I made a graph of deleted posts on the site per day (day of post creation, not its day of deletion):

graph of deleted posts

The spike on 2012-06-28 is because of Answerama, a Stack Exchange promotion that did not turn out well. The left edge of the graph shows when the site first launched. It makes sense that many of the first posts have been deleted, since the site scope wasn't well defined at that time.

But what about the spike on 2015-08-22? The list of deleted posts isn't very enlightening: it's mostly multiple answers to a handful of unrelated questions. For the deleted questions where I can see the title, there's no obvious theme there either.

My guess is that many of these posts were due to a very busy troll, but maybe the site had a flurry of activity that day for some other reason. Is there an explanation for this that mere mortals like me are allowed to know?

(In case you feel like that's a lot of deleted posts, Stack Overflow has been known to delete 5000 posts per day. Hopefully, many of those deletions were by the roomba.)

  • You are mistaken about SO's user Community. He is not a roomba. He is a unicorn.
    – Mr Lister
    May 27, 2016 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


You came closest to the mark with this:

My guess is that many of these posts were due to a very busy troll

Suffice it to say that a large number of offensive posts, mainly attacks against a particular pair of users, were created and subsequently destroyed on 22 August 2015. The many different accounts used to make these posts no longer exist.

  • Another race to the finish line by Wad and Rand!
    – Wad Cheber
    May 25, 2016 at 2:02
  • 2
    There's a lot more to the story than this, but although it was all public knowledge at the time, I probably shouldn't say too much in case people think I'm revealing mod-only information.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    May 25, 2016 at 2:02
  • 5
    @WadCheber Now keep updating your post until it's several pages long, full of headers and quotes and images, so that you can get the higher answer score and the tick.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    May 25, 2016 at 2:03

As you suggested, we had "a very busy troll".

Without getting into the details, the incident was dubbed "sock fest". A user believed he/she had been treated unfairly and retaliated by creating dozens of sock puppet accounts and making malicious posts.

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