Types Of User Objects
There are two different objects that represent a user in the Stack Exchange API, the full user object and the smaller shallow_user object. Which is returned depends on the method being called, methods that are focused on users return the full object while others return the shallow one.
While it is a rare occurrence, users can be deleted on Stack Exchange sites. Users can also never have existed, such as when a question is migrated between
sites as there is no guarantee the asking user exists on both. When a user does not exist there is no way to get a full user object
for them. However, in some cases a shallow_user record with
user_type: "does_not_exist" can be returned; such as when
a question with a deleted owner is fetched. Be aware that no fields other than
user_type on a shallow_user are guaranteed to be set
when the user does not exist, applications should deal gracefully with this case.