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Change impact of people deleting their account

Neroon
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I haven't been here long, but between the car topic and now the computer setup topic, it seems that if someone deletes their account, this can cause major issues. Is this something you can tackle?

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What was the problem with the car topic? Just that time when it actually broke because loads of posts got deleted, or something else?

 

I have reported the problem with the car topic to the forum software devs, and it might be something they can resolve. Show off your Setup is much less obvious to fix though - ultimately we do want to allow people to delete their accounts, so deciding that they can't do it because they are the OP of a hot topic is pretty tough.

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10 minutes ago, colonel_mortis said:

What was the problem with the car topic? Just that time when it actually broke because loads of posts got deleted, or something else?

 

I have reported the problem with the car topic to the forum software devs, and it might be something they can resolve. Show off your Setup is much less obvious to fix though - ultimately we do want to allow people to delete their accounts, so deciding that they can't do it because they are the OP of a hot topic is pretty tough.

Yeah that's the one.

 

I mean I understand wanting to allow people to deleted their profile and even posts, but either it should just move the the TS to 'Deleted account' or the second person posting. Afaik most forum software can deal with it, so I would assume this one should be able to as well.

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Would it be possible with the forum software to give users the option to delete only comments (and therefore leave topics online, just anonymized) when requesting account deletion?

 

Seeing such massive threads like the setup topic just disappear is quite frustrating. Now there is no way to go back and see anything anyone has ever posted in that thread. No way to see those photos. No way to get inspiration from setups that have been shared for years and years. That thread in particular isn't one I'm very concerned about, but I know there are others who like to look through it. Sure, the new one will eventually be full of pictures as well, but that doesn't change the fact that so many years of replies were wiped out all at once. 

 

I understand if there are technical limitations in place that would make it impossible/very difficult to do something like that, but if it's possible it would make for a better user experience. 

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29 minutes ago, BondiBlue said:

Would it be possible with the forum software to give users the option to delete only comments (and therefore leave topics online, just anonymized) when requesting account deletion?

 

Seeing such massive threads like the setup topic just disappear is quite frustrating. Now there is no way to go back and see anything anyone has ever posted in that thread. No way to see those photos. No way to get inspiration from setups that have been shared for years and years. That thread in particular isn't one I'm very concerned about, but I know there are others who like to look through it. Sure, the new one will eventually be full of pictures as well, but that doesn't change the fact that so many years of replies were wiped out all at once. 

 

I understand if there are technical limitations in place that would make it impossible/very difficult to do something like that, but if it's possible it would make for a better user experience. 

The first post in a topic is just a regular post, so the forum software doesn't support just deleting posts but not topics (it wouldn't really make sense in pretty much any situation to promote the second post to being the first, even if it were supported).

57 minutes ago, Neroon said:

Yeah that's the one.

 

I mean I understand wanting to allow people to deleted their profile and even posts, but either it should just move the the TS to 'Deleted account' or the second person posting. Afaik most forum software can deal with it, so I would assume this one should be able to as well.

Users get the choice about whether they want it changed to Deleted Member or have the actual posts removed. We encourage people not to delete their posts, but ultimately it is their data and their choice.

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48 minutes ago, colonel_mortis said:

The first post in a topic is just a regular post, so the forum software doesn't support just deleting posts but not topics (it wouldn't really make sense in pretty much any situation to promote the second post to being the first, even if it were supported).

Users get the choice about whether they want it changed to Deleted Member or have the actual posts removed. We encourage people not to delete their posts, but ultimately it is their data and their choice.

Which I think is great. But what about deleting the text of the message instead of the post itself.

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What if the deleted posts are replaced with a generic placeholder post like 'this post was deleted' so as not to bone up the thread post count everything else?

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The "post your setup" thread that's been used since 2013 just got nuked because the person who started it deleted their account. Surely there is a better way to handle this. Deleting one's own data is one thing, causing the deletion of many others' data without their consent is another. The setup pics thread was ultimately just an amusement, but if this happens with, say, a troubleshooting thread, then valuable advice that others could find in the future is lost. 

Your "PC master race" thing is cringe. 

 

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21 hours ago, Bitter said:

What if the deleted posts are replaced with a generic placeholder post like 'this post was deleted' so as not to bone up the thread post count everything else?

That would only add clutter to threads with lots of "this post was deleted" replies. As Mortis mentioned the forum doesn't differentiate between threads and replies so that would need to apply to every post the deleted account made including every reply. I think most people probably wouldn't want the clutter of a bunch of "this message was deleted" comments when trying to read a thread.

'megathreads' (such as the show off your setup thread) where it would make sense to preserve the post make up an extremely small portion of the threads/posts on the forum. For the vast majority of posts, such as all the new build threads, troubleshooting threads, which product to buy threads, etc once the original post is deleted the replies wouldn't serve much purpose on their own without the information the posts from the OP provided.

 

1 hour ago, Middcore said:

The setup pics thread was ultimately just an amusement, but if this happens with, say, a troubleshooting thread, then valuable advice that others could find in the future is lost. 

If the original post of a troubleshooting thread is deleted wouldn't a significant amount of context to the discussion be lost? Even if the replies were once helpful it's unlikely that they would be useful without the context given by the deleted posts.

 

 

I don't think deleting threads in general is an issue, it's only a problem when it's an extremely popular thread such as a pinned thread (as in this case) that is deleted.

I'm not sure if it's possible to implement, but what might help would be a check when deleting an account & posts to see if any of their threads are pinned. If they have any pinned threads don't allow them to proceed with deleting their posts. Prompt them to contact forum staff to either unpin it to allow them to delete their posts or we can arrange to preserve the pinned post by anonymising it and disassociating it from their account before they delete their account. 

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I rather have it say the message was deleted, then not see it at all, even in cases where it doesn't delete a topic. Because if you read something later on, and the post is just gone, it can feel like you are missing something... because you are, but you can't be certain. If you leave a deleted message, you at least know there was something.

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1 hour ago, Spotty said:

If the original post of a troubleshooting thread is deleted wouldn't a significant amount of context to the discussion be lost? Even if the replies were once helpful it's unlikely that they would be useful without the context given by the deleted posts.

 

 

I think quite a lot could be gleaned by the remaining context, especially if the thread title was relevant (a crapshoot on this forum, I grant) and preserved. 

 

At risk of being overly dramatic, I want to also reiterate my view that as a matter of principle, people who are not forum staff should not be able to, in effect, delete the posts of other users without their consent.

 

 

 

 

Your "PC master race" thing is cringe. 

 

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On pretty much every other forum I frequent, when a user deletes their account their posts are replaced with things like 'this user no longer exists' or similar.

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