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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:53 pm 
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Recently, an experienced poster decided to leave the board and asked that his account be deleted. I declined for reasons I'll get into below. This good man (no irony here) has expressed concern about what he refers to as a Hotel California situation: "you can check out anytime you want but you can't ever leave."

On very, very rare occasions, board members decide to leave the board and ask C&F moderators (including me) to delete their accounts and/or purge their posts. I've declined to do that, particularly for a member who has posted extensively. The nature of a thread is a post, responses to the post and quoting of the original post, responses and quotes of responses and so on. If there was a way, technically to erase these posts with the push of a button, many threads would be rendered incomprehensible.

It is possible, clearly, to delete an account, although it is rarely done except to spam registrants. When an account is deleted, every post stays on the board, but the name shown of the posting member reverts to "Guest." When a member has posted extensively, this yields an archive which includes lots of posts by a mysterious "Guest." I don't think that's a good thing. Furthermore, if two or more people who have posted a lot ask for deletion, all of those posts would sort of be fused together as if by this one mysterious "Guest."

There's no agreement on the front end that we'll erase the tracks of a person who decides to leave.

So, the Hotel California analogy is a little rough. You can check out, you can leave, but we're not going to tear up the paper trail associated with you being in the Hotel.

So. Welcome to the Hotel California.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:20 pm 
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Such a lovely place.


Sounds fair to me. I suppose there could be a way to lock an account, so that the poster cannot come back in under the same registration after the requested closure, and so that no-one can contact them through this set of boards, if they wanted it shut that much, but I totally agree that what a member has posted is then part of the whole, and should remain that way. Of course, exceptions are the rule... but for a basic set-up, this is why many sites make you relinquish your hold to anything you post there, except for copyright purposes.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:29 pm 
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I completely agree with your reasoning---I'm sure you'll rest better knowing that :lol: . It would be a disaster to delete someone's posts. Many people here search for information and it would cause them a lot of trouble to be coming across nonsense and confusion caused by deleting posts. It is hard enough to follow threads in any case. I can understand a person deciding not to participate, but a request like that is really sort of like taking your ball and going home.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:34 am 
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Good for you Dale. This shouldn't be a place where a person could
just take his balls and go home, as it were. We would all be poorer
if we lost the knowledge shared with us. I think it's somewhat petty
for a person to think he or she can just take back his or her knowledge
once it has been given. Perhaps the agreement shown during registra-
tion needs a section about posts becoming property of C&F, etc.
This is very common on other (esp. commercial) boards.

Although, if the person was really listening, you've given them the
way out: They just need to spam the board mercilessly, and you'll
delete the account, per your own statement.



Wow... I'm rambley this morning...


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:29 am 
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As I recall, something like this, perpetrated by a more experienced poster, and involving, I think, his own painstakingly thorough removal of all of his own posts, did indeed cause a lot of confusion. It is not a good idea.

If you said something you regret in a post, you can edit it, but to remove all posts is an extreme thing. Best thing, usually, is to be sure you only say what you really mean, don't post sensitive material, and don't make personal attacks. Saves a lot of time, heartache and 'face'. :)

That said, though, I can imagine a case where someone, especially someone inexperienced on the web, might suddenly realize how vulnerable they are on public forums, and freak out... especially if they shared info of a sensitive nature.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:26 pm 
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At another place I hang out, one of the admins decided to leave and she had the ability to thoroughly remove all her own posts. Needless to say, it caused a lot of grief for eveyone. The only things left were where she was quoted. She had the power to take those too, but she exhibited the good sense to leave them.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:59 pm 
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In 2004-ish I left TheSessiondotarrgh in high dudgeon (I jumped, contrary to what has occasionally been alleged!), and Jeremy deleted every post I'd ever posted (I've rejoined since). When I want to amuse myself and really want to sink into that "Steve, for Pete's sake get a bloody life" mode I look back on the threads my posts were deleted from and derive great amusement from the way they've been rendered completely nonsensical. If you really want to make yourself utterly unrecognisable in a forum before you leave you should change your user name to something ridiculous like Boo-boo Bear or something, then butt out. But you can't really expect to have all your posts deleted!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:35 pm 
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the C&F forum is not set to allow the changing of the user name by the user.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:38 pm 
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Oh. Cheers, Sarge! :oops:

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"Last night, among his fellow roughs,
He jested, quaff'd and swore."

They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the life that'll never, never die.
I'll live in you if you'll live in me -
I am the lord of the dance, said he!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:54 pm 
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yep...you need to talk one of the powers into changin' it to "Boo-boo Bear" :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:24 pm 
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It wouldn't surprise me if the entire forum contents are archived at Google anyway. Once you press the submit button, things you say on the net become a permanent part of cyberspace, for better or for worse.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:14 pm 
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:o we do like to pretend that no one is watching :o


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:42 am 
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Image Zombie thread want braaaaains.....


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:18 pm 
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eganglion wrote:
It wouldn't surprise me if the entire forum contents are archived at Google anyway. Once you press the submit button, things you say on the net become a permanent part of cyberspace, for better or for worse.


Ever tried to google something specifically tin whistle? You'll find a surprising number of references to this board.

Don't believe me? Search google for "Hotel California analogy" and see where it takes you... :devil:

A good friend of mine had a project at university, some 6 years ago; they had to design a web page and put it online. After the class was over, they deleted it from their servers. Even after all these years you can still find one of their earlier versions via goolge... Scary, isn't it? :boggle:

For those who don't like the "Hotel California" concept or feel too young for it, try to sell it as the "Karma Hotel". 8)

*sings*:
"Karma Hotel lobby, and I'm lookin' for enlightenment/
Concierge, where can I go to find adventure and excitement?/..."


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:57 am 
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All seems fair enough to me.

At Mandolin Cafe the users get a 3 hour window during which they can edit their posts. After that it's all set in stone for posterity. That's causing some unrest over there, but I think it's perfectly fair. Why should people not be held responsible for what they post? And why should threads to which they posted be subject to context scrambling just because someone decides to leave the board in a huff and take their contributions with them?

I think the 3 hour thing is a great idea. As things are here (I think) the only way the admins can only stop someone from systematically nixing their input is by deactivating their account. Which means that someone could pretty much scrub most of one's contribution back catalogue before anyone intervened. The time limit thing prevents that.

In serious cases where there is a genuine reason for wanting a post edited or removed later, admins can still help.

As usual, the C&F approach is less conservative and leaves more personal choice.

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