policy whereby questions which do have answers do not get deleted because of the deletion of the account of the user who asked them? I don't know how this would interact with copyright...


    @Mariano: Unless I'm misunderstanding, such a policy is already in effect. Deleting an account does not result in the deletion of the material posted by that account, so answers to questions do not get deleted. Moreover, under most circumstances, users cannot delete content posted by others.

    The point of my previous comment is that if Simon would like his questions deleted, as well as his account, we (or he) would have to get permission from the people who posted the answers. If everybody who participated in a thread agrees to its deletion, I think it's acceptable to delete it, though I agree it's a shame to do so if it was useful to non-participants.

    • CommentAuthorMariano
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2011

    I should have been more clear. I meant, a policy to avoid deletion of useful material even when participants agree in deleting them.

    With sufficient reputation, one sees deleted answers (and edit histories), so (unless someone with überpowers intervenes, I guess) such a policy is implicitly applied to answers. On the other, if a question and its answers get deleted because asker and answerers agree to, then that content is not accessible to anyone (except you, maybe, and I hope to people with access to the db).

    I think that it is not an onerous condition to impose on participants of the site that their doings be recorded for posterity. IANAL and all, but copyrights are not an object to this: copyright owners do not get to have the copies of their content removed from others' possesion when they change their mind about having it published (at least, with classic books for example: only $DEITY knows what ebook providers have in stock for us...)


    An only marginally related question: What are some reasons that someone might wish their Math Overflow account deleted?

    My guess is that the most likely situations are:
    1) A graduate student's advisor yells at them and tells them not to use MO (most likely for secrecy reasons).
    2) A student doesn't want their advisor to know that their presenting MO answers as their own work.
    • CommentAuthorgrp
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2011

    Allow me to add:

    3) Leaving it open allows a malefactor to abuse it. This is much more likely when it (and the corresponding email) is unattended for long periods.

    Gerhard "Internet Paranoia Means Better Security" Paseman, 2011.05.12


    @Mariano: I think you're right that from a copyright point of view, there would be no problem in keeping posts that the author(s) want to delete. But from a social point of view, I think the right thing to do is to allow threads to be deleted if all involved parties want them deleted. It's very frustrating to post something you later regret, and the worry of doing so is especially high among mathematicians, so I think that a policy that prevents deletion would have a net negative effect on the atmosphere of MO.

    • CommentAuthorMariano
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2011

    I guess my proposal comes from the idea that we are all involved parties.

    One of the (main?) reasons this whole thing works is because it has achieved critical mass. People that ask questions do so because we are here, we read their questions, we up- and down-vote to keep things attractive for them and for those that can potentially answer their questions—if we don't do it ourselves— and so on.

    Anyways, I just hope this does not happen much.

    • CommentAuthorspk
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2012

    Could you close my account ( for some private reasons, please?
    Thank you!

    @spk: please add the text "please delete this account" to your user profile to confirm that you are really the account owner.

    • CommentAuthorspk
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2012
    > add the text "please delete this account" to your user profile
    Done. Thanks!

    @spk: your account has now been deleted.