Delete account

  • HW9988

    New Member
    german
    Thank you for your response.

    (European) laws tell that everyone who wishes to delete accounts, should be able to do it.
    So there should be no debate about whether or not it is possible or whether or not it will reduce the functionality of this Forum.
     

    mkellogg

    Administrator
    English - US
    We don't delete accounts. We have no personally identifiable information about you, so it is not required by law. The only information that might identify you that we have is your email address. It is your responsibility to change that in the system yourself.
     

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    Thank you for your response.

    (European) laws tell that everyone who wishes to delete accounts, should be able to do it.
    So there should be no debate about whether or not it is possible or whether or not it will reduce the functionality of this Forum.
    Can you provide a link citing the relevant law?
     

    mkellogg

    Administrator
    English - US
    It is a common misconception that users can ask that everything be deleted. The truth is that all personally identifiable information needs to be deleted and we have no idea who this person is, we have no personally identifiable information. There is nothing to identify him other than maybe his (or her?) email address, which the user can change him- or herself.
     

    HW9988

    New Member
    german
    We don't delete accounts. We have no personally identifiable information about you, so it is not required by law. The only information that might identify you that we have is your email address. It is your responsibility to change that in the system yourself.
    Thank you for your comment and willingness to discuss this.
    I cannot delete my email address, I can only change it. In what way will there be no link to my identity if I can only use email addresses used by me?
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Thank you for your comment and willingness to discuss this.
    I cannot delete my email address, I can only change it. In what way will there be no link to my identity if I can only use email addresses used by me?
    You can use a non existent e-mail address.
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    What is the point of not deleting accounts actually?
    It is explained in the post I linked to, but I'll recap:

    Posts that you have made, are anchored to your account. If the account is deleted, the posts are either orphaned or they get deleted if their anchorpoint disappears (what happens, depends on the software and I don't know what Xenforo does with it). In any case, your posts will disappear from the threads you participated in and the thread becomes unusable for the community because part of the conversation will be missing.

    When you signed up to the forum, you agreed to the rules of this forum.
     

    HW9988

    New Member
    german
    Last point you made is a weak argument. There's always room for improvement, in my opinion. I did agree, but what if I do not agree anymore (since I became older and wiser :) ?
    I can understand your first thought of unusable threads a bit. What if all the threads I used (in this case only 2) can just also be deleted?
    Also, I think that the email address is still a bit of a 'grey' area. It is identifyable information, and if I change it to another email address not linked to me, I give my account away to someone else, who already is using or will use that email address in the future.
     
    When you signed up to the forum, you agreed to the rules of this forum.
    Precisely, and rule #16 clearly states that

    Each member is responsible for his/her own posts.
    Messages posted at this site are the sole opinion and responsibility of the poster.
    You agree not to hold WordReference or its members liable for anything stated within the forums.
    When a message is placed in WordReference or its forums, you are granting an irrevocable license to the site to use it in perpetuity.
    Any translations, definitions and explanations that you provide can be used by WordReference.com to integrate into its dictionaries and other reference material
    .

    This request has already been discussed at length

    Is it possible to delete an account?
     

    HW9988

    New Member
    german
    Dear Paul, you can repeat the rule a thousand times, but I just want to discuss about the rule. About whether it should be changed, and I don't see any reason why you wouldn't want to change the rule.
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Stop complaining. It won't change things.

    When you signed up to the forum, you agreed with its terms. This is like a contract.

    It's the site's owner's right to protect his investment the way he deems necessary as long as he does not break any law, and he does not. Don't count on GDPR to support your opinion: this site does not keep any personal data.

    Why is it so difficult to abide by the rules you agreed to?

    If you think Internet is for free and comes without obligations, think again.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I just want my information on internet to be deleted
    Other than this thread, I see exactly one post by you: This chapter is placed after/behind the other chapter.. If you have a strong reason for that post/thread to be deleted, you are welcome to report the post and make your case. Moderators do not automatically delete content upon the poster’s request, but the moderators of the forum in which you posted will carefully consider your request and may grant it if they find your case convincing.

    That said, there is nothing in that post that gives away your identity.
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    That said, there is nothing in that post that gives away your identity.
    Perhaps he/she is bothered by his/her nickname which he/she might have used to do some other things he/she wants to hide from the world.

    Just a guess.
     
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    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I think that the email address is still a bit of a 'grey' area. It is identifyable information, and if I change it to another email address not linked to me, I give my account away to someone else, who already is using or will use that email address in the future.
    You could always open a new email account (under a different name, or your initials if you don't want to make up a name), link that to your forum account and then never use that email address again.

    I did agree, but what if I do not agree anymore (since I became older and wiser :) ?
    If everyone started using that argument, no contract would have any sanctity anymore.
     

    Stoggler

    Senior Member
    English (Southern England)
    I don't see any reason why you wouldn't want to change the rule.

    It’s been explicitly explained why accounts can’t be deleted, as it mucks up existing threads. It’s also been explained that they you can change your email address on the system to one that simply does not exist. It’s not complicated, and there’s no personal information that you haven’t personally given voluntarily.

    Dear Paul, you can repeat the rule a thousand times, but I just want to discuss about the rule.

    You can also make a request a thousand times, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be changed.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I've noticed since the upgrade that banned users' profiles are inaccessible. Perhaps you could satisfy HW9988 through banishment. :)
     

    User717347

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Regularly a number of people want to delete their WordReference Forum account. My suggestion is to implement a feature similar to Reddit where the account can be deleted so the user is unable to log in to their account and their username is changed to 'deleted' so that they are anonymous. Another option is to let people change their username on their own immediately or in a set period of time rather than them being required to contact moderators to do so who add it to a list of usernames that are to be changed in batches at an unstated time. This would be helpful to people who want to have their account deleted and at the same time not delete their threads and comments so that there are no gaps in threads. At the same time, while it is true that WordReference Forums does not ask for personally identifiable information of members, if their username is their actual name that is personally identifiable information and currently it is difficult for members to change their username. Members are able to easily change their email, so if they could similarly change their username that would be useful. Also, letting people change their username independently would be easier for moderators as well as they would no longer be required to manually add people's username change requests to lists.
     
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    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    The idea that members should be able to change their own usernames is horrendous.
    Fortunately the vast majority of members are bona fide, genuine people who are interested in languages. Sadly there is a (very) small minority of spammers, trolls and troublemakers. We mods already have our work cut out keeping track of them. Imagine that they could swap identity at will. It would be a nightmare to monitor their behaviour.
     

    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English - U.S. (Texas)
    The idea that members should be able to change their own usernames is horrendous.
    Sorry, that's not what I meant to express support for. I understand that that would be awful.

    But allowing members some way to "delete" their accounts (which would not necessarily imply deleting all their messages, which would be impractical and disruptive) could be a good option.

    I do realize and understand that it is unlikely to be implemented.
     

    Sowka

    Forera und Moderatorin
    German, Northern Germany
    But allowing members some way to "delete" their accounts (which would not necessarily imply deleting all their messages, which would be impractical and disruptive) could be a good option.
    I don't understand what the benefit might be. If I don't want to participate in the forums any longer, I simply stop posting. :)

    As a user of the dictionaries and forums, when I see contributions by members, I evaluate several criteria: Is the contributor a native speaker of the language(s) being discussed? Have I, over time, got the impression that they contribute well thought-out posts? All this is linked to the username. When I see certain usernames, I know that I can most probably trust the information they provide.

    I think that many regular users of the dictionaries and forums do something similar. All this valuable information would disappear if members simply became "deleted". Moreover, the label "deleted" wouldn't look very trust-inspiring if I were a new user. ;)
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    For similar reasons, I don't even like the very occasional and infrequent user name changes that happen here. Often, old posts refer to the old user name, and this is confusing because sometimes you don't realize it's the same person. Unlike avatars, for example, which never form any part of the body of a post, user names ARE often used in the body of posts and don't get updated when a user name changes.

    The forum's quality and usefulness as a reference source and linguistic database are reduced by these kinds of discrepancies and confusions.
     
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    fenixpollo

    Senior Member & Moderator
    American English
    Regularly a number of people want to delete their WordReference Forum account. My suggestion is to implement a feature similar to Reddit where the account can be deleted so the user is unable to log in to their account and their username is changed to 'deleted' so that they are anonymous. Another option is to let people change their username on their own immediately or in a set period of time rather than them being required to contact moderators to do so who add it to a list of usernames that are to be changed in batches at an unstated time. This would be helpful to people who want to have their account deleted and at the same time not delete their threads and comments so that there are no gaps in threads. At the same time, while it is true that WordReference Forums does not ask for personally identifiable information of members, if their username is their actual name that is personally identifiable information and currently it is difficult for members to change their username. Members are able to easily change their email, so if they could similarly change their username that would be useful. Also, letting people change their username independently would be easier for moderators as well as they would no longer be required to manually add people's username change requests to lists.
    The other option, which is our standard procedure for new members, is for the person to re-register a new account and stop using the other account. That way they can keep participating with a new username of their choice.

    Like User With No Name, I'm intrigued by your other suggestions. The problem I foresee with allowing usernames to change to "anonymous" or "deleted" is that it would be hard to differentiate posts by different ex-users. If you were reading a thread where two of the users had "self-deleted" their accounts as you suggest, then multiple posts in the thread would have been posted by "anonymous". So there would need to be a way to tell them apart. And any references to their former username would be confusing -- if one of the replies agreed with a now-anonymous post by saying, "As Fulano said above", you wouldn't know who Fulano was or which one of the self-deleted accounts had been Fulano. And what if all the users in a short thread had self-deleted their accounts, and all of the posts in the thread now appeared like they were posted by "anonymous"? I'm not saying it's impossible, but there would be technical hurdles.
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I understand that in the EU, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a big deal. Part of it is that users have the right to force companies to delete their accounts (old term: the right to be forgotten, new term: the right to erasure). In my business, we can't literally delete a user's data as it's our customer's accounting data, but we have to provide a way to completely disconnect a user from the user's identifying information within the system. It's necessary for us to change their username because it might be an email address or a username that they use somewhere else, etc and thus could be used to identify them.
     
    . It's necessary for us to change their username because it might be an email address
    Also to avoid that, new members cannot register a username that is also an email address.
    Nothing that is any way promotional may be placed in posts, avatars, user names or signatures, including but not limited to: promotional statements, e-mail addresses, URLs or links; or references to any of these; or references to products, services, ideologies, religions, candidates or organizations.
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    And, of course, you're also preventing them from using their passport number, their real name, their address, their mother's maiden name, ...

    People can and do register with their real life name as their username.
    With all due respect to those who have done it, it's no good then complaining about lack of privacy.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    People can and do register with their real life name as their username.
    With all due respect to those who have done it, it's no good then complaining about lack of privacy.
    If you're doing business in the EU and an EU citizen demands that their account be "deleted" under EU law, you have to do it. This website doesn't currently have to comply with that, but some websites do.
    It's not their privacy while they are actively using the website that is an issue. It's when they demand their "right to erasure."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Myridon raises an interesting point. Google tells me that "personal data" is defined quite broadly under the GDPR.
    ----
    cross-posted
     
    It's when they demand their "right to erasure."
    From the WR rules:

    Each member is responsible for his/her own posts.
    Messages posted at this site are the sole opinion and responsibility of the poster.
    You agree not to hold WordReference or its members liable for anything stated within the forums.
    When a message is placed in WordReference or its forums, you are granting an irrevocable license to the site to use it in perpetuity.
    Any translations, definitions and explanations that you provide can be used by WordReference.com to integrate into its dictionaries and other reference material.
    Use of your Content
    You are granting us with a non-exclusive, permanent, irrevocable, unlimited license to use, publish, or re-publish your Content. Understand that your contributions could be used in a variety of ways that may not be apparent to you or us including AI, machine learning and machine translation. Your contributions to a dictionary forum will be used in the WordReference dictionaries.

    Users must accept these terms and conditions upon registration.
    When they choose to register an account on WR, they know that their messages/accounts will never be removed. If they don't find these terms and conditions acceptable, they are free not to register an account on WR.

    You can't have your cake and eat it :)
     

    jann

    co-mod'
    English - USA
    WordReference Forums does not ask for personally identifiable information of members, if their username is their actual name that is personally identifiable information and currently it is difficult for members to change their username.

    The forum registration form says "No real names!" ;)

    It also requires people to check the box that they accept the privacy policy and the terms, including the one quoted by PaulfromItaly about how posting on the forums means you are granting an irrevocable license to WordReference to use the content you submit. Forum posts are not protected "personal data"; they are public messages on a public discussion board.

    People who have concerns about their username should read the FAQ entry.
    • If they're eligible for a username change, they should follow the instructions there and wait patiently for Mike, our administrator, to handle the matter.
    • If they are too "junior" to be eligible, they can abandon their account and re-register... as mentioned above by fenixpollo.
    • Users who feel their situation involves a special privacy concern or other unique consideration -- including those who entered their real name as their pseudo despite the explicit warning at registration -- should click the "Contact Us" link and make their case.
     

    ItalianoErrante

    New Member
    Italian
    When they choose to register an account on WR, they know that their messages/accounts will never be removed. If they don't find these terms and conditions acceptable, they are free not to register an account on WR.

    You can't have your cake and eat it :)
    Italian here as well.

    I see you are not familiar with EU data protection regulation. This forum is actually in breach of GDPR because email address is a personal information per se. You cannot know if it is true or false, and you have to act as if it is true based on what the user/customer declared at registration (or later).

    Any user has the RIGHT to obtain the deletion of any personal information provided, unless they are strictly necessary to provide the services the user requested. Once they are provided, or when the user asks to cancel his/her membership, they must be deletes upon request.

    I am rather pissed off, and I am thinking of reporting the issue to relevant authorities.
     

    jann

    co-mod'
    English - USA
    email address is a personal information per se.

    Unlike the content of public forum posts, email addresses are indeed "personal data" under the GDPR.

    But you don't need to request deletion or file a complaint if you want to remove your email address from your WordReference forum account. Instead, this is a self-service situation, because you control the personal information in your forum profile: just edit your account details to delete the email and replace it with a fake/junk address. :)

    A valid email address is strictly necessary to provide services (i.e., posting ability) to forum members. If you put a fake email on your account, you will find that the forum software prevents you from posting messages once it detects the email is invalid. However, this won't matter if you no longer wish to use forum services.

    If you have further GDPR concerns, I suggest that you write to the WR administrator using the Contact Us form linked in the footer of this and every page. All the moderators here are just volunteers, as the expression goes.
     

    The_Seeker

    New Member
    English
    From the WR rules:




    Users must accept these terms and conditions upon registration.
    When they choose to register an account on WR, they know that their messages/accounts will never be removed. If they don't find these terms and conditions acceptable, they are free not to register an account on WR.

    You can't have your cake and eat it :)
    99% of people don't even click onto the terms and conditions page when registering, let alone scroll all the way down to where it says that. And I think you all know that.

    The clause that everything we write here is the property of the site owner, to be used however he wishes, should be in bold letters on the registration form. Somehow I think the vast majority of the people here would have no idea that this is the case if you quizzed them on it.
     
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    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Dublin, Ireland)
    I don't think that matters. It seems fair, however, to allow people to delete their username and other account-related information but keep the individual posts. "Deleted account" would then replace the username. This, surely, would satisfy all sides.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    99% of people don't even click onto the terms and conditions page when registering,
    The people who haven't read the agreement also haven't read the actual GDPR regulations and especially how they apply to entities that are not located in the European Union. If the entity isn't actually "doing business" in the EU, the rules don't apply at all. The regulations mostly apply to personally identifying information, not to information that you have "donated" to the website. I work for a company that provides expense reporting software. If an EU user of an installation of our software in the EU requested to be deleted, we obscure their name, login, email, and a few other things. We cannot delete the fact that an unknown ex-employee spent 1000 euros at X hotel on Jan 23. That data belongs to our customer, not the user. Our customer cannot do business if the records of how their money was spent are constantly disappearing.
     
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