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Why we don't delete accounts

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by , 12-26-2012 at 09:15 AM (3558 Views)
Recently someone asked for his account to be deleted. This usually happens if the account owner wants to leave, and wants to be noticed doing so. Kind of like slamming the door when you leave the room angry. It doesn't happen too often, but every now and again, we get this request. We never do so. There are a couple of reasons.

  1. Sometimes people leave, and then come back. Deleting their account in between would be a hassle. And yes, this happens more often than you would think.
  2. It would leave orphaned data in the database (data which is not linked to master records) which is generally a very bad idea. We could solve this by deleting everything linked to you, but we don't do that because of the next problem.
  3. Deleting the account and everything connected to it is like using balefire (a wheel of time reference). In TWOT books, balefire is a type of magic that erases not only the person, but also things they did retroactively. This creates more problems than it solves, because while the person is gone and part of what they did, didn't happen, they also influenced the lives of many others in many little ways. If we not only delete you, but also all of your posts, we'd still run into problems. Threads in which you ever replied would unravel. Your posts would be gone, but not the replies to your posts. Parts of the discussion would no longer make sense to the person reading them next. And if it was only you, that would not be too bad, but if more people ask to be deleted when they leave, older threads would slowly disintegrate completely.

For these 3 reasons, we don't do that.
If you no longer feel like participating, just stop logging in.
hornm, lz6, Morty and 12 others like this.


  1. mjsorkin's Avatar
    Maybe this is something to be handled via pm?

    Trimmy72 likes this.
  2. Pithor's Avatar
    Wouldn't closing i.e. deactivating an account work - like closing a thread - in case people would really want to have some sort of 'forum abandonment closure'?
  3. Bruno's Avatar
    There is no real option for deactivating an account. I can only delete it or ban it. Both are insatisfactory.
    Technically it is possible to create a new group which is like a banned account, but without displaying it as such.
    But then I have to wonder: why would I go through that effort, just to please someone who has already decided not to come back. They can already stop posting by stopping to post. I only have so much time every day to spend on SRP, and I'd rather spend it on people who are actually interested in being here.