When I refreshed a page on the main site I suddenly logged out and when I logged in again I found out that my reputation is disappeared and I lost my access to my questions and I cannot edit them. Also there is no picture beside my posts and it seems somebody else posted them.

Question: What is wrong with my account? Is it a bug in system? How can I recover my data? Did anybody come across a same problem before? Can anyone help me how to deal with this situation?

Here are some links to some of my posts:

What is the definition of a large cardinal axiom?

Does Grothendieck have any pseudonymous paper?

Last Status of Feferman's Conjecture on Indefinite Value of Continuum

Ultraproduct of Forcing Extensions & Forcing Extension of Ultraproduct

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It appears as if your account was somehow deleted. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 6:03
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Find one of your old posts and link to it here, to get an idea of what happened it is important to see which user owns your posts now. And it is certainly possible to get back your old account, though you likely have to contact SE to do that. $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 6:58

3 Answers 3


As I said in a comment, the details in this case are strictly between the poster and the moderators. This is not a matter for public discussion, and there is not a bug in the software in this situation.

The specific meta-relevancy and justification in keeping this thread open is simply to let readers who find themselves in a similar situation know that the thing to do is follow quid's advice, contacting the moderators directly if the site-moderation problem seems unclear. This should be done by writing [email protected] (and not by contacting moderators individually).

Edit: In most situations, a user acting in good faith will be able to resolve disputes directly through communication with the site moderators, for example by providing them with information they ask for. In such communication (which is private, not public), reasons for suspension, deletion, etc. are made manifest. (There are actually many ways in which a user can abuse a site, so an exhaustive general list of all possible reasons for suspension/deletion is hard to give. A few are given here and here.)

In more extreme situations, where a user does not understand reasons given or for some reason cannot work towards resolution but still feels the site-moderation team has acted in error, he or she can contact the Stack Exchange Community Management Team.

  • $\begingroup$ I repeat that suspensions or deletions of individual accounts are not up for public discussion or debate, so I am somewhat doubtful about the merits of a suspension tag. (See the edit to my answer.) If any of my fellow moderators disagrees and feels there should be a suspension tag, then I expect he will chime in. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 14:13

I actually want to disagree with Todd here.

I definitely agree that the first point of contact should be [email protected]. We're friendly and helpful and want to resolve problems that generated suspensions or deletions, privately and constructively. (Of course, I would say that, wouldn't I? In any case, it's the truth.)

But what should happen when you can't resolve your difficulties with the moderators?

The best answer is probably that you should make the best of the situation, and leave MathOverflow for other online mathematical communities. But what if you want to appeal?

Todd says that you should take your case to the Stack Exchange Community Moderation team. I disagree. Writing to [email protected] is not a bad idea --- they are sensible and helpful people too, and in all probability they'll do a good job of helping you understand whatever it is that you're having trouble understanding while communicating with the moderators. But don't think of it as an appeals process --- they're not going to get involved in that sense.

Instead, following the long tradition of MathOverflow, you could bring the case here, to meta (ah, how I miss tea). Such an appeal would require stating the case clearly, and at the same time waiving one's right to the privacy of their previous email communications with the moderators. We would then respond, in this case at considerable length. The MathOverflow community matters. We will listen if there is widespread community consensus, even if it directly contradicts the position we've taken previously. In an egregious enough case, moderators would resign if the community decided they'd been behaving inappropriately.

In this particular case, I would strongly not recommend considering this approach. I predict that it would go very badly. We far prefer to deal with these problems privately, but if we really needed to do it in public we could. It would not be pretty.

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    $\begingroup$ +1, Scott. Can I just clarify one thing, though? It was probably unclear that I was speaking sort of over Konrad's head to the community as a whole, and saying that there is this other entity besides the MO-moderation team who might be of assistance in unusual situations. I completely agree with Scott that for various reasons which will go unmentioned unless he really wants to press it, Konrad's particular case will not fare well if he decided to take that route. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 22:51
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    $\begingroup$ For the bystanders, my suspicion is that this 'Konrad' account is the same person as an account long banned on MathOverflow. I won't detail the evidence for this suspicion at this point. $\endgroup$ Commented May 11, 2014 at 0:19
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    $\begingroup$ For this person, if in fact they are listening behind 'Konrad', let me make clear that there is no route for reinstating your use of MathOverflow. You have been banned permanently. I am willing to defend this ban in public if need be, but I very much doubt it will be a productive exercise. $\endgroup$ Commented May 11, 2014 at 0:21

Your account, assuming it is the one of the same name that posted Does Grothendieck have any pseudonymous paper?, was deleted. This is normally done (or induced) by one of the sites moderators in case of serious problems with an account (such as vandalism, sock-puppetry, circumventing a ban, etc)

To resolve your problem I suggest you:

  1. Think about reasons on your end that could have lead to a deletion, and if successful, try avoid doing this in the future.

  2. In case the above should fail, contact the moderators. For instructions for doing this see Who are the MathOverflow moderators?

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    $\begingroup$ @Konrad There is no point in speculating about it further here; as quid says, this is something that is strictly between you and the moderators. I suggest that you follow quid's step 1 and possibly 2 carefully. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 12:10

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