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Many problems arise with google's OpenId implementation (accounts doubled, fake GoogleId Account, ...), asides with all the obvious privacy concerns (although quite opposed to security ones...)

Will it be possible to remove an account directly from the interface without involving the admin team (Yes, I do know they are very responsive) ?

Some rules could apply :

  • you can only delete recently created accounts (several days ?)
  • with a rep under a certain limit (1 ?)
  • Obviously only the account you are logged in (beware of XSS attacks !)
  • ...
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Oh, jeff said something about pruning accounts... would it be perfect to have a self-prune option ? –  Steve Schnepp Jun 30 '09 at 9:25
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Maps to this uservoice item: stackoverflow.uservoice.com/pages/1722-general/suggestions/… –  Joel Coehoorn Jun 30 '09 at 15:48
    
Agreed. Co-founder Joel Spolsky himself wrote: "If somebody isn't even your customer yet, trying to lock them in just isn't a good idea." Applies very much to this situation. Deleting accounts should never involve a 'manual' e-mailing step. joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000052.html –  user166071 Jul 20 '11 at 4:42

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Perhaps the delete option should send an e-mail to the registered address and only actually delete when the user returns via the link provided (or enters the code provided).

This should minimise accounts being deleted by accident or maliciously.

UPDATE

Another possibility might be to mark the account as deleted but not actually delete it for a couple of days. If it has been deleted maliciously then it might give the owner enough time to visit the site, spot it and cancel the delete.

Ultimately any system would be prone to spoofing - even the current one of e-mailing the team and asking them to delete the account for you.

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but how difficult would be to also change the email address prior to deletion ? –  Steve Schnepp Jun 30 '09 at 10:34
    
maliciously, i meant... –  Steve Schnepp Jun 30 '09 at 10:34
    
I did think of that - but then if someone's got that much access there's not a lot you can really do. –  ChrisF Jun 30 '09 at 10:51
    
"not a lot you can really do" : Yup. Or a triple-confirmation page ;-)) ? –  Steve Schnepp Jun 30 '09 at 13:12

It is possible to self-delete accounts now, provided those accounts have no significant activity. Specifically, no votes and no posts. See this answer for more details.

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"no significant activity" thus includes "no votes"? I've inactive accounts on among others Skeptics and StackApps. The one on Skeptics has not ever voted, so I could delete it. The one on StackApps has only 1 vote (and further totally no activity), but I couldn't delete it. –  BalusC Aug 11 '11 at 16:57
    
So as soon as I have answered a question I can't unsubscribe again? –  Paŭlo Ebermann Aug 11 '11 at 17:02
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Maybe it should ask for confirmation? I clicked the "delete" link on the English SE by accident, and it immediately removed my account (which had only one or two comments on the main site, but accepted answers on meta). My posts now just say user4438. –  Jan Fabry Aug 12 '11 at 9:59
    
@Jan, but you can just receate a new account, as your account on English.SE had nothing in it. –  Ian Ringrose Aug 24 '11 at 11:48
    
@Ian: It did have something (but indeed not much): one meta post with upvotes and a comment on the main site with upvotes. But my main request was for a confirmation, because it is an immediate action now. –  Jan Fabry Aug 24 '11 at 13:52
    
@Jan Is there a bug with not checking for meta posts with upvotes? –  Ian Ringrose Aug 24 '11 at 14:09
    
@Ian: All I can say is that Jeff defined "no significant activity" as "no votes and no posts", but that I was able (by accident) to delete my English account, which had a meta post with upvotes. So either they missed meta in the check, or Jeff's definition needs to be clarified. –  Jan Fabry Aug 25 '11 at 6:01
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@JeffAtwood Does flagging count as significant activity? My History account has no votes and no posts, but I signed in once to flag a series of offensive posts and the "delete" link doesn't appear in my profile. Is that by design? –  Anna Lear Nov 15 '11 at 18:45

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