Russ Williams
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Damn it. I'm sincerely disappointed Pathirtle left, and sympathize with his frustration and the specific issue. I enjoyed reading various of his writings here.

But damn it, why did he, and various other people in the past, feel the need to dramatically delete all their many forum posts, reviews, session reports, etc? That is pointless destruction that just hurts other people. It also ironically destroys the very record of the recent debate he wanted to encourage about site policies.

Frustrating. I hope that Pat will reconsider this, and that it's possible to restore his content from a backup, even if he chooses to no longer participate at BGG.

This "slash and burn" approach that has happened several times is petty and disrespectful. Especially when so many other people took so much time to reply in comments to his content, and now all that work and effort and thought and hours of time spent by so many people is thrown away because one person decides to delete all his forum threads. Incidents like this make me wonder why I bother taking the time to respond in forum threads, when the thread's creator can decide at any time to just throw it all away.

I generally liked Pat and agreed with him. But this was just wrong IMHO.
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russ wrote:
Incidents like this make me wonder why I bother taking the time to respond in forum threads, when the thread's creator can decide at any time to just throw it all away.

We've actually taken steps to curb that. Unlike in the past, a user can no longer delete individual threads. Threads are deleted only when a user deletes their entire account, and thankfully, that is a rare occurrence.
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It happened because his account has been deleted.
 
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I know that it happened because his account was deleted.

I don't know why BGG permits a user who wants to delete his account to destroy all the comments that many people may have spent hundreds or thousands of hours adding. Especially when people who delete their accounts seem to usually be in an extremely agitated "fuck it all" kind of emotional state. Certainly it would be technically possible to let such a disgruntled user delete their own content, without deleting all the content of other users who spent time and effort to post in the user's thread, in good faith, not expecting that the user would suddenly decide to trash it all.

So I wonder why BGG permits account deletion to do this.

In the bigger picture I wonder why people who want to quit participating at a site like BGG sometimes decide to destroy. It just seems like extreme disrespect. In the case of Pat's recent debate about the moderation policy, I followed it with interest and agreed with many of his points, and I spent quite a lot of time reading and replying in a lot of comments. I am really surprised and disappointed that he chose to do the dramatic "slash and burn" approach. I know that many other people replied to many of his forum threads, reviews, session reports, etc also. Why do people feel the need to throw all that away just because they don't want to actively contribute here any more?

Besides if he wanted to raise awareness about the issue, it would be better to leave his threads and leave his account profile with information that he's no longer participating at BGG because of this issue, with links to the relevant forum threads.
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Yup, drives me nuts. The contributions belong to us *all*, not just the thread starter.

Even things like uploaded photos shouldn't be deleted when an account is deleted, as you've essentially gifted it to the BGG community.
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If I started disallowing deletions of the owner's posts, then I'll get a whole 'nother group of people angry at me.
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As a result Blott's GotW thread has been deleted. I guess it will be reinstated again though.

As I understood from the past there will be a chance that the content can be brought back, if Pat decides to come back one day. I don't know how likely that is though...
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Russ Williams
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Aldie wrote:
If I started disallowing deletions of the owner's posts, then I'll get a whole 'nother group of people angry at me.

Then let the owner delete his POSTS, just not the whole THREAD of comments by MANY OTHER users. I am unhappy that an angry user can delete dozens or hundreds of comments that I spent hours creating, and it's hard for me to see how one could justify this policy rationally.

What possible rational justification can there be for one angry BGG user to be able to delete all the content of hundreds of OTHER USERS in one fell swoop?
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I agree with you russ, it's sad that a user's contributions are removed (and in the process all replies to his contributions). It's a big loss for the community.

Isn't it possible to delete the account but retain the posts under a fake BGG account (one that can not edit/post or delete threads)?
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Steve Duff
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You don't even need to do that. Cancelling an account should just set a flag in the account that it can no longer log in. Or, change the password to some impossible to guess random lengthy string.
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I agree. If a user wants to delete his account then all his posts can be replaced with a system message stating that fact. But don't delete everything!

Why should someone having a temper tandrum get to delete posts I wrote? That hardly seems fair.
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You are right, it's not fair. I'll see what I can do about restoring the threads sans the deleted user.
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Russ Williams
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Aldie wrote:
You are right, it's not fair. I'll see what I can do about restoring the threads sans the deleted user.


Thanks, Aldie! thumbsup

It's not my business what Pat requested specifically, but if Pat didn't explicitly say that he wanted his own contributions deleted, please ask him if he would object to them being restored too (if that is technically feasible for you, e.g. by putting his account into a disabled state or whatever). I.e. maybe he wasn't thinking about the issue that deleting his account would also wipe out all this content.
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russ wrote:
It's not my business what Pat requested specifically, but if Pat didn't explicitly say that he wanted his own contributions deleted, please ask him if he would object to them being restored too (if that is technically feasible for you, e.g. by putting his account into a disabled state or whatever). I.e. maybe he wasn't thinking about the issue that deleting his account would also wipe out all this content.

I too find it hard to believe that Pat wanted his contributions to be deleted; it's a big loss to BGG, especially to wargamers.

Even if he did say that in a moment of anger, it seems like future account deletion requests (and perhaps this specific one too, cough cough) should require the user to confirm the request after a week-long cooling-off period or something, and only then would the account be deleted. That seems reasonable, and it gives the rest of us a chance to plead with the user in question.
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ScottE wrote:
I agree. If a user wants to delete his account then all his posts can be replaced with a system message stating that fact. But don't delete everything!


Like that! This seems to be an excellent idea which will evidence both the fact that a user has withdrawn his postings (for whatever reason), whilst still retaining the framework of the original thread/list to allow all readers to read and understand the core discussion points. From a simple viewpoint when reading these sort of threads it does help to know where an entry has been removed.

As an aside - losing Pat is a great shame. I always appreciated the points that he put forward, whether in agreement or otherwise, but I do find it sad that he felt he needed to take such a dramatic step in defence of a stance. Life ain't always fair - live with it.
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It seems possible that this user didn't realise deleting their account would delete all their contributions as well, I don't think this is standard message board behaviour.

Since this is probably rooted in the relational structure of the content here I'd suggest that contributions of an account that is deleted be orphaned. They would read as being created by or .
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"Are you sure you want to delete your account along with all your contributions from BoardGameGeek?

Yes / No"


(Emphasis by me)This is what you get when you hit the button "DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT" in the "Account" modus.

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Peter Van de Voorde
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As BGG is build around contributions, is it really needed to let people remove all their contributions? Maybe you can let them remove replies in threads but I wouldn't let them remove reviews/sessions and other contributions.
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Russ Williams
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G M K wrote:
"Are you sure you want to delete your account along with all your contributions from BoardGameGeek?

Yes / No"


(Emphasis by me)This is what you get when you hit the button "DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT" in the "Account" modus.


Note that it doesn't say "Are you sure you want to delete your account along with all your contributions AND ALL COMMENTS AND REPLIES BY ALL OTHER USERS from BoardGameGeek?
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Matthew Kloth
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There where never any contributions. That was a weather balloon.
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russ wrote:
G M K wrote:
"Are you sure you want to delete your account along with all your contributions from BoardGameGeek?

Yes / No"


(Emphasis by me)This is what you get when you hit the button "DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT" in the "Account" modus.


Note that it doesn't say "Are you sure you want to delete your account along with all your contributions AND ALL COMMENTS AND REPLIES BY ALL OTHER USERS from BoardGameGeek?




Yep, but faulty programming isn't something a user who wants his account and contribution deleted should care about - that's the administration's job imho.
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For those who missed the story: What "stance" was he "defending?"
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G M K wrote:
Yep, but faulty programming isn't something a user who wants his account and contribution deleted should care about - that's the administration's job imho.

Well yeah, that's my point; the warning message should have been more complete/explicit/clear.

But even so, he at least apparently knew he was deleting all his own contributions, which still seems pointlessly destructive to me. Clearly a lot of people were getting value and enjoyment from reading his reviews, session reports, and other comments. Why destroy all that?

If someone wants to quit being active at a website, there's a simple nondestructive way to do it: simply quit being active at the website. Don't slash and burn.
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swandive78 wrote:
For those who missed the story: What "stance" was he "defending?"

Background info about Pat's case is in another thread.
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No Exit wrote:
If he doesn't feel like he is getting the respect from Aldie or the Admins which he feels he deserves, he has every right in the world to take his content wherever he wants.

Sure he has the right. That doesn't mean it's a nice or good thing to do.

If you had a disagreement with some administrator at the Ubuntu forums, would you delete all your posts there, including helpful answers to new users?

If you had a disagreement with Jimbo Wales, would you delete all the edits you ever made to Wikipedia?

The contributions help other users, not just the admins.

And in any case, there's no justification for deleting all the work of OTHER users just because you're disgruntled with the admins.
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