Implemented Username Change Request Reason

NicolasZN

Well-known member
I'm quite glad to see Username Changes coming to XF2.2 - but already have a suggestion to go along with it: a field for users to indicate the reason for the change.

My forum is a Harry Potter roleplaying forum where a username is a character name, so they usually have to indicate why that character's name is changing.

Until this is an option, we'll continue to have to use add-ons for name changes. :(
 
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Mr Lucky

Well-known member
A name change does not equal to a GDPR request. There are other reasons for a name change.
I originally joined here under my real name, then asked for a name change to actually anonymise myself. The team very nicely obliged, thanks 🙏
This was before GDPR but I believe now this would fall under some GDPR rights.
 

NicolasZN

Well-known member
I hope the staff are taking note of this suggestion for inclusion with the core feature in 2.2.
It feels like we've been pretty orderly about suggesting this and keeping the conversation here without outrage in the announcement topics - whereas the squeaky wheels of "I don't like the editor design" (which you can change yourself) got a lot of attention. :unsure: (I mean, come on, the got what they wanted - including a button change - and they're still going about it. 🙄 )
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
There is sometimes a privacy element (not wanting to be found via their real name/normal user name) but often it's just because they feel like it. It's very rarely done, at least in our experience, to disassociate with stuff they've said in the past.
I had a user who used to do precisely that on our predecessor board (request names changes and try to escape his past). He has never tried it with us because I think he knew none of our admins would cut him the slack.

I have also been a member on a board (technically still am but don't go there often anymore) where you had to actually put your old name in your sig or title or something like that. Forget how long that had to stay. Again, it was precisely that problem.
As per GDPR, people have the right be forgotten on the internet, and they don't have to provide a reason.
If your board falls under GDPR. And changing your name, as pointed out higher up in this thread, doesn't really mean you're forgotten. You retain the same userid number (see below). To truly be "forgotten" you'd have to start a new account and have your old one deleted.
I actually can't find a use case for this as each username is linked to an ID. If someone wanted to keep track of a user, all they'd need to do is remember the ID or bookmark the profile page; woody will always be 141, Ozzy 2527, alfa 63, and me, 187211. Whether you change your name from woody to steel, going to /woody.141 will redirect you to steel (or you can even put xxxx.141 and it'll still go to woody). The only way to prevent this is by removing IDs from the URL, like pretty much every other platform, and making it semi-permanent.
And even if it wasn't in the URL, an admin could still trace it with SQL queries I imagine. So, again, a username change isn't going to result in you being "forgotten", just obfuscate things.
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
And back to the OP, please yes. Our current process requires users to provide a reason when they email an admin for a change so I'd want that to be part of this, too.
 

frm

Well-known member
A name change does not equal to a GDPR request. There are other reasons for a name change.
...and a 'reason' would make for such a better GDRP process than having to go through other mediums such as bothering staff or using the contact form. :)

That said, reason ^upvoted.
 

frm

Well-known member
And even if it wasn't in the URL, an admin could still trace it with SQL queries I imagine. So, again, a username change isn't going to result in you being "forgotten", just obfuscate things.
That's fine as I'm sure even "right to be forgotten" with GDRP won't ever forget you as any admin should have a daily backup for 365 days (smaller forums), if not weekly or monthly, along with a yearly backup too. You will never truly be forgotten on the backend. That said, the quotes and URL will always trace back to you somehow unless you want to also add "frm" or "Mendalla" as a censored word. In most cases, it should be fine, but, try censoring "Mark" and someone speaking of Mark Zuckerburg in a post with it appearing as **** Zuckerburg. Quotes should be rebuilt along with a username change as that leads to less front-end (organic/doxing) tracing of a member since there is an attached ID, or, the ID should be removed from a profile and it just says that "the requested member doesn't exist" when someone goes to /members/frm/ after a name change; the ID, with persistence, will always link you back to someone with detailed information.
 
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Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
This has been added to XF 2.2 with an option to require a reason if desired:

 
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