It may happen that users decide they don’t want an account on your Discourse, even after posting there for months or years.
Problem: if you delete the user, all their content (posts, topics) disappears, leaving holes in conversations and removing other people’s replies to their topics.
So what if we offered an anonymize account or remove account button that:
- sets all their profile information back to default new user state
- turns off all notifications
- picks a large random number and changes the username to anon12345678
- sets the email address to firstname.lastname@example.org
… while leaving their posts and content otherwise untouched.
This way the user can leave your Discourse, and have no association with their old Discourse account, without removing all their content and damaging the existing conversations.
The only downside is that this would still be counted as a user, but a user with no activity from the date of last post onward, which is probably correct.