I slept with my advisor's daughter and she is blackmailing me now. What can I do? was reopened even when the poster desperately wants the question deleted (see edit 5).

This is a very personal question without much impact for others and it should probably rest in peace instead of being reopened. What is the value in possibly bringing the OP into trouble (even when the username was removed)?

  • 3
    Sex sells? ;-) But seriously, I think it is a little unkind to leave it up, even with username change. Don't buy the "damage done" argument. Lots of people have had stuff on the net that harms them but try to minimize its impact going forward. And although it is a funny question, it's not like we are dying to have it here and miss so much by not having it.
    – guest
    Jan 23, 2019 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


You have to distinguish between deleting and closing here:

  • Closing mainly prevents users to add further answers to the question. This is the method of choice for questions that we consider a bad fit for the Stack Exchange format or this community. Whether this applies here is indeed debatable, but this is another discussion – because closing does not make a post less visible and thus does not solve any possible privacy issues.

  • Deleting is intended for posts that have no lasting value whatsoever or are causing other severe problems. This would indeed make the post considerably less visible. Note that on Stack Exchange deleting is not the method of choice to deal with posts where the author revealed too much. As it stands, the answers may still help somebody in a similar situation and therefore I see no reason to delete the question.

In this particular case, we (i.e., some moderators) redacted the question’s (and some answer’s) revisions to remove a considerable amount of irrelevant but identifying information and it was disassociated from the asker’s account. There shouldn’t be any publicly available information that allows to identify the asker anymore (if we missed something, please flag it). There are probably thousands of people who could be the author.

All this happened almost four months ago. We haven’t heard of the asker since then, so he either was satisfied or escalated the issue to Stack Exchange without success.

As a final note, given that this question has been up for almost four months now, if it has done any damage to the asker, it already did, most likely before the asker even wished to delete it.

  • I think the question has little value for others and it has a chance left to cause harm. Why shouldn't it be deleted? What's the value for SE to keep it? It was a personal question (with little value to the general public) from the start and probably only attracted interest because sex sells as guest said in the comment above. Now the poster wants it removed and it even gets reopened. I think SE should show a little respect and just delete it.
    – allo
    Jan 24, 2019 at 9:05
  • @allo: I disagree with most of your assessments (please also see my edit). How can this question cause harm? In particular, note that the asker doesn’t want to delete the question now; he wanted to delete it a few days after asking it.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jan 24, 2019 at 12:51

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