Okay so a minor edit war ensued here:


My fault as much as Jonathan's.

Brief rundown
Jonathan posted an email address for someone he clearly does not know personally. I removed that address and added a note to please not post personal information of others. He continually re-edited to put the email address back. So, I in turn kept rolling it back.

My stance.... no one should be publicly posting email addresses other than their own. I don't care if the address appears publicly elsewhere.

When an email address is posted on a web site there are back end measures which can be taken to prevent data farming from gathering that email address (Obfuscation). As well as javascript/jquery tricks to break up the address into unusable parts for spiders. Clearly when someone posts an email address publicly here, that is not taking place. This in turn opens up that user to huge amounts of unwanted emails and I feel is a disservice to anyone.

It is this reason I continually edited that answer to remove the publicly posted email address. I'd do it again.

Quick story.... some 6 months ago some guy placed my cell number onto a form somewhere for a payday loan. I don't even now this guy. He could have purposely placed a false number or made a mistake and accidentally placed my number on this form. In any event. I have been incessantly hounded by phone calls and text messages to borrow money or other "money" opportunities. It's been quite annoying.

It is this undue headache I feel warrants the editing and removal of the email address, regardless of what Jonathan thinks is "okay". I wouldn't put anyone in that position if I can help it.

Side note: Why doesn't my rep, lock the edit war at some point? You'd think the user with the the highest level of privileges at some point would cause an auto-lock of the item being edited and auto-flag for moderation, to prevent the edit war continuing.

If I'm wrong, I'll certainly apologize. However, if it were my email address, I'd abundantly thank the user removing it.

  • 2
    If you didn't already have approximately 4.7 billion rep points, I'd give you a 100-point bounty just for trying to save that poor person's email from getting deluged. Getting a new spam every five minutes (by the clock, not an exaggeration) is exhausting. Aug 5, 2015 at 9:46
  • 1
    I like the phrase edit-war. Imagine two people in front of their computers going "Oh no you di'int" click Aug 6, 2015 at 20:56
  • Posting other's personal information is tacky, at best. You were right to remove it, IMHO.
    – DA01
    Aug 14, 2015 at 21:33

1 Answer 1


That question is a resource gathering question and shouldn't really have been posted; it isn't a good fit for the site. That said the OP should've known better and the situation was handled accordingly.

In regards to personal information it is not acceptable for someone to post it as answers. No one should feel their personal information is at risk here. If anyone sees their personal information or someone else's personal information being inappropriately displayed they should flag for moderator attention and we will address the situation.

Also, if a user posts their own personal information we aren't going to remove the question, answers, or any media that would cause issues in the Q&A. We will not delete a question after it has answers because the OP put their personal information. This has been an issue in the past and is a case by case basis but I feel you should have common sense when posting a question.

Again, people should respect other's personally identifiable information. This is a direct violation of Stack Exchange's Network Content Policy.

Users may not post other people's personally identifying or confidential information, including but not limited to credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers, and driver's and other license numbers. You may not post information such as other people's passwords, usernames, phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses unless already publicly accessible on the Web.

If anyone is posting someone's contact information and you do not feel they were given permission or it is not their own then please flag it. Most of the time new users will post personal information and it is typically flagged as spam any way. I do not think anyone should ever fear their personal information is at risk when visiting a Stack Exchange site, ever.

  • 3
    The issue I primarily took in this case is it wasn't the user's own information... it was a third-party's information. Clearly posted without direct permission.
    – Scott
    Aug 5, 2015 at 4:59
  • 3
    It's worth noting here that while the email address was technically publicly available, pursuant to our policy, it had been intentionally removed from the public space and was only available from an archive. That's not in the spirit of the rule.
    – hairboat
    Aug 5, 2015 at 15:27
  • 1
    I agree with the removal of the email address but killing the question seems a bit harsh; turning the question into something like "How to access or achieve a high quality sketch effect like Drawing Effect by technofibre" would have made maintained the spirit of it, made it a perfectly on-topic question, allowed answers like "here's the guy's public site, it now has a different name" and also allowed alternate answers to the underlying problem like "here's a process that gives even better results". Aug 6, 2015 at 12:18
  • @user568458 Totally agree. I also don't recall seeing any comment about the said email (maybe these comments were deleted) but a lot of fuss about the question being off-topic and then the "ego war" with the typical facebook-like communication.
    – go-junta
    Aug 7, 2015 at 5:13

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