Wikipedia:Courtesy vanishing

The usual way to leave Wikipedia is simply to stop editing and abandon your account. A courtesy vanishing may be implemented when a user in good standing decides not to return, and for whatever reason wishes to make their contributions harder to find or to remove their association with their edits. When there is no administrative need to retain the information, a permanently departing user may request that a wide range of user pages, and other pages that affect him or her alone, be deleted on departure. The user account is renamed; user pages are blanked or deleted; and pages related to the user's conduct may be deleted, blanked, or moved. Contributions, logs, signatures, and user-page templates (for example, templates related to blocks or bans) are usually not removed. User talk pages are usually not deleted.

Courtesy vanishing is discretionary and may be refused. It is not intended to be temporary. It is not a way to avoid scrutiny or sanctions. It is not a fresh start and does not guarantee anonymity. Any of the deleted pages may be undeleted after a community discussion. If the user returns, the "vanishing" will likely be fully reversed, the old and new accounts will be linked, and any outstanding sanctions or restrictions will be resumed.

Due to all contributions being licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL, it is not possible to delete an account.

Vanishing from Wikipedia

Vanishing typically involves the following:

  • A global renamer or steward responds to a rename request and renames the account to, for example, "Renamed user 157yagz5r48a5f1a1f".
  • References in the history of pages to the former username are replaced with references to the replacement username. Note that signatures (on user talk pages, article talk pages and project discussion pages) will not be changed, and will, by default, be redirected to the new user name. You can ask for this redirect to be removed.
  • The account's user page and subpages are deleted. User talk pages are rarely deleted, and may be undeleted by community consensus.
  • This action will be global due to account unification.