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Add "delete user account" feature

NobodyIsHere

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Dec 21, 2006
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Please add a feature to the forum so users can archive all their personal information (including posts, blogs, etc.) and then permanently delete their accounts. This would help with security because people would be able to leave the forum without having to abandon all their information behind and/or leave unprotected & unmaintained "zombie accounts".

Facebook has an account archive download feature and supports full account deletion (including all posts) on demand. VCF needs this valuable feature too.

https://mashable.com/2014/07/02/how-delete-facebook/#rCq72M5puOqk

#deletefacebook

#deleteVCF
 

mbbrutman

Associate Cat Herder
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Hi Andrew,

No, and that's not going to happen either.

When you sign up here you know you are posting in a very public forum. This isn't a social network - unregistered guests can read and benefit from the content here. This is true for every web forum. Allowing users to just arbitrarily decide to delete everything they ever wrote creates massive, confusing gaps in the threads.

If you want security don't reuse a password. If you want anonymity don't use your real name.


Mike
 

NeXT

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-snip- The moderators are not your janitor. IF you want to ensure it can't be hijacked in future just ask for a ban and that will lock the account.
Deleting user accounts from a forum can cause all sorts of weirdness to the forum database, not limited to created threads where the OP no longer exists.
 
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mbbrutman

Associate Cat Herder
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Once again, no .. please do not encourage people to create large holes in the content on this site.

We have had people try to mis-use the edit feature to retroactively delete content. If the edit feature gets mis-used this way we'll delete it.

We've offered to change userids and do other things to protect privacy for people who need to withdraw. We delete posts with sensitive information all of the time. We will not create holes in legitimate, non-harmful content just because somebody throws a tantrum a few years later.
 

glitch

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I wouldn't count on clicking a "Delete" button on Facebook having any effect other than removing posts from regular users' viewing. Collecting, sorting, and selling personal data is after all their business model. You sign everything over to them for content you post when you create an account.

And yeah, totally a pain when someone deletes a chunk of forum history -- then I have to go to archive.org and find it :p
 

SomeGuy

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A problem, at least on some forum software, with "deleting" an account is that then someone can sign up with the exact same name and cause confusion. If the point was to avoid a hijacked "zombie" account, then deleting the account actually makes things WORSE.

Some forum software actually can delete an account without deleting content. This sort of "anonymizes" the old posts, but can still lead to quite a bit of confusion.

Of course, since posts on this forum are more than telling people what you ate for breakfast, you can't just delete content without creating gaping holes in important archive discussions.

All a person can really do is change the password to something really strong and hope hackers don't break in and steel them anyway, making zombie accounts. Of course, as long as this forum is active, moderators would probably catch such abuse.

Lol, I just tried to imagine a dying Facebook full of zombie accounts posting spammy gibberish.... it wouldn't be any different than it is now!

Besides, why would anyone want to leave VCFED? Kick up your feet and stay! You must staaaaaaaaayyyyyy :)
 

Caluser2000

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Can't imagine why you would want to leave this forum anyway ;) Its full of nice folk who have been very helpful over the years.
There has been the odd disruptive user, but they get sorted out pretty quick.
 

NobodyIsHere

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I wouldn't count on clicking a "Delete" button on Facebook having any effect other than removing posts from regular users' viewing. Collecting, sorting, and selling personal data is after all their business model. You sign everything over to them for content you post when you create an account.

And yeah, totally a pain when someone deletes a chunk of forum history -- then I have to go to archive.org and find it :p

Google and I think Facebook got sued in Europe for the "right to be forgotten" law compliance a few years back so they have to delete all user data when requested. At least all the data that's associated with your account. Whatever they've gathered outside your account is probably a different matter.
 

NobodyIsHere

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Can't imagine why you would want to leave this forum anyway ;) Its full of nice folk who have been very helpful over the years.
There has been the odd disruptive user, but they get sorted out pretty quick.

That's my business and none of your concern. The point is there should be some mechanism so users like me who choose to "wipe the slate clean" can do so without all the drama. As it is now joining VCF is like checking into Hotel California. You can check out but you can't ever leave. It leaves an electronic trail of breadcrumbs behind which while were innocently posted at the time now can cause problems. Fortunately none serious although who knows what the future holds the way things are going. I still routinely get requests for help on various topics, requests for PCBs, circuit designs, etc. even though I've been inactive for years. I can't just "move on" because it follows me.

The internet is a very different place now than when I joined in VCF 2006. I have requested VCF user account and user data deletion multiple times with no success. Were VCF in Europe I think they'd have to honor the request but no such luck in the US. Every other site I can think of where I've requested user account and user data deletion it has been honored and usually within minutes. Facebook and Google both have fairly good policies regarding the right to be forgotten and seem to take it seriously.

I suppose one day a user from Europe is going to request their user account and user data deletion and possibly then things will change. Maybe the laws will change in the US someday. I sure hope so.

PS, I've tried many times to edit/wipe/delete old posts but to no avail. They are locked after a few days or hours and are no longer editable. Unfortunately.
 
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NobodyIsHere

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Remember the old adage:
What goes on the internet, stays on the internet.

True that. Posting on internet forums is like getting a tattoo. They look cool for a little while but get ugly and gross with age.
 

SomeGuy

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If you are being harassed or bothered via the forum software, you can disable PMs. You can also disable notifications, or go so far as to change the forum e-mail to a disposable e-mail address and then ignore it.

Of course, it is a bad idea to come to a forum and use your real name. (You won't find SomeGuy in a phone book. :p )

Which is part of the reason some of these services are required to delete data - because they also require (or try to require) people to use their real name and other private data.

There is another forum/site I used to hang out on a long time ago and I still ocasionally get e-mail requests from their bug tracker about testing old things. I just ignore it. Never considered deleting my account there as I ocasionally pop in just to glance at the forum.
 

Caluser2000

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That's my business and none of your concern. The point is there should be some mechanism so users like me who choose to "wipe the slate clean" can do so without all the drama. As it is now joining VCF is like checking into Hotel California. You can check out but you can't ever leave. It leaves an electronic trail of breadcrumbs behind which while were innocently posted at the time now can cause problems. Fortunately none serious although who knows what the future holds the way things are going. I still routinely get requests for help on various topics, requests for PCBs, circuit designs, etc. even though I've been inactive for years. I can't just "move on" because it follows me.
Deleting your email address from your Settings will stop that I'm sure.

You know its funny but this seems to be the only thread I can reply to or make a post in.
 
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mbbrutman

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The European "right to be forgotten" does not apply here. If you read the case law you will find that you can petition search engines to remove links to personal or unpleasant information, such as criminal convictions. While search engines are required to delink to that content, the original content remains as is - just not indexed.

We are in the US too. There is a small matter of jurisdiction.

I understand you are not pleased with the answer (again). This has been going on for a few years. We've offered to search for and scrub your email address. We can probably change the userID you used here to obfuscate things. But we're not going to wholesale delete 2000+ posts - that is not reasonable.
 
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Caluser2000

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True that. Posting on internet forums is like getting a tattoo. They look cool for a little while but get ugly and gross with age.
Does that mean you've made some posts you've regretted? I'm sure you were a valuable contributor, from what I can gather, who knew the risks of posting on a forum entails.
 
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NobodyIsHere

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Posts that I regret? Of course I regret every post I've ever made on VCF. Knowing what I know now if I could go back in time I wouldn't have joined VCF to begin with much less posted anything. This would be a much better solution had I just avoided VCF altogether but there is no way to fix that now. There is no mechanism to go back and remove discussions that took place years ago and are still available for people to comment on, contact me, etc. I'll admit, I consider joining and posting on VCF a mistake and would like some way to "wipe the slate clean" -- thus the request.
 

Caluser2000

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Why are you bothering to make new posts then? Seems contradictory. As mentioned above by two of us just remove your email address. That way PMs wont be past on.
 
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