[Policy] Not remove a user's posts when the account is removed

Submitted by Fossidarity in meta

I've been thinking about the policy where if someone wants to delete their account they'll ask an admin to do that for them and then the admin has to go through all their posts and comments to delete them all manually.

I don't really think this is a good idea for multiple reasons:

  • I think link sharing sites can function in a way that's also archival. This is an important part of the Internet in my opinion and it's just a shame that a large part Raddle's database gets lost because someone deletes their account, similar to themes.
  • It's tedious as an admin to remove all the posts of a person.
  • With deleted comments it makes older threads hard to read when half of the comments are deleted.
  • It's kind of useless to do it anyway because everything can be looked up later with archiving sites.

Of course there would be exceptions to this when the posts/comments contain information that can be used to dox someone. The same applies to spam.

Thoughts on this?


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Freux wrote

There is this: /w/delete_post_history so users that want everything deleted can do it themselves. So maybe just remind users that want to delete their account that their posts won't be deleted and they have to do it themselves. As long as it's clear that a user was banned or deleted so that no one start conversation with non-existing users.


mofongo wrote

Yeah, we already removed the part that an admin has to do it. Every person is responsible for deleting their own data now, ziq even added a script to automate the process.


Tequila_Wolf wrote

That actually happened? I forget. I thought we'd only talked about it. Here, I think.


mofongo wrote

Most answers were positive about it and we remove making a voting thread to enact policy.


lookin4 wrote (edited )

How about to steer a middle course?

  1. Raddle's function not only as a platform for exchange, discuss, circularize things itself but also as a link sharing archive is important, the author however not anywhere near
  2. for admins there is not much more work to do when someone deletes their account
  3. as you said initial posts or answers in conversation-threads remain understandable and can also be referred to way better (e.g. quoting, linking)
  4. and for someone decided to leave Raddle it could be enough satisfaction that they are no longer recognizable by certain patterns publicly visible on the front-end, which might also apply to the data that exists in the back-end like in logfiles or else.

a few notes on 1) when I want to find a post again I remember the forum it was posted in, the title or contents of the post - not the author. when we start to care less for who said what we counteract informal hierarchies 2) except for initial programming work that may be done by them resulting in a script(?) finding every occurrence of the old username and replace it with always the same "reservoir-account" which will exist as any other user but is only passive waiting to become "feeded" and is not used to create original postings nor having any other activity.