This question already has an answer here:
9/10 unicorns prefer account deletion for spammers/trolls and sock puppets with no real content of value. I think 4/5 dentists also have this preference.
But there is a problem: the accounts are basically 'hard' deleted, meaning mods do not have any history, and in the rare case of a mistake, dev/manager involvement is required, and complicated by the deletion.
In some cases, mods will use a 'permanent suspension' to substitute for deletion, so that we can maintain a record about the user. For example, We have a couple trolls on Stack Overflow where we do this occasionally. Also, sock puppets are often 'accidentally' recreated by their users simply because they return with their same login, and the account is automatically recreated. Often, users do this on purpose, as well.
Once this recreation happens, I will often perma suspend for the same reason, as deletion just exposes it to be recreated again... accidentally, or on purpose.
Finally, hard deletion makes it a little more complicated for us to keep - and later find - records of previous occurrences. I spam the mod chatroom with notations of deleted accounts in order to better enable managers to search for info if a deleted account holder inquires.
Have delete and destroy work exactly as they do now, with one exception: a remnant of the account remains which can be used for the following.
- Continue to provide a central link to their posts.
- Prevent recreation of new accounts from the same login.
- Preserve account notations and other information useful to moderators and managers.
- Enable easier recreation of the account by managers/devs, if needed.
This information should only be available to diamond mods and perhaps 10k users. For others, the posts should continue to show the anonymized, unlinked user box.
Of course, any privacy issues should be observed here; if information is required to be removed from the account in any case, even from mods' view, it should still be (especially for user-requested deletions)