...and are your questions/answers deleted along with that or are they still findable via search engines or with a URL?

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    Your questions and answers are licensed under the cc-wiki creative commons license (which you can view at the bottom of each page of each stackexchange website), which means that any copies that anyone obtained, they are legally allowed to distribute, provided that they agree with the license agreement that was used. One of the provisos of the license is to provide attribution, which means to give credit where credit is due, which in this case it's probably sufficient to provide your user name or link to your user profile. – allquixotic Dec 24 '13 at 21:41
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    Basically, it's legal for someone to hold on to your questions and answers forever, but you can also opt to delete them manually if you want to from the site, which will prevent people who are not a moderator or with 10k rep from viewing them, but 10k users can always see deleted questions and answers. And if someone previously copied your questions or answers to another site, blog, server, etc., you may never be able to get them deleted, since you provided them under creative commons license. – allquixotic Dec 24 '13 at 21:42
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    To answer your question however, if you voluntarily delete your accounts on SE, your questions and answers, by default, will remain. – allquixotic Dec 24 '13 at 21:43
  • That's kinda crazy. How do you "opt to delete them manually"? I'm assuming this also prevents people that aren't logged in to see them, and search engines from showing them? – user284213 Dec 24 '13 at 21:47
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    To delete them manually, you just go to each question/answer/comment and click the "Delete" link beneath it. It should be there next to "share", "edit", and "flag". Yes, this will prevent people that aren't logged in from seeing them. Search engines with a cache (like Google) may keep it cached for some time, and archive.org might archive it forever, but that is orthogonal to stackexchange and true of any public website that doesn't block search crawlers. You can't delete something from the internet. Once it's out there, if anyone has it, they have it for as long as they want/need it. – allquixotic Dec 24 '13 at 21:54
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    The most you can do is prevent people from obtaining new copies of your questions/answers/comments by visiting your questions on StackExchange itself. You can't stop people from distributing copies they have obtained separately amongst themselves (and it's even legal to do so per the Creative Commons license), and you can't stop people from storing copies until the end of time if they so desire. You can't change the copyright license on a work that's already been transmitted, either, so you can't retroactively go back and say "all that stuff? you have to give it back". – allquixotic Dec 24 '13 at 21:56
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    @allquixotic You actually can't delete questions that have upvoted answers yourself, IIRC. But you can request a moderator do that for you - whether they do so or not is up to them, there's no rule or law saying they have to. And, of course, that would not affect the licensing, or the fact that people may already have copies and are legally allowed to redistribute them. Read the licensing terms you are presented with when you register/post. – Bob Dec 24 '13 at 22:15
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    @allquixotic If a user deletes a majority of their posts within a short amount of time, the posts will probably be undeleted again by a moderator or the Stack Exchange team. This is to prevent ragequitting. – slhck Dec 24 '13 at 22:16
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    @Bob Ok, I didn't know you couldn't delete your own posts under some conditions or that they would be undeleted by the mod team. But that's a matter of site policy, and is completely orthogonal to the licensing issue. The licensing is as I stated earlier. Once your content is out there, it's really out there -- you can never be sure that all copies are deleted or handed over. And it's perfectly legal for each of those copies to exist. I guess that just applies by extension to SE: if your content is good (i.e. wouldn't be deleted due to quality), SE chooses to keep it. – allquixotic Dec 24 '13 at 22:48

Please do not vandalize the content you posted. Meaning, you should not delete all your questions and answers and then have your account deleted.

By posting here you gave Stack Exchange an irrevocable license to use your content. You can have posts anonymized, but you do not have the right for them to be permanently deleted (unless they contain personally identifying information). Ideally we want to preserve good content you posted, e.g. questions with answers or answers with upvotes.

If you want to delete your Stack Exchange accounts please follow the instructions in our help center.

  • How do you anonymize your questions and comments? Or can it only be done with the questions? I'm assuming this implies your display name doesn't show with a question or comment you created? – user284213 Dec 24 '13 at 22:23
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    When you delete your account, all posts get an anonymized username. You cannot manually anonymize single posts, although a moderator could probably help you get a developer do it in special cases. – slhck Dec 24 '13 at 22:28
  • Wow that's interesting. Thanks for the info. – user284213 Dec 24 '13 at 23:01
  • So where is the link to delete an account on superuser and some of the other ones? I can't find any delete link. – user284213 Dec 25 '13 at 22:14
  • Seems you found it! – slhck Dec 26 '13 at 6:46

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