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I notice that the question "Go Missing At In" was deleted by a mod ~20 minutes after being posted. Why was this done? Shouldn't it have been closed first?

Edit: Now we appear to have a dupe.

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The answer is: it's Nortonn S. There is more information in my questions about sockpuppet policy and finding deleted questions.

Mods (apparently) no longer have the ability to merge accounts to make sockpuppetry obvious. Another change which was made is that SE policy is now to allow sockpuppets' questions to remain and survive or fall on the merit of the question rather than the status of the asker.

This is fine when the user is not a suspended user — someone who registers twice in error is actually penalised by having rep split between two accounts, provided that they don't vote on their own questions. Unfortunately it also has the effect of rendering suspensions completely ineffective.

When a sockpuppet account is discovered, it's removed and the question gets one of the anonymous brown icons. At that point, if it's been downvoted* the question will be deleted.

None of this stops mods from acting unilaterally, of course; and in the case of suspended accounts I believe that's entirely justified, as I have commented before. Perhaps I might make the suggestion that — since merging accounts is no longer an option — a comment is added to that effect instead.

* I don't know if this is any downvote, or a net negative score.

  • Is this an educated guess based on the question content? Even if this is sockpuppetry, shouldn't there be an explanatory note attached to the deleted question? – coleopterist Feb 22 '13 at 12:34
  • +1 for the adding an explanatory note; if it's simply "Nortonn S." some will find it helpful and the rest need not bother about it. But I don't find it helpful to question an SE policy that has been implemented but has not operated long enopugh to draw meaningful conclusions. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Feb 22 '13 at 18:50
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    @coleopterist The first line of the question as posted is definitely a fingerprint. – Andrew Leach Feb 22 '13 at 21:42

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