Why is there no option to delete your forum account?

Looking around the preference page there seems to be no option to delete your user account. Seems rather suspect considering what this community advocates for. Other discourse based forums provide this option. What is your reasoning for disabling it?


Totally agree. There should be such option available.

This is interesting, I had an account before and I deleted it but on this account the option appears to be missing :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

It is quite weird, considering it is a Privacy forum. This could be a limitation of the platform used to power the forum.

It’s literally just a email and a password. Don’t disclose anything of high importance if that’s what your looking for. But yeah there should an option to delete our profiles.

I’m not aware of this.

Discourse does not provide this as a self-service option. From our /about page:

If you wish to have your account disabled and anonymized (all personal data removed) please message @jonah on this forum.

This is available for new accounts with no posts.

https://discourse.nixos.org/ is an example with an option to delete your account in preferences. I’ve seen others, but it is the one which I have an account on as of now (and therefore can check whether it exists).

Odd that it isn’t available as a self-service option in Discourse.

I agree it would be useful. :man_shrugging:


The ability to delete your own profile is imo very important! I hope the admins could take a look into this matter.


As no one mentioned, if it’s fixed or not:
Preferences -> Profile -> Delete Account

My account is brand new and I see the button.

I think as @Jonah said -

New accounts with no posts can be self-deleted by the user. Once the user has made a few posts and the account gets older, the self-delete option goes away.

I know why @Jonah

  1. Navigate to your admin panel
  2. Select users
  3. scroll until you see delete user self max post count and set the number incredibly high

The “delete account button” will be back until the user reaches this high post number (I don’t know why decided to implement it this way).

If you do that, please also consider adding a high number to delete all posts max to make sure users can also delete all of their postings as well, if they want to.

In general the ‘users’ section has a lot of settings that need to be adjusted for better privacy (I don’t know if you already did that, but just as a general information).

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Most of these settings were adjusted. I will have to double-check this. I think the problem is that if we enable user self-deletion the way you are suggesting, deleting your account will also automatically delete all the posts you’ve made, which is not ideal.

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As far I know ‘delete your account’ does only overwrite the user account with a random name and deletes all info in the bio, all likes etc. - so unfortunately no real deletion.

deleting your account will also automatically delete all the posts you’ve made, which is not ideal.

It depends. If the user may regrets what he wrote or if the info is outdated anyway…who cares?
I think deleting old post should be possible and also be part of a good data hygiene. Well isn’t that what we reach for? The possibility to take back of something you once wrote without having it stored forever?

I genuinely don’t see any benefit whatsoever in deleting all of your posts on the site, and at the same time I only see ways that it harms the community. When a user deletes all their posts it breaks conversations and makes threads unreadable, and we’ll eventually just end up with a bunch of topics that look like one person talking to themselves because half of the conversation is just missing.

This is how virtually every discussion platform on the internet handles account deletions (deletes accounts, leaves posts intact) because it is simply the best way to handle it. People already need to operate with the assumption that anything published on the internet is a permanent record, there are plenty of web archival tools which could back up all the posts on this site automatically, making post deletion kind of irrelevant to the poster’s point of view. All this does is make the community worse in order to provide 0 privacy gain to the original poster, i.e. it’s entirely pointless.

If a post can’t be associated with the original poster in any way, what is the incentive to delete it?

Interesting in hearing the community’s thoughts on the matter.

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Data hygiene doesn’t just mean deleting it also means having more accurate information.
Almost everything that is described in forums etc., especially in technical forums, will no longer be relevant in the next will have no more relevance in the next 5 years. Probably even in the next two years will have no relevance.

You also delete “wrong” information at the same time and prevent that someone still thinks it is up to date. Example 5 years ago xPrivacy was a great tool for Android, today it is useless.

People have (just like the way they speak) a very uniqueness writing style. We don’t know how far it can be analyzed soon. The GDPR points out that, for example, nicknames are just as private data as names. What if you signed your forum posts with your nickname and then your nickname was just overwritten? Your post will still be found. If you delete an account, you usually expect that all your information attached to it is or will be deleted as well.

It’s about being a good role model. There are still thousands of ancient forums where you can even directly access user data and private information. It’s about being a role model, that it can be done differently and that people see and understand that and maybe carry it out into the world of the old non-erasers. That creates much more privacy. Of course, there are archiving services, but they are seen very critically in Europe, for example, and we are trying to bring about changes here, so that
the network forgets better, because there are many reasons and dangers not to archive everything (but this is going too far in the argumentation right now). Someone has to start.

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