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I was just wondering what everyone's opinions were on deleting members, should they ask? When a user is deleted, are all their posts switched to the Unregistered username? I have a policy where I will never delete a user from the database. If a member requests to be removed, I will change their preferences to never receive any email from the forum system. Then, all they have to do is never visit again, and they won't be affected.

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Last Post by roryt
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I have pondered this question myself. After a considerable amount of thought, I have concluded that deleting members would be a negative response from the forum itself. If someone signs up, goes out of town, gets busy and doesn't return for a month or so, and then to find their membership deleted. You would then probably start getting the hate messages in your inbox! Now, this is not to say that if you decided to make it one of your rules of the forum (after 3 months of inactivity you have the right to delete their account), then they could not say much as far as you not being fair. This of course just my opinion, and for the record I do not delete any member from my forum unless they request it personally. Seems to work better that way.

I was just wondering what everyone's opinions were on deleting members, should they ask? When a user is deleted, are all their posts switched to the Unregistered username? I have a policy where I will never delete a user from the database. If a member requests to be removed, I will change their preferences to never receive any email from the forum system. Then, all they have to do is never visit again, and they won't be affected.

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I agree. I don't delete members for anything other than serious, repeated rule violations, or at their request. We've had people show up after months of inactivity, and I presume that had they been deleted, they wouldn't have bothered to rejoin. I think one should do everything possible to facilitate forum participation, and deletion seems to have disadvantages, and no significant advantages.

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See, I never delete - not even at their request. Rule violators get banned (so that they can't rejoin with the same e-mail address or username). And if they want to be unsubscribed, they simply have to go into their user preferences and choose to never receive email from the forum system. And then out of sight out of mind.

Actually physically deleting members gets messy. If they posted, their usernames turn into Anonymous users, you can no longer get a nice list of all their posts from their profile, it's just yucky from a site organization / intuitiveness point of view.

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yes i have strong policy of not deleting anything including both members and posts. this allows me to refrence past events in our websites history. if a member wants to be deleted then i say just leave and dont return.

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Besides, people can simply remove all their personal info from their profile if they are really concerned about privacy and such.

One thing is that deleting members will lead to problems as outlined by cscgal. I would never delete members even on request.

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Hello,

I am glad that we do not delete users, nor do we hard delete problem posts. I too see the administration nightmare.

Christian

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As a forum user (ie not a forum provider) i would be fairly annoyed if my account was deleted without a request. Maybe one option might be to send an email after 3 months of inactivity just to remind the account holder that the forum still exists. The email could include some sort of news update such as forum growth, new areas of interest, site changes etc. This might tempt the user to start returning to the forum.

Mike.

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I was just wondering what everyone's opinions were on deleting members, should they ask? When a user is deleted, are all their posts switched to the Unregistered username? I have a policy where I will never delete a user from the database. If a member requests to be removed, I will change their preferences to never receive any email from the forum system. Then, all they have to do is never visit again, and they won't be affected.

I have the same policy.

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I never delete people unless they request to be delete--i.e.: if they messed up registration or such. There was one member, who swore a lot, and flamed people--I banned him, but didn't delete him, only deleted his Yahoo! username and stuff, and changed his Email to my Email, to make sure my members couldn't contact him and he couldn't contact them. He YIMs me a few weeks later, begging to be let back in. I unban him, and now he hasn't flamed anyone and he's one of my most prominent members. I always keep the accounts of people I've banned, in case I ever need the information later.

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Banning is better than deleting because you can keep a handle on the IPs of the posters and such.

Besides, banning is reversible. Deleting is irreversible. Never delete. I don't get that many members in any case and each one is a valuable member. ;)

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I prune people that have been on my site for 180days and have 0post off my website. Its just annoying to have people that dont post.

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On another site I am on, we had members who hadn't never posted EVER and they were recently deleted.

Others that had had no activity for 3 months were also deleted.

If anyone gets banned, their status changes to guest but their name and all their posts remain on the site.

The main reason for doing the major deletion was because there was a bit of controversy on another board and the admin believed some of the instigators were those non-posting members, who were only there to see what was happening on this board and reporting back to the other to cause trouble. This isnt an open site you have to be invited initially, so they all kinda know each other, so it was a special case. A big nightmare though.

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I would like to be deleted from your services. I am very offended how things were handled especially by your moderator.

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A couple of weeks ago I got an email request to delete a member's account. I replied with a whole explanation of why DaniWeb doesn't allow membership deletions, and I suspect this will be useful to other forum owners as well:

Hi,

DaniWeb is an interactive community where content is generated and published by our members. While there are obvious benefits to this, there is also a high frequency of abuse. It's important to keep records of all members who register to ensure that a member who has been banned for violating our rules doesn't ask us to delete their account and then re-register, etc. (With 150,000 members, it's impossible to keep track of everyone, so one staff member can ban them, and they could ask a different staff member to delete their account).

Additionally, we are required by law to keep records of all members who we have sent email to in the past, even if they have currently opted to no longer receive any emails from us. For example, suppose you claimed that we spammed you and you never registered on DaniWeb. Because spamming is illegal, we're required by law to always keep proof that we're not spamming and that you really registered with us by keeping on record the email address you used when you registered, the time you registered, your IP address, and your activation ID # (proving you confirmed your email address by clicking the validation link that was emailed to you). Therefore, by federal law, companies who run double opt-in mailing lists (meaning it's a two-step process of registering and email confirmation) must keep basic information about every user who registers, to the point of being able to prove at any time that a member has indeed opted in. Obviously, the purpose of this law is to make it illegal to buy spam lists or add email addresses to a mailing list without any proof that they really signed up for the list.

Thanks,
Dani

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Thats makes sense but maybe you should make a system where you do delete all their information apart from their username. If people don't want their information displayed on your site it should be your responsibility to remove it.

Out of interested how often do you get these requests?

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> If people don't want their information displayed on your site
What information? You can always delete any private information about yourself in your control panel.

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Interesting thread even though it is a few years old. I've had similar thoughts about deleting old unused accounts and now I know why they aren't deleted (admin nightmare) :ooh: But I would think the hard drive would eventually become chucked full of data about old obsolete accounts.

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You say they can delete them but if they have forgotten their password etc... it becomes more and more difficult.


If i were to forget my password now and then for some reason i didn't want anyone to know anything about me then I would want my account deleted because I have a lot of info about me in my profile here. Not that it will ever be that way for me... but it might for some. But then again your method does make sense because like Ancient Dragon said it would be an admin nightmare.

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