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How Do You Handle a Account Deletion Requests?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by System0, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. System0

    System0 Active Member

    I got a request from a user today for me to delete their account. I'm curious as to how other forum owners handle requests such as this.

    Do you instantly delete the account or requested?
    Do you ask for them to confirm and stress that it cannot be undone?
    Do you ask if they would prefer for their username to simply be changed so that they can deactivate the account at a later date?
    Do you charge an administration fee to discourage more requests?

    It's not something I get many requests for. In the past, when I've asked the user to confirm that they wanted their account deleted, they have backed down as it was just them feeling frustrated to an argument with another forum member (argument, different views on issues etc).

    So how do you go handle deletion requests?

    Kevin
     
  2. denisx04

    denisx04 Active Member

    On my board I don't delete accounts period. I made sure I included it in the rules when they signed up, so whenever we get a request we deny it and point them to the rules where that they agreed to.
     
    Luke F likes this.
  3. Null

    Null Well-Known Member

    Here's an add-on that seems to suit your situation, it allows users to self-delete themselves but you can set x days grace period in case they change their mind: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/user-self-delete.1454/.

    P.S. if a user wants their account 'deleting', I'd remove personal information, change the username, remove avatar and revoke access, but keep content.
     
  4. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Thanks for the reply guys. It's something that I haven't seen discussed much elsewhere.

    What about the legal side of things? Could a user force content to be deleted if they wanted?

    I'd say that Null's suggestion of simply renaming the account and removing all personal information seems the most practical solution.
     
  5. Null

    Null Well-Known Member

    Hm, in terms of the legal side of things; it varies from country to country.

    The UK for example: http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/the_guide/principle_6?hidecookiesbanner=true

    Though, removal all personal data and only retaining posts/threads should satisfy most laws.
     
  6. bobs409

    bobs409 Active Member

    I simply comply with their request. It's rare anyone asks me but if they want out, I see no reason not to grant that.
     
  7. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    Only 3 people have requested for removal of their accounts in the past 7 years and they had 0 posts. I deleted their accounts in a blink of eye.
     
  8. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Out of interest, would you deal with the issue in the same manner if those three people had thousands of posts.
     
  9. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    I rename their account and set their whole profile on private using their privacy settings. I do not delete content at their request but I would like to allow them to control their thread and post privacy. This can only be done through an addon that I've requested here: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/posts-and-threads-to-follow-member-privacy-settings.42004/


    Members who want their account deleted do so either cause they got upset during an argument or they are embarassed about their post history due to a new relationship. Instead of deletion they should just be allowed to hide it. I have done so for some members by converting their threads to blogs and setting them as private so that if they change their mind they can come back and I'll convert them back to threads if they want.

    Its really just better to let them control their privacy. Once I get this addon made I'll reopen my forum to the public. It's private for now. I swear I've had far less issues and far less moderating needed by simply putting privacy in their own hands. My community pretty much governs itself while I play around with addons and themes.
     
    System0 likes this.
  10. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    Nope. I'd not delete their accounts if they had lots of posts.
     
    System0 likes this.
  11. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Thanks for all the feedback guys.

    I followed your advice and changed the username, email and password. I also deleted the avatar and removed any other information connecting the member to the account.
     
  12. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    We state in our registration terms that we don't delete accounts. When a request comes in we put them in a "Deregistered" usergroup and de-personalise the user profile.

    If they later decide they want to come back, we can resurrect the account and away they go again (it's surprising how often that happens).
     
  13. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Out of interest, what template is it we need to modify to change registration terms and conditions? I may follow your lead and do the same on my forum :)
     
  14. Amaury

    Amaury Well-Known Member

    It's a phrase.

    Search for part of the text in Admin CP > Appearance > Search Phrases and phrase it accordingly.
     
    System0 likes this.
  15. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    I created a new phrase - registration_terms - and added all the wording I wanted people to see when registering; including a section about user accounts:

    Code:
    <p>Terms stuff ...</p>
    <p>To maintain a proper record of conversations the owner of this board does not delete user accounts. You agree that all material you submit will remain in the database and on display in the forums even if you later decide to leave the board or request that your user account is suspended, closed or removed.</p>
    <p>... rest of terms.</p>
    
    I then modified the template - register_form - replaced:

    Code:
    <dl class="ctrlUnit submitUnit">
    <dt></dt>
    <dd>
    
    .. with ...

    Code:
    <dl class="ctrlUnit submitUnit">
    <dt>Terms:</dt>
    <dd>
    
    ... and then replaced ...

    Code:
    <xen:if is="{$tosUrl}">
    <ul>
    <li>
    <div class="text">{xen:phrase i_agree_to_terms_and_rules, 'checkbox=<input type="checkbox" name="agree" value="1" id="ctrl_agree" class="Disabler" />', 'terms_attributes=href="{$tosUrl}" target="_blank"'}</div>
    <ul id="ctrl_agree_Disabler">
    <li><input type="submit" value="{xen:phrase sign_up}" accesskey="s" class="button primary" id="SubmitButton" /> {xen:raw $timerHtml}</li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    </ul>
    
    ... with ...

    Code:
    <xen:if is="{$tosUrl}">
    <ul>
    <li>
    <div>{xen:phrase registration_terms}</div>
    {xen:phrase i_agree_to_terms_and_rules, 'checkbox=<input type="checkbox" name="agree" value="1" id="ctrl_agree" class="Disabler" />', 'terms_attributes=href="{$tosUrl}" target="_blank"'}
    <ul id="ctrl_agree_Disabler">
    <li><input type="submit" value="{xen:phrase sign_up}" accesskey="s" class="button primary" id="SubmitButton" /> {xen:raw $timerHtml}</li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    </ul>
    
    NB: You may need to play with this a bit to get it right. (y)
     
    System0 likes this.
  16. denisx04

    denisx04 Active Member


    Or go in the simple route

    ACP-APPEARANCE-PHRASES- SEARCH terms_rules_text

    and just edit all the extra stuff you want in and out then log out, click sign up and see if it worked. Worked for me :)
     
    System0 and Amaury like this.
  17. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure that's the right phrase to edit - I think that refers to your site "Terms and Rules" @ www.yoursite.com/help/terms

    It may also be used on the registration page (I've modified all of mine to use my custom phrase so I can't be sure) but providing you make a backup of the phrase before changing it you should be okay. (y)
     
  18. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    You don't need to back up phrases, they can always be reverted to the original.
     
    Liam W, CyclingTribe and Amaury like this.
  19. Luxus

    Luxus Well-Known Member

    Personally I think renaming an account and changing the passwort is a bad idea as there is always the chance of users changing their mind at some point and want their accounts back. If they have no posts, no likes or anything they are basically stub accounts and can be deleted. If forum admins get requests from users to delete their accounts but don't want to, I suggest offering them just to close their accounts. Note I use the word close and not ban. Banning someone is generally seen as something negative and when people get banned as a result of a request your community always thinks the banned one in question did something bad and deserved a ban. A closed account however isn't necessarily seen as something bad. So I suggest making a new usergroup for closed accounts and put people who requested an account deletion in there. You can manage them easier this way and "closed" people can sleep better with the assurance of them knowing they are not part of the community anymore and weren't banned because they did something wrong. Plus they know they could always come back if they want to.
     
    System0 likes this.

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