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Why is this answer in grey colour?

Additionally, if I erase any of my answers, nobody will see it anymore, is that right? I hope it is not shown in grey...

(Third question: is there any way to completely erase, smash, destroy, pulverize, thermalize, dissociate, cause information loss forever in, one of my answers?)

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As dmckee said, posts voted down to -3 or lower are shown desaturated. It has nothing to do with deletion.

If you delete a question or answer using the "delete" link on the site, it's soft-deleted, which means it still exists in the database and can be seen by 10k users and moderators, but nobody else. (There are currently around 20 people in this category, including a number of SE employees who basically never visit the site.) It's also not included in the data dump, if I remember correctly. It may be accessible via SEDE after some time, I'm not sure.

If a post includes sensitive information, such as a person's real name, address, phone number, email address, etc. (if they have chosen not to reveal that information publicly on the site), or information which is subject to a separate nondisclosure agreement or confidentiality agreement, it can in principle be removed permanently. To do so, edit the post to remove the sensitive information, then email the team (team@stackexchange.com) with a link to the revision that contains the information and ask them to remove it permanently. Or you can flag it for moderator attention and we'll make the edit and request for you.

It's worth noting that, while you can request to have information permanently removed, as far as I know Stack Exchange is not obligated to grant the request, because the CC license under which all content is submitted is irrevocable. (Check the terms of service, linked in the site footer, to be sure.) So be careful what you submit!

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    $\begingroup$ Forgive the following sentence, but I must write it: that policy is an enormous sh.. I should be able to remove completely my own answer after I have learnt more about the physics involved and then discovered it is wrong... $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera Feb 26 '13 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ You can delete your own answer. There's no reason that it necessarily needs to be erased from the database, just because it turns out to be wrong. $\endgroup$ – David Z Feb 26 '13 at 3:08
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, but it seems unfair that someone can see it, when I explicitly want it wiped out of existence... $\endgroup$ – Eduardo Guerras Valera Feb 26 '13 at 3:10
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    $\begingroup$ Well... I wouldn't call it unfair. When you create something (a question or answer, for example) and release it into the world, is it fair that you maintain total control over what anyone can do with it at any time in the future? I don't think so. And regardless of what I think, the license you agreed to when you signed up says you don't maintain that control. It's important to realize that once you post something here, it's not just yours anymore. $\endgroup$ – David Z Feb 26 '13 at 3:19
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Answer that are sufficiently far into negative score territory are grayed out (lowlighted?) as a visual indication that they crowd considers them unreliable. I believe that -3 is the threshold for this.

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