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Question About Account Deletion

I started using discussions recently and although it was mostly a positive experience, one interaction was incredibly unpleasant. When I tried to delete my comments and remove my contribution to the discussion entirely, I could not.

Does anyone know if asking the Duolingo team for support in account deletion would effectively delete my [Deleted] comment placeholders as well?

Also, is there a way to remove my [insert my username] [deleted] comments entirely without deleting my profile? I would like to continue my learning without using the discussion feature.

I have seen some other similar questions regarding this but I am confused.

Thanks in advance.

July 28, 2017



You can only delete your own comments, so if anyone else has commented on anything you said it will show your comment as [deleted].

I cannot see all your comments, though personally I cannot see anything in the replies you received that can be marked as being harsh, let alone "extremely harsh". Though obviously people can edit their comments, so if there is anything you consider to be harsh that was edited out please enlighten me, or if not you are free to inform me about what you think what especially was harsh.


They replies to me from the moderator were in hidden comments. Of course, I am obviously confused if I am being too sensitive about the whole situation and maybe I should stay of discussions (because of that) all together. I will take a while and write the gist of what I remember commenting. It was pretty naive in retrospect the comments I wrote but I wrote nothing against transgender people.


I left my own comments in my draft folder but I mistakenly only saved the first:

My comment 1:

This discussion post reminded me of my own last name of Spanish origin which also includes a "son of" meaning. It also inspired me to research into the name history and the maps that show where certain last names including my own are most prevalent. I think it is touching that Icelandic people pass on a last name that means "son" or "daughter" of the "parental first name", because it sounds more personal and bonding than some other last names. Also the fact that there are limitations in place, to restrict children's name choices, reminds me of the way some countries are free to name their children whatever they so choose and at times, names like superheroes and derogatory language are given. I don't like restrictions but I also don't like arbitrary sounding names (even though I guess that's none of my business). Anyway, it's good to remember that names are language clues to ancestry and historical origin. Interesting post!

Moderator comment:

For many genderqueer, trans, and gender non-conforming people, names are sacred. Many (but not all) of these folks choose a name at some point in their life as a right of passage, an announcement of becoming into personal agency. And, there are even norms around this. For instance, asking the history behind someone's name is taboo. And when a person shares the history of their name, even if it is rather mundane story, it is a special moment and a gift of sorts to the person they are sharing it with.

Names mean different things to different people at different times in their lives. I think, it is hard to stand on the outside and fully grasp naming rituals in different cultures. There is history to it, attachment, significance. And of course, cultures are not static. So, not everyone in a culture feels the same way about naming rituals.

The next comment I wrote something about being shocked (in reply to the moderator's first comment) to find out that asking someone's name in Icelandic culture was considered taboo. I also said something about trying to find parallels to my personal experience so that's why I gave my original comment as a response. And something about how sometimes my lack of awareness undermines the nuances about something (indirectly i meant the original post). And something about accepting my culture shock as a reason for my lack of understanding cultures unlike my own. Honestly I thought I had been clear enough that I was somehow embarrassed and made a mistake.

The reason I thought it was harsh is because they went on to deliberate on how I can't accept that I am wrong or something?...I will see if I can quote it.

I think that many people tend to start from the familiar when assessing much of anything. I do the same. However, there are different things that happen next. Some people are rigid in assumptions, and others are flexible. I tend to hold personal assumptions in one hand, and room to be wrong or acknowledge that I have been narrow in the other. (Though, it is not always outwardly apparent that I am doing so, unless one can see me admitting when I realize I am wrong.)

Lastly I was quite upset and felt like writing a reply but I felt like no matter what I wrote the moderator wouldn't really understand. So then I kept changing my comment and really I couldn't think of what to write unless it was either extremely long, upset and opposing their P.O.V. or extremely simple, passive and sad. So yeah, that's why I deleted everything.


I think it's a bit of misunderstanding from both sides. It's probably your comment that you were shocked that it is not done to ask about someone's name etc.. It seems Usagi's comment was aimed at transgenders etc. and not Iceland and therefore felt the need to comment that it is a good to keep an open mind.

Don't take all of this personal, when saying something in text online some nuance etc. will get lost and things can be misinterpreted more easily. I don't think there was any intention to be harsh, more an intention to give a further explanation.

If you feel like you are sensitive to other peoples comments etc. it is probably best not to reply on topics that people can be passionate about. I am not very sensitive to people's comments etc. though still tend to stay away from topics regarding genderqueer etc. simply because it's easy to be misinterpreted and people can be very passionate about their opinions.

Now I know Usagi brought up that topic, though in that case just ignore it. If someone replies to you it's ok not to reply. Other than that I don't think there was anything wrong etc. with your comments, so don't feel like you said anything wrong and don't let other people's opinions stop you from commenting.


Great that you have entered the discussion. Thanks. Yes, it's easy to be hurt online, and easy to hurt others too, both unintentionally and intentionally.

I think it is could be good in some circumstances to feed back directly to the person who has hurt you (intentionally or unintentionally) how you have interpreted the comment and ask for clarification if this is how it was intended.

In other circumstances it would be best just to let it drop and not reply so ignoring the comment, or to see if you can read it in non-hurtful way and reply to the non-hurtful comment, or report it as abuse.

This should be a factual and unemotive response.(whatever the correct English word is for that, my spell-checker is objecting to unemotive, but it is obvious, I hope, what I mean) It would not be good to show hurt at this stage, just in case the person was intending on hurting you.

When you are sure what the person meant (as opposed to what he may have said), then you can formulate an appropriate response, which could be no further replies, further discussion, reporting abuse etc.

I think the moderators would agree that if any user feels, for any reason, that a moderator is abusing them this matter should be reported so that the matter can be clarified. Moderators are volunteers, and also part of the human race. They can have bad days, can have typos, can misunderstand users posts, post ambiguous comments, and many other things common to the human race.

BTW, whatever Usagi's perception of his own gender, I would say that Usagi has always been very helpful when I have asked very basic questions, as have all the Mods.

Sometimes the answers from the Mods. are very 'factual', and without some of the social interaction one might have face to face with a learner. But when one considers the volume of replies given, often in detail, it is amazing how the Mods. manage to answer so many and I can understand why the answers are sometimes pared down to the bare facts.

I have also been misunderstood at times and told to read the whole discussion before posting a question and without giving me an answer when I already have done so and am asking because I haven't understood the answer given. Sometimes I didn't even recognise the answer to my question in the discussion due to my own lack of understanding.

I cut all the mods some slack at such times, and simply congratulate them for all they do!!!


Originally I didn't think the whole purpose of the article was about gender queers, so it was hard to notice. And I did not know their context until after their last reply, when I checked their profile (because I wanted to understand why they were reacting and that's when it all clicked). And yes, I do feel as though I may be too sensitive for discussions due to the unexpected nature of some replies. I'm glad to know that I wasn't simply being a total ignorant.

Edit: I guess what I meant about the purpose was what many people in the discussion thought about, got out of it or discussed. I was not clear enough. Anyway I agree. I guess my fear also came from just angering people opposite my opinion. Thanks for your help though. :)


I'm pretty sure that wasn't the purpose of the article or if it was it was well hidden. Either way, there was nothing wrong with your comments and in all fairness even if you had said that you completely disagree with the concept of being genderqueer etc. there still wouldn't have been anything wrong with your comment. Similar to that it is ok for people advocating that people shouldn't label kids as being a boy or a girl etc..


I will keep editing to replicate what was said as best I can but I personally felt like the harshness came from being retold from the moderator that I couldn't accept I was wrong, when I previous to that (in my reply to their first comment) indirectly implied that I was. Also that I instead accepted my culture shock as a sort of symptom of my upbringing. I wrote something like that.

Edit: El2theK, please let me know if this is something that is worth looking into or not. Thanks in advance.


Hi Azebrafish ...so sorry you have had this experience. I am not very computer savvy and so do not know how to look for discussions where you have posted. I went looking to see what had happened, to see if there has been abuse when you say 'one interaction was incredibly unpleasant', but failed to find it.

If there has been abuse, please report it as such. to do this go to: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/205101500-How-do-I-report-abuse-

Unfortunately it is not possible to contact a moderator at present, so you will have to go via the 'submit a bug method', if this works. You will find this on the instructions for how do I report a bug.

Emailing abuse@duolingo.com also works.

For any action to be taken, obviously DL needs to know enough details to be able to access the discussion where it happened.

Those seen to be committing serious abuse will have their posts deleted and their posting rights removed, if I understand correctly from previous discussions I have had.

Abuse of any kind can be very hurtful. Please, if you are hurting in any way after this experience, do find someone -friend, relative or professional - to talk to about it, and go and do something that you really like, be it a good book, a run in the park or chocolate. Hugs also help me when hurt, so here is a hug for you that you can receive if you find hugs helpful, or just leave if not! (((HUG)))

I hope this helps.


I’m not sure if replies I received constituted as abuse, because they were from a moderator. But the replies I had gotten made me feel bad about myself, and felt like a personal attack rather than them trying to teach me about something or objective advice on contributing a decent post.

After the whole ordeal I checked the Duolingo guidelines and I understood why I may have gotten singled out…I think the moderator/poster was offended at my lack of understanding or ignorance? And once I indirectly called myself out and accepted that I was ignorant they just made a super condescending allusion about mostly basic knowledge subject matter and my inability to accept I was wrong. Before they responded to me, other people responded and even by the first reply I received was a very brief statement that without moderator input made me realize how I had a lack of understanding, but they put it in a non-insulting way. I would honestly rather they had told me I was wrong and then why rather than tell me I was terribly narrow. I remained doubtful after the moderator got downlikes…

Here is the link: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23687970

Regardless, I think it could have been handled better, but I was too afraid to say anything more so that is why I deleted it all.


I think what struck me as most off was that when I looked at the Duolingo Moderator guidelines one thing it particularly states is that they should avoid too many “sticky” comments. And that:

“Before making a comment or taking harsh measures of any kind, please remember that this person could be your grandpa, or your nephew. We have learners from all backgrounds and ages and need to be sensitive and respectful when interacting with others.” https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/205079384-What-are-the-Moderator-Guidelines-

After reading this, I myself am probably gonna be less likely to answer people to my full knowledge (if I continue on discussions at all) on some topics, since it could be someone with different levels experience than myself (that I can’t possibly know) on certain topics. But my main concern is that it was a direct attack on my character as a person, not simply my perception or knowledge on a topic. I wish they could have just deleted my comment if they didn’t like it…I would definitely have taken a hint! Or maybe a polite advice?

Also, I don’t want them to be banned or anything but I wish they could understand that they were extremely harsh. I don't even want to use Duolingo anymore because of that.

I know it’s a lot but I wanted to elaborate on my particular experience now that I got an extensive answer.

Also, there's always a bad experience that I can't disassociate from my learning pursuits. I just use learning for fun but also as a way to distract myself from some really crappy things going on in my life. I was really naive to use the discussion feature if I am too uneducated for average people's standards.

I'm not sure I can do much about it, because moderators are not necessarily there to simply guide people, they are there to enforce (however that may be defined).

Je vous dois 7 lingots for your helpful answer. :)


I completely understand your situation. This has actually happened to me once when I was helping someone understand the English language some time ago. From what I can remember, I had given some false information in regards to how many tenses there were in English. Another user began to assume that I was a non-native English speaker (which is not true) and called out my mistakes, and while I was appreciative that someone corrected me, the user did it in a "you're not educated enough in the language so you shouldn't say anything" way. I began to explain that I was indeed a native English speaker and that I made a few slip-ups that could easily be fixed, but the user insisted that English was not my first language and basically embarrassed me. I deleted post as a whole as a result, I believe. And, I tend to remember my mistakes, so it haunts me to this day.

There was another incident with a suicide victim and I had said that I couldn't control his actions, but I would like it if he didn't try to kill himself. However, it came off as "do it if you like, but I don't want you to". A mod thought I was being a bit careless and assumed I was encouraging his death, which was not the intent at all. One of my biggest fears is hurting someone, whether emotionally or physically due to my past history. But, the assumption that was made hurt me... Bad. So, I cut myself off from helping and social contact. The issue was resolved quickly and the mod and I are on friendly terms (the mod is wonderful, by the way), but that moment still lingers in the back of my mind.

This is why I try not to say things with utmost certainty because for one thing, I lack self-confidence and I'm afraid that people will take offense of the things I don't know or don't understand. All I can do is say what I do know and hope that that helps the person.

We learn from our mistakes, but in situations where a person assumes too much about you (like you being ignorant and close-minded by the mod, which I'm sure you're none of those things) it can be quite hard to learn. Sometimes, I don't think people mean to intentionally hurt us, but we feel the pain regardless, which is why I believe you should actually consult the mod in focus about your situation. The mod (I'm assuming Usagi from what has already been said?) probably didn't know that you had been hurt or tried to be harsh, even though it could have come out that way. Moderators are supposed to be helpful and maintaining the peace in forums, but they are not perfect and I have seen some make wrong assumptions on people's comments, which made me realize that even mods can be thoughtless at times (I don't say this to be insulting to mods; we all can be thoughtless).

Also, I don't think that you were naive at all or not smart enough for other people. You shouldn't try to put the blame solely on yourself because there were clear flaws on both sides. There's no shame in contributing, even if you know certain things about a topic. How were you supposed to know about Icelandic or genderqueer subjects if you never looked into it? Even I know practically nothing about those things; I don't even know what queer actually means (yes, I know I'm stupid).

I'm sorry you had such an unpleasant experience, but I will say that those are things that shouldn't keep you from contributing in the forums. If you really don't want to participate in the discussions, then don't. But, it really is a wonderful, helpful place that has a loving community. It would be a shame if you left...

I wish you well on your learning here and have a nice day!


Thanks so much for your sincere feedback!! :) I would give you, and other helpful comments, some lingots too but I ran out.


Hi again Azebrafish!

I hope you are feeling somewhat better after communicating on this forum. Re your point on 'sticky' comments, I don't really know but I think 'sticky' comments do not refer to difficult or awkward comments but to discussions that are always at the top of the list. They don't want to have too many of these so or they will loose their distinctivity and their importance will not stand out.

I interpreted your comment re sticky comments as meaning the mods should not enter into difficult or awkward discussions and I don't think it means that. Maybe I am wrong on both counts in my understanding, but I expect someone with correct me if I am wrong.

None of us is perfect....if we were we wouldn't need this forum which corrects our understanding of many things apart from language if we let it. I have learned a little bit about computers here too in the last couple of days.

I see below that you have run out of lingots. I am grateful for the lingots you have given me but I wonder if you have been giving too many away? My lingots just keep accumulating and I do give some away but I don't really find that many things to do with them. I do hope you have enabled your streak freeze and that you do use the double your wager facility for doing DL 7 days running. The lingots accumulate very quickly if you do that. In case you don't know about this, go to the lingot store at the top of the home page.

I won't keep up this 'conversation' if you are feeling better about things now. Let me know, and I will stop following this discussion.


Hi Anneduol1ngo,

I have become more aware of the gaps in knowledge or misunderstandings that exist sometimes simply because it is only human and can happen to anyone.

I had previously given up language learning for a while due to my fear that my interest in learning and efforts of understanding and knowledge are not good enough for other people (even if that should not have been of importance to myself). I am motivated to start over my learning process and perspective more on myself rather than what other people think is best, despite any possible setbacks or discouragement, since it is very important to me.

Even though my experience is not particularly relevant to anyone, I share it since my failing to grasp a topic on this forum long ago, among other things, has left a negative impact on my learning experience for all things language, culture and geography related as well as my view of this app and those used to be some of my favorite things to learn with/about. I would like to change that by making it a positive learning experience instead.

Lately I have started to relearn and strengthen everything I used to know outside of Duolingo. I hope to use this website again as I used to enjoy using the vocabulary lessons with optimistic-looking graphic design as a part of my language learning.


Honestly, I'm not sure why you can't delete them. If you delete your account, it will still show your comment, but it will show as posted by [Deactivated User]. You don't have to use the Discussion feature, so from this point on, just don't click on it.

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