Allow users to suspend/close their accounts for good


(ljpp) #1

Our community has been running on Discourse for one year and is more popular than ever. At this point it is also more common than ever that a user whats do suspend/delete/shutdown their account, ie. does not want to have anything to do with the community anymore.

This should be possible, but it is not. Users usually have solid reasons for leaving the community, and they should be allowed to do so. Content they have produced obviously remains. Suggesting that they “just stop using the site” is not a viable answer - orphaned user accounts are a security risk, if nothing else.

I would like to propose this feature for future Discourse releases. I consider it to be a hygiene feature.


(Neil) #2

If you go to user settings then scroll all the way to the bottom there’s a button that says “Delete My Account”. Now, granted I’ve never used it. But, have you looked into it?

edit: as pointed out below, this button is only for users with 1 post or less. Sorry for the misinformation.


(Jeff Atwood) #3

Already exists:

  • users with 1 post or less can delete their own account

  • the Anonymize button is available (to staff) for accounts that have many posts. This removes the user / account info and anonymizes the user name.


(ljpp) #4

@Ebs What? Call my blind but I dont see this.

@codinghorror Yes, I am aware of the current options. I am yet to see a user regretting his registration and deleting eventually, but requests from long time members are routine.

  • The experience is getting too intense and they want out.
  • They have privacy concerns.
  • They get pissed off and want out NOW.
  • I am not aware of any other social media service that does not allow account deletion/closing.
  • You dont need to page Zucks to get out of Facebook.

How about making the “grace period” a setting, with the option of infinity?


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #5

Only when the above is true can you see it. Why have a button that a user can’t push? To see it yourself make an account at https://try.discourse.org/


(Jeff Atwood) #6

Destroying conversations by deleting all your posts because you rage quit is not desirable. Contacting staff for anonymization suffices, it is not hard to do. Friction is needed in front of rage quits.

The default Creative Commons license – unless you have changed that section of your default TOS – does not allow people to withdraw their posts en masse, just anonymize them.


Why are posts withdrawn instead of being deleted immediately?
(Joshua Rosenfeld) #7

@ljpp isn’t asking for content removal, just the ability to close one’s own account without contacting staff. Perhaps an “indefinite suspension” function for users, with a giant warning that it can’t be reversed. Account becomes suspended with no unsuspend date. Content remains, account can’t be logged into - seems to solve both sets of concerns here.


(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #8

Why not a simple self-suspend? So it’s reversible by staff, all data the user has remains as is.

That’s something @ljpp could do in a plugin, just add a button on user profile that suspend the current user.


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #9

Sounds good to me. Would it be easy to do it indefinitely, or would the user have to define a date like staff do?


(Joel Zaslofsky) #10

I found this thread after doing a search for “Adding an effective date for user suspensions” and coming up empty. @jomaxro or @Falco, tell me if I’m projecting my own desires on you, but it sounds like you’d appreciate one or both of these things:

  1. The ability for a user or admin to set a specific “resume date” where the user’s status would be switched from suspended to active.
  2. The ability for an admin to set a specific date where the user’s suspension begins (a.k.a. an effective date in the future for the suspension).

I’d just like to see the Permissions section for an individual user in the admin panel (/admin/users/…) have a suspended start date and end date field with an equivalent way of setting the start date and end date of a suspension through the existing Suspend button.

I don’t think you’d want to let a user set the start date or end date of their suspension, though. It would just be particularly helpful for admins like me who integrate Discourse with a paid membership site and have their billing/membership through systems like WooCommerce – a.k.a. systems that use the concept of a suspension start and end date.


(Mittineague) #11

I have the feeling you are wanting to use suspension as a way to control access based on other than misbehavior.
Might it not be better to use Group access for this?
Or maybe Block instead of Suspend?


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #12

I do not feel that your post is related to the rest of the topic. You seem to be asking about what admins can do - while the topic on hand is about user control over their account. Perhaps @team could split this off.


This already exists. Admins are required to provide a date when suspending an account, at which time the account is unsuspended.

This isn’t possible. I agree with @Mittineague that it sounds like you’re looking something that is better handled by group permissions and/or blocking (group likely better in my opinion). Suspension should really only be used for “bad” users.