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As a lot of people post here about removing profiles, I thought this meta.se post from today, outlining a few changes to the system, was worth a repost here, just so everyone knows about it. Relevant snippets:

The short of the story here is that we have a brand new deletion process now live on all network sites, and it's simpler than it's ever been! [...]

So how does it work now?

We've drastically simplified the process! We now show a Delete Profile link in the sidebar when editing your profile to all users. This page will outline everything about the deletion process for you:

  • Deletion is irreversible and you can't have your stuff back if you go through with it.
  • Deletion doesn't actually help you get around question blocks (if the user is currently blocked).
  • The profile may be held up for final review at the end of the countdown (if the user has high reputation).
  • The deletion only affects this site, and you'll need to complete it on other sites if you want all profiles deleted.

If users skip over all that information, no big deal. It's mostly there as a disclaimer to point to in case they ask "well why can't I have my post back?" later on down the road. Skipping past all of that, all the user has to do is check a box to confirm they understand and then click the big button at the bottom to delete their profile. That's it!

Their profile will be immediately scheduled for deletion and the 24 hour countdown to deletion will begin. We will also fire an email off to the email address on file for the profile notifying them that the deletion has been scheduled, and send a followup email when the deletion is finalized.

As usual, a user can still cancel the request by clicking the cancel button in the countdown banner that appears on their profile.

Coming Soon! When you select "I need to delete my user profile" on the contact form, you'll be automatically redirected to /users/delete/current on that site. The form for contacting us about that option will no longer exist.

Hopefully these changes will also result in a large decrease in the number of support tickets we're receiving about deletion and the number of support requests on Meta from users who are utterly confused about the process or why the form won't accept their profile link.

Pre-empting some questions:

Will suspended users be able to delete their profiles this way?

Yes. We briefly debated this when designing the new system and decided that, given new improvements to the process (namely that we now automatically reinstate a suspension when they recreate their profile), preventing suspended users from deleting their profiles does not make any sense. Rejoice moderators; you no longer need to follow weird paths or suggest they contact us to have their profile deleted - just send them to /users/delete/current!

Will very new users with almost no activity still be allowed to instantly delete?

Yes. The same rules of instant deletion (not posted or voted more than once) will still apply, but will be incorporated into the new workflow. Essentially, rather than scheduling deletion in that case, the deletion will take immediate effect. The user will receive only a single email notification finalizing the deletion.

Will users be able to schedule deletion of all profiles simultaneously?

No. They still need to go to each one individually. If they have a lot of profiles (say more than 10) that it becomes too much effort to do that, they can contact us using the Other option.

  • What happens when an account is deleted? If the questions/answers/comments a user has posted remain on the site after deletion then you're just stopping that user from logging in again; it doesn't sound like something that would be tricky to reverse. If you can delete everything...well, there's an argument for putting on the signup page that you cannot do this as your posts are public forever (unless edited manually, subject to rules about that) and that removing, say, a question would lose valuable input from people answering it. – user12753 Aug 31 '17 at 15:51
  • If you have questions, you need to go to the mse post linked above and ask the developers. I am just a user and cannot speak for them on what they think is best. @DrEval – Mark Kirby Aug 31 '17 at 15:54
  • I was blinded by your high reputation! – user12753 Aug 31 '17 at 15:55
  • @DrEval All posts are retained, they are just no longer owned by the user in question. – Tim Sep 2 '17 at 10:28
  • @Tim As I thought. So no reason why you should not be able to undelete your account later then; it's technically easy. Deleting an account can just set a "do not allow user to login" bit which admin can clear if someone changes their mind (and still has access to their original email address). – user12753 Sep 2 '17 at 14:02

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