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DavidV

New Policy: No Account Deletion

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There is no ability to delete user accounts by members built into the forum, so when users previously asked me to delete their accounts, I did so. Some users also asked me to delete all their posts, and when I refused, they emptied every one of their posts.

I’ve decided to change this policy – I will no longer delete an account unless it is a duplicate or it has been inactive for over a year. (Edit: Inactive accounts are only deleted if they have zero posts.) There are two reasons for this change. First, your account, like your posts, is a public record. The account allows others to view a users posting history, which is important for both moderators and those browsing through post archives. Deleting accounts also diminishes a moderator ability to recognize abusive users who come back later, which is why banned accounts are not deleted.

If you wish to erase your contact information, you may still do so by clearing all the relevant fields, though I would not recommend you do so.

Edited by GreedyCapitalist
Added note about inactive accounts.

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There is no ability to delete user accounts by members built into the forum, so when users previously asked me to delete their accounts, I did so.  Some users also asked me to delete all their posts, and when I refused, they emptied every one of their posts.

I’ve decided to change this policy – I will no longer delete an account unless it is a duplicate or it has been inactive for over a year.  There are two reasons for this change.  First, your account, like your posts, is a public record.  The account allows others to view a users posting history, which is important for both moderators and those browsing through post archives.  Deleting accounts also diminishes a moderator ability to recognize abusive users who come back later, which is why banned accounts are not deleted. 

If you wish to erase your contact information, you may still do so by clearing all the relevant fields, though I would not recommend you do so.

This question is in relation to the deletion of past posts. Let's say someone, in a spirit of generosity, posts a good essay here. Let's say later some publication wants to publish it, and thus own it--can that post be deleted at the request of the poster? Let's say an essay gets published in a magazine, I think the publisher might not like the fact that the essay is available on-line for free. Same goes with works of fiction.

Americo.

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Everything posted on these forums is a matter of public record, since it may provoke a discussion - and therefore must remain available for all to see.

You can't eat your cake and have it, too. You can't post an article for free online, and then sell exclusive rights to it. That would be a contradiction, now wouldn't it?

I suppose, if someone posted something by mistake, and very shortly afterwards asks to remove it, it can be considered. But by and large the responsibility for posting should be the poster's.

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You can't eat your cake and have it, too. You can't post an article for free online, and then sell exclusive rights to it. That would be a contradiction, now wouldn't it?

Why couldn't the author replace the post with a link to the paid publication which bought it, so as not to miss out on an opportunity to be paid for his work? What would be the motivation of this site to hold the work exclusively, which it has not paid for? I doubt that is policy. Surely if someone posts an essay here and then is able to publish it for pay later on the basis that the products *rights* are to be bought and the article removed and given to the credit of the buyer, GC would not *hold it hostage*?? It seems like that is what you are implying-that he would.

Does *posts* refer to essays also?

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GC would not *hold it hostage*?? It seems like that is what you are implying-that he would.

Does *posts* refer to essays also?

I don't think you can hold something hostage that is offered freely. One shouldn't post anything free on the internet, particularly on a site they have no control over, if they don't wish that work to remain there for as long as the site owner wishes it to remain.

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There's a flaw in the premise that the publisher owns the work: they do not (in the usual case). The author owns the work, and for consideration gives the publisher specific rights to distribute copies. Posting an essay here and later publishing a derivative version of the work is analogous to the common academic practice of distributing a paper in print form via technical reports of working papers, and later publishing the work in a real copyrighted journal. The main principle is that you may not have already assigned the rights to someone else, and that is certainly not the case of anything posted here. Whether or not the publisher is willing to accept a manuscript that has already appeared in some form is an open question -- some publishers might balk. So, find a more cooperative publisher. Or: negotiate with David. If Harper & Row offers you a million dollars for your essay that you posted on OO -- but only if you get the posted copy deleted -- I bet you could find a way to get the post replaced with a link to the book, and support the financial well-being of the website at the same time.

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There's a flaw in the premise that the publisher owns the work: they do not (in the usual case).

Thank you. That makes sense to me. I'm not completely versed in the rules of online publications. I know my friend was trying to get a story published, and he told me very few places which he spoke to allowed stories which were posted on other sites, and so if he was accepted I would have to take the version he gave me off of my blog. I certainly wouldn't have refused since I consider the story to be his, not mine.

But I think that's what confused me. I wouldn't have considered it mine, even though he gave it to me, so I wouldn't see why OO would consider it "theirs". I understand not letting people go randomly deleting all the content they contribute, but I didn't understand why a request to remove an item which had been purchased by someone else would be refused. Esp if the purchase relied on the removal of the item from this website.

I guess I understand better now, it still sits a little funny but I thank you for the response.

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Here's a solution:

If you have an essay that you'd like others to read, but want to retain control of it by not posting it in a public forum, create a link to it and post the link. I don't think this violates forum rules, and you could always take the essay down, thus disabling the link.

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Here's a solution:

If you have an essay that you'd like others to read, but want to retain control of it by not posting it in a public forum, create a link to it and post the link.  I don't think this violates forum rules, and you could always take the essay down, thus disabling the link.

:thumbsup: Right on, thanks. I didn't even think of that. Not that I have an essay to contribute-yet. But in general this seems like an agreeable option.

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If you have an essay that you'd like others to read, but want to retain control of it by not posting it in a public forum, create a link to it and post the link.  I don't think this violates forum rules, and you could always take the essay down, thus disabling the link.

You could also stipulate to me that I must remove the content at your request as a condition of your posting it. Each such request would require a separate agreement though.

You can also mention that something is copyrighted when you post it. This does not give you the right to have it removed, but it does forbid anyone else from reposting it without your permission.

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You could also stipulate to me that I must remove the content at your request as a condition of your posting it.  Each such request would require a separate agreement though.

Ok, I see. I understand that a person has to take responsibility for protecting their own work, but I was hoping that your policies would include room for an agreement of this kind.

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Thank you. That makes sense to me. I'm not completely versed in the rules of online publications. I know my friend was trying to get a story published, and he told me very few places which he spoke to allowed stories which were posted on other sites, and so if he was accepted I would have to take the version he gave me off of my blog. I certainly wouldn't have refused since I consider the story to be his, not mine.

But I think that's what confused me. I wouldn't have considered it mine, even though he gave it to me, so I wouldn't see why OO would consider it "theirs". I understand not letting people go randomly deleting all the content they contribute, but I didn't understand why a request to remove an item which had been purchased by someone else would be refused. Esp if the purchase relied on the removal of the item from this website.

I guess I understand better now, it still sits a little funny but I thank you for the response.

It's very simple, really. As the writer, you have a right to your work. But as a publisher, by posting on this website you have granted us permission to feature it. You can't retract it just because you changed your mind. It's out now, and it may have triggered a lot of responses that will be deemed incoherent once the original is removed.

Replacing a post with a link to the essay in some free publication is fine, but you are assuming that the publication that PAID for exclusive rights to the essay, is now offering it for free, online, and for an unlimited time. That is almost never the case.

And of course, this is not "holding the essay hostage" - we don't prevent it being published elsewhere, but we must reserve the right to continue to feature it, once it has been posted.

I'm sure if any such case will arise, a proper agreement would be reached.

Edited by erandror

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And of course, this is not "holding the essay hostage" - we don't prevent it being published elsewhere, but we must reserve the right to continue to feature it, once it has been posted.

No problem, I get it now, and I apologize if my language or phrasing was harsh, it was my initial reaction but I have since been educated. :)

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As far as I know, the software does not allow someone to remove their own account. Could you explain a little more, what you want to acheive?
I am a member of the group "Patron" although I am not a patron anymore (and haven't been for a long time). Quite some time ago, I asked for this to be changed and for a short while it was but today I came back to the forum to see that I am still listed as a patron. So if this non-patron change cannot be made permanently, I'd like my account to be deleted or unregistered. I guess there must be some means to accomplish that. I saw that you are an admin so I'd like to ask you to unregister my account. Thank you in advance.

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I'm not sure why it would have switched you to "Patron" after the previous change.

Anyhow, I've moved you from the "Patron" group to the "Members" group.

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Another former member asked me about this so let me reiterate: we do NOT allow accounts to be deleted. This is an issue of moderation as well as intellectual integrity.

We will however remove any special status at your request. You can also remove your all your contact information and change your password to random characters if you wish.

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(The moderator formerly known as RationalCop)

This seems to suggest that you can change your name... Not that I want to (I came up with the nick Cogito when I signed up for the site and have been using it everywhere ever since), but how would you go about doing this?

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This seems to suggest that you can change your name... Not that I want to (I came up with the nick Cogito when I signed up for the site and have been using it everywhere ever since), but how would you go about doing this?

I'm not sure if it can be done in ones profile, but I can do it for you. (This is the display name - I can change the username separately.)

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So I'll just let my account become 'inactive'.

I've had it with certain posts of mine being deleted now so I'm out of here. Nice meeting you all ! (you probably won't get to read this ) <_<

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