How to handle 'delete me' people


Hey everyone. I run a forum based around an adult subject which i shall keep private (nothing illegal!) :)

We get members come and go all the time, however some people will come, post lots and lots of threads and posts, then request their account be deleted.

How do you deal with this type of person? If we delete their account, then all their threads/posts get deleted too, and we can end up with threads that don't make sense, if they are replying to that person etc.

Any advice would be great :)


Well-known member
Add into your terms of service that you don't accept account deletion requests, for that reason.

Then politely refuse to delete their account and instead, add it to a "deleted" user group.


Well-known member
We have this on our registration page:
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 even if you later decide to leave the board or request that your user account is suspended or closed.

We then have a "Deregistered" usergroup (with no permissions) that we put people into if they no longer wish to be active on our site.

We don't delete accounts / all of people's content for two reasons; 1) it ruins threads - 2) lots of people leave in anger and then ask for their account back later when they've calmed down.

Shaun :D

NB: We also have a very short edit time window to stop people going back over their post history and editing/deleting it. This restriction will be removed once post edit history becomes available in XF (soon!). ;)


Well-known member
I always ensure my TOS includes:-

Account Deletion Requests
Please do not ask for your account to be deleted if you no longer want to be a part of this site, as refusal often offends. If you find yourself in a situation where you no longer want to be an active member, switch off notifications and log out.


I find it really annoying when people ask for all their content to be deleted - if you don't want to share something with the world, then don't write it in a public forum! o_O I never remove content, but I will sometimes change their usernames to something obscure if they are concerned about privacy. This solution always seems to work well and keeps everyone happy!


Well-known member
You can request that and put it in your ToS all very well, but in some countries you're required by law to delete a users account when they request it. No ToS is gonna stand up to that.

Probably the best way to handle it is to delete the account but leave all the posts making them anonymous so it doesn't show who posted them. That way, discussions remain the same, but the deleted user is still happy.

I also recommend not making it tóó easy to let people delete their account. If you have to message an admin to get it deleted, some people will do it. If you just have to press a delete button on your profile, a lot more people will likely do it.


Well-known member
Account yes, posts, not so much. I'll gladly delete a user's account. But their posts will never be deleted. Have a problem with it? Should have read the terms of use when you signed up.


Well-known member
I dont delete an account, I put them in Banned with a message that they left.
I like Becky's solution of changing their name. The only thing is it could make them hard to ID later for us if it's the name you remember. I guess the new User Notes by Extra Licence would help there.


Well-known member
Part of our TOS:

Account Removal Requests
As a policy we do not prune user accounts, unless they have zero posts. We believe a user has actively decided to participate in a community, and understands that submitted content such as a profile, or a post, can be retained at our discretion (usage rights). Removal of accounts with post content would leave the conversations within threads incoherent and difficult to follow. In other words, once it's here, it's here, so be careful what you post.

Nine times out of ten it's simply a tirade. If you indulge it by removing the account, they wont return. If you leave it and send them a pm something like this, they probably will return.:

I understand it con sometime get heated in the forum. Even I need a break from time to time. Please take a few weeks away and then PM me after a week or so and I we can discuss the account removal. blah blah blah...

This forces a cooling off period and puts the ball back into their court.


Well-known member
If they want to play forum drama queen and rage quit, I'll gladly ban the account. Normally, that's as far as it goes. I think I've had two in the past 12 years that demanded the account be deleted. Which I happily obliged.

Adam Howard

Well-known member
I've had member demand I delete all their post and shared content, including quotes other people made of their post. :rolleyes: I simply refer them to our Terms of Service

....... you grant and its owners a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display said content through the site and services. You grant each user of a non-exclusive license to access your said content, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such said content under these Terms of Service. .......

....... you understand and agree that once said content is incorporated into other aspects of the Services by and/or its members, and its owners, is under no obligation to delete or ask or require other members to delete that said content, and therefore, it may continue to appear and be used through the Services indefinitely pursuant to an irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free license. ..........

We released our TOS here on XenForo as a document example of a TOS, a while back


Well-known member
Can you delete my content and account please.... oh that's right, I haven't been able to create one. :ROFLMAO:
I'll be glad when you open up registrations - even if for only a week!:love:

I have an add-on that needs further development that applies a global restriction on restricting downloads per post count which I'll need it to be adjustable on a per forum basis but it's a global restriction that applies to all attachments. It's senseless me opening registrations when members will only post crap for me to clean up because of the global limit which really isn't fair on them or me because I just marked them up as spam and they're banned. Atleast with the attachment download limit per forum I can allow them access to a majority of resources and restrict some but since the add-on (no fault of the author as I purchased it as it was developed) applies it globally (the restriction) so they tend to spam to reach the 10 post count to download.

That's just the way it is really and if needed the registrations will be disabled permanently if needed I'm not really fussed to be honest as the site is just a testbed. :p

Edit: Plus spam I was getting from other sources was too much it's just not worth it. (please don't link me to any spam prevention add-ons anyone) :D

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Edit: Plus spam I was getting from other sources was too much it's just not worth it. (please don't link me to any spam prevention add-ons anyone) :D
I know... I mainly pester you here if I need something. ;) One of these days I'm going to be forced to break down and purchase PhotoChop and learn how to use it. The more I do the less Gimp does. :ROFLMAO: