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I am fully aware of the process to close an account, but with the amount of new SE sites popping up under certain circumstances users may want to close or remove their accounts from one or more SE sites. Just because a user is a member of one site does not mean they have to be a member of every site. For example:

  • A user joins a community and realises they no longer want to be part of it.
  • A user accidentally joins a community but will never be active in it.

However, I do think there need to be some requirements before a user can self delete:

  • Must have less than a certain amount of reputation on the site to be able to delete their account. This should prevent high reputation users from just deleting account at a whim. Possibly a min and max limit, for example between 100 - 1000 reputation.
  • Must be a member of the site for a more then a week to prevent sock puppet accounts for example.
  • All questions and answers are unlinked from the account as per the current method.
  • All votes made by the user is nullified to prevent abuse by creating sock puppet accounts.
  • Has to have a registered account, not a cookie based account.

There are potentially more requirements and reasons that could be added, however the process should not require any developer or moderator intervention and should be available to a user via their user profile page if they are eligible.

Clarification

The criteria given above is only suggestions, and by no means the final set of requirements to be able to do this if at all. I respect that some disagree with this but some users do not necessarily want to have 15 accounts with 101 reputation sitting everywhere. It's a personal choice.

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Undeleting because it's an understandable desire, albeit with serious problems in the current SE system, and I don't feel like copying my answer. –  Shogging through the snow Dec 24 '11 at 20:23

5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It is possible to self-delete your account (and has been possible for at least a few months), provided you haven't contributed very much on the site at all:

  • cannot have more than one post
  • cannot have voted more than once
  • cannot have a post with more than one upvote
  • cannot have a bounty active

The link to delete your account, if you meet the above criteria, is on the user page.

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Wonderful. Pouf! There go two semi-accidental signups. –  Benjol Jan 3 '12 at 9:56
  • Must be a member of the site for a more then a week.

What's the point of this restriction? I don't think it should be enforced.

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It was a suggestion. Also it is to ensure that people don't abuse the delete functionality and create a new account every day and then delete it. I know this could be rare, but I have seen it happen before. Also there needs to be a way to prevent sock puppets. Updated to reflect that as well and the edge case of voting abuse. –  Diago Oct 12 '10 at 21:25
    
@Diago: when you delete an account all your votes are deleted as well, so using it for upvoting yourself wouldn't work. Additionally what's the difference between creating a new account every day and creating a new one after deleting your old one? –  Andreas Bonini Oct 12 '10 at 21:59
    
Agreed. There is nothing wrong with your argument. However there is also nothing wrong with having that option? Again it is solely suggestions, and it is going to be up to the team how they want to implement it. I just felt that putting some criteria to the suggestion will make it different from a simple, allow users to delete their account feature request. It is simply to prevent an avenue of abuse even if not harmful, it can be frustrating to deal with. –  Diago Oct 12 '10 at 22:22

This seems like overkill...

  • You can already clear out your profile, just by clearing all the fields and changing your display name to "anon" or some such.
  • You can already clear all associations between an account and accounts on other SE sites. - this isn't currently possible anymore; that sorta throws a wrench in this.

...once done, most users will have no way of identifying you. Moderators can still see your openID (I assume...), so I suppose they could track you back to other sites that way, but... They can probably do that anyway. I suppose the site could help automate this - give you a "clear" button or something.

The only other thing I can think of that someone deleting their account might want would be deleting content - comments and (unaccepted) answers could be removed, as well as questions that don't have up-voted answers. Again, the sites could automate this, but they probably shouldn't - that just encourages a sort of RAGEQUIT / take your ball and go home attitude.

...speaking of which, the only interesting things your proposed feature adds are cleared votes, cleared reputation, and cleared OpenID. So a user who deletes his account in a fit of rage after someone criticizes his answer now can't do anything to get it back the next day when he's cooled down and realizes that his answer did kinda suck.

I donno... Making it easier for impulsive users to shoot themselves in the feet doesn't seem like much of a feature.

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You may be satisfied with just clearing your profile and removing associations, but automatic associations still repopulate these. Also I personally don't find that a satisfying solution. It should be a personal choice. Also, once a user crosses the 1K barrier they no longer have the ability to remove their account. –  Diago Oct 13 '10 at 7:12
    
@Diago: you're speaking from the point of view of a person who has calmly reflected on his (lack of) contributions to a site and decided to just walk away. But that person can stand to wait for a moderator to handle the deletion - there's nothing urgent about the request, it's an unused account! –  Shogging through the snow Oct 13 '10 at 16:28
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I respect your opinion. Honestly, I am surprised that there is such a big outcry about this. Allowing this doesn't mean every single SO user is now suddenly going to leave just because the facility is there. I have to be honest this whole thing reminds me why I don't make suggestion on MSO anymore. –  Diago Oct 13 '10 at 17:16
  • Must have less than 1000 reputation on the site.

Whats the point of this? Are you assuming 1k+ users will always stay active and like the site (strictly going by your reasons)?

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1ks know that they can flag for a moderator to delete their account. –  Lance Roberts Oct 12 '10 at 22:50
    
@Lance You'd be surprised.... –  Tyler Carter Oct 13 '10 at 0:34
    
It was a max limit rather then a min. Once a user crosses the 1K barrier they can no longer self delete. –  Diago Oct 13 '10 at 7:12

I'm not sure what's the point of this. Are you ashamed of your contributions? Maybe it bothers you not having or caring to get 20k reps on every SE site you are on?

Accounts do not cost anything to create and keep. I really don't see why you would bother deleting user accounts -- not wanting to spend 12 hours/day on each of your accounts is fine, really...

It especially bothers me when you propose to have account deletion followed by a nuke button that clears everything you've done: questions, answers, comments, votes are no longer truly yours once posted, they're the internet's at large.

It is also wrong to assume you can never be useful in a given community - sites overlap, you don't need to be a world expert to ask a question, etc.

I just can't see anything good coming from a StackEchange(tm) ObsessiveCompulsive BridgeBurninator(tm), sorry.

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oh, and btw. 1k rep? Seriously? –  badp Oct 13 '10 at 6:00
    
It was a max limit rather then a min. Once a user crosses the 1K barrier they can no longer self delete. –  Diago Oct 13 '10 at 7:13
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As for site overlap. There is a few sites I will never add value to. The reason I may have an account with the said site is solely due to having helped someone or tested something, but I will never revisit the site ever again. Due to the association bonus my account will also never qualify for deletion. –  Diago Oct 13 '10 at 7:14
    
@Diago, have you run the numbers? With 1k, you'd be giving the nuke button to 97% of the SO userbase. –  badp Oct 13 '10 at 8:24
    
@radp Agreed. However I am not entirely sure if this should be available on the original trilogy. Probably only on the SE sites. –  Diago Oct 13 '10 at 8:31
    
@Diago, the SE sites have much less activity -- and much less rep going around. The percentage only increases there. –  badp Oct 13 '10 at 8:37

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