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Author Topic: "Delete my account"  (Read 2503 times)

Calach Pfeffer

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"Delete my account"
« on: May 01, 2015, 06:15:13 AM »
So recently I've been on the lookout for any kind of fiction writing forum I could join. Owing to a few past experiences I've been looking over such Terms and Conditions statements as I come across first. Now, I haven't looked at everything, but I've come across a lot of, ffs!, WRITING forums that have the traditional two fuck yous of the online world: (1) "By registering, you grant us permanent, worldwide, irrevocable rights to publish, alter, etc whatever you post, but hey, you can keep the copyright" and (2) we never delete accounts.

Now, duh! this is what the internet does, and even has the gall to call it "best practice", but I really, really wonder just how many recognise the overreach going on there, or even the counterproductive conditions they set up. Deleting accounts is refused most often on the grounds that it violates the logical integrity of past conversations. Second most often cited dodge is, it's really hard to do and the database might explode. Claiming universal control over posted content is sometimes backed up by reference to this database issue too. But how many recognise this worldwide, irrevocable, permanent right of control as so far beyond what any webmaster needs to maintain their website as to be offensive? Content driven websites don't exist without content, so content driven websites must seize control of content? How exactly did that come to be the norm? It's little more than familiar corporate seizure of resources, and the super-duper freedom loving internet ACTIVELY PROMOTES IT AS THE NORM>?!

I'm particularly surprised (not) that writing forums do this. I mean, they WANT writers to give up control of their words?

There is something gravely mistaken abroad in the internet. It suits corporate interests very well, and it's promoted and maintained by seems like nearly ever minor content site that exists these days. This mistaken approach is a hold over from the days when the internet was a collection of small cliques.

It offends me enough that I will not be joining any of those sites. The only site I found that appears to actively allow deletion of accounts, along with all posted content, appears to be www.writing.com, but they have a bizarre personal feel to their introduction stuff that seems cult-like.

WHERE CAN A REAL PERSON POST THESE DAYS?!

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2015, 09:03:38 AM »
Unless something has changed, Saloon members are free to delete their posts.

I can see the other side.  Imagine 3 active members have a 40 page long, witty conversation (with a few comments by others).  Then one quits, deletes everything, and even demands deletions where he's quoted (which must be done manually on a post-by-post basis in more forums.

Now, some poor mod has to spend a month cleaning out all the quotes, and that beautiful thread now looks like someone used a page out of Where's Waldo as the material for a Chinese papercut decoration.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2015, 09:34:44 AM »
Personally I think being quoted is different from straight up posting. Someone looking at a post where I am quoted can see what I said, but the point of what they're looking at isn't what I said, it's what the quoter says. Internet shysters say deleting posts ruins logical continuity, which is one way to express what you're obliged to accept if you start speaking in public. I'd rather say logical continuity is less of a deal than eventual productivity. Meaning, I guess, it doesn't matter where the idea or the expression comes from. What matters is, is it any good? People looking at some post where I am quoted to see what *I* said are missing the point of me being quoted. The point is some other person said something and you're supposed to be looking at them now.

Thus, gaps in databases, failure of logical continuity, who cares? I know some people really and legitimately do care about such things because they rely on them to be able to complete their own processes. That's them.

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2015, 09:52:18 AM »
It's not such an issue here, but I've seen people in other forums who will quote 3 screenfuls of stuff to comment on one phrase.  In an environment like that, someone wanting to pick up all their toys and head to a new playground is likely to demand quote deletion.

Plus, some forum software has hotlinks at the beginnings of quotes.  Kill the original post that's quoted and you've just created a dead link inside the website.  Too many broken links hurts SEO if it's in an area which can be crawled by search spiders.

Overall, I recommend people read the rules of any forum before posting too much.  Even if you join a forum which issues a self-destruct button with all accounts, consider that any post in a public area can (and often does) end up in a publicly accessible web archive somewhere.  I found a broken link to a website that disappeared about 8 years ago - and managed to get access to a copy of the original site after 15 minutes of searching.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2015, 10:34:14 AM »
It's true the software infrastructure of the internet often works against any one individual hoping to restrict access to whatever they've previously splayed across other people's servers. Software engineers who can't fix that aren't software engineers. The fact that it persists is, I think, at least partly a product of powerful interests. I doubt it can be inherent in every model for globally networked collaboration and exchange. The sense all around the internet that we're stuck with the leaky, surveillable, cat picture, revenge porn internet model we have is a product of astoundingly lazy, self serving thinking, and a bunch of powerful interests that prefer everyone believe corporate interests are at least as substantial as individual interests.

They are out to get us. And everyone else is helping them.

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2015, 11:05:31 AM »
There is one other reason forums get permission to keep your stuff on display forever.  If we out someone here as a mole for a recruitment agency, this protects the Saloon from the mole using a copyright claim to demand we hide his posts after we change him to Limboid status.

There are plenty of trolls, spammers, and others who would love to be able to FORCE a forum to erase everything after they get caught.

Still, I think typical members in a typical social forum should have the right to edit or dump their own posts, even though it can be disruptive.

Sector Control, Sector Control, come in Sector Control.  I have an urgent situation.  There's a user who's figured out too much about the core structure of the internet.  I need a pickup and suggest a 15 to 20% reformat of his recent memories and a electroshock attitude adjustment.  Suggest this be done immediately before he figures out anything else.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2015, 12:06:39 PM »
If vitamin supplements are freely available, terrorists will take vitamins. Freedom loving companies of the world will cease their support for terrorism this instant! SAY NO TO VITAMINS!


WHY DO THE LIGHTS GLOW WHEN I AM NEAR?!

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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2015, 12:12:45 AM »
Another internet curiosity is the general prohibition on reviving old threads. It's like, we will gladly assume permanent, irrevocable, worldwide control of your posts, and we're not going to be deleting your account to stop us doing that, but if you try making any of those old posts active again, just you hold on there mister, do you touch your sister also?

Personally I think all these internet conventions are just the half-assed bullshit left over from the old days when you could probably know everyone who was ever going to look at anything you ever posted. Where companies these days actively try inventing their services as "global" or "big" or "popular", then you see options for deleting accounts. Usually there's some off-putting difficulty in making it happen. You have to ride some semi-complex learning curve. Or, like those shit-heels at linkedin, they do delete your account, but they somehow retain your contact information so that even though I had a Linkedin account for like two days, and then I found the actual procedure to delete the account, and I did it, I still get the occasional automated email saying would you like to bolster my professional network for me and help Linked keep pretending there is actual networking going on?

So, you post, you lose.

That does seems to be the institutional message the internet sends these days. It's a product of old style corporate seizure of resources. Indeed, why would anyone still say the internet is about communities? More and more that sounds like propaganda to cover their farming of your labor.

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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2015, 01:42:36 AM »
Besides which:

The Mission To Save The Internet By Rewiring It From The Name Up

While most of us have been binge-streaming or strapping computers to our bodies or wrapping our heads around the ins and outs of net neutrality, an international team of academics and some of the world's biggest technology companies have been quietly pondering how to rewrite the basic structure of the internet—for our sakes.

Their idea sounds simple: instead of numbers, use names. Focus not on the locations of things, but on the things themselves.

The proposal, called Named Data Networking, shifts the focus from the numbered locations of data—IP addresses like 174.16.254.1—to the very names of data—something like motherboard/stories/NDN/photo1. Under this system, for example, when your computer makes a packet request for a new Netflix release, you could retrieve the video from the nearest computer that has it, rather than wait to get it from Netflix's heavily-trafficked centralized servers....



So, in Ze Future ©®, when Named Data Networking becomes the norm, and all copies of any information on "the internet" have encrypted, integrated signatures, as follows...

That machinery also allows for interesting new opportunities to prevent web content from disappearing (consider the problem of link rot), and to protect the intellectual property of a piece of data, or at least to attach it to a particular creator. In NDN, a signature is built into every data packet, creating a binding for the name for the data, the data itself and then the cryptographic identity of the publisher. What of this metadata would be available, and how it would be used, would be up to individual users and apps.

... then, well, frankly, we'll probably still have forum T&C documents insisting that what you post is their's now, not so much hastening the decline of forums, but ensuring their eventual sidelining.

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KeyserSoze

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2015, 02:39:36 AM »
-
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 02:26:37 AM by KeyserSoze »

Nolefan

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2015, 03:46:52 AM »
It's an interesting debate....

My take on it is that everyone is free to delete their stuff but don't come asking a mod to do it for you. I remember dealing with other forums where users get pissed off for whatever reason and demand their things be deleted. My answer is always to let them do it themselves. Why should i have to go clean up after them.

alors régressons fatalement, eternellement. Des débutants, avec la peur comme exutoire à l'ignorance et Alzheimer en prof d'histoire de nos enfances!
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2015, 04:23:32 AM »
I detect conspiracy in the seeming fact forum software carries no tool that'll do it for you. A forum is basically a database, right? And no database ever needed some given distributed data set deleted?

Forum search tools seem universally to suck too. Database managers never need accurate, comprehensive retrieval of data?


The business model for the internet isn't surveillance. It's theft. Luckily, large companies are very concerned about data theft - they call it piracy - and they will soon come to our aid.

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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2015, 08:55:23 AM »
Also, a forum being impenetrable, and therefore passed over by future contributors like me, seems the norm. What's up with that? If it were simple and obvious where your first click should go on these forums I've been looking at, then that wouldn't happen. I'd click, and I'd be in. I'd've passed the first hurdle. I'd be on your way to joining. But no. The internet norm is I'm supposed to audit the fucking thing for who the hell knows how long and then I can possibly think about joining. Except I don't know where the auditing starts.

Makes one wonder what this forum looks like to outsiders. I *believe* the front page layout here is easy to understand. It seems like someone could find within moments a place to click, like the different topic and type zones are properly and effectively laid out. Probably.

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2015, 09:23:16 AM »
The Saloon to a guest looks very similar.  Barfly only areas aren't visible, but most of downstairs is.  Naturally, there's not an option to reply in threads.

It's easy to see for yourself .  Either log out or else visit from another browser on your computer or borrow another computer for a couple minutes.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: "Delete my account"
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2015, 10:56:31 AM »
Yup. I actually do visit most often in Guest mode. (I'm not a fan of staying logged in nor of having the computer remember my passwords.) I was just wondering if it's obvious to first time visitors where they can click once they've made it to the front page. Visiting writing forums for instance, mostly I just see a wall of room titles, like standing in a building lobby and gazing blankly at the big board with all the names. You have to know what you're looking for first.

Here actually, probably the division into Bar, Teacher's Lounge, etc works well, perhaps especially since the first board in each section seems like the obvious one.

It'd probably be interesting to see click stats. Like, which rooms have the highest click-through to threads/posts ratios. Or for instance, the ratio of front page hits to subboard hits. Ideally, 1:1, as in people arrive, then they click through to some subboard....

In checking out writing forums, I look for which subboards have recent posts from "today". A few too many boards with 2014 or even 2012 as dates for the last posted message and, yeah, I don't know about joining, all account deletion policies aside.

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