If you want to permanently remove a user from your community, but also preserve their contributions to Discourse, you can anonymize that user.
At the bottom of a user’s admin page, there is an “Anonymize User” button:
You’ll be asked to confirm. If you agree, the user will be anonymized.
The user will no longer be able to log in to your community as this specific account.
A new username will be randomly assigned to the user such as
anon123456. This new username will be applied to all their posts in the system, and we will update all
@mentionsand quotes too.
The new username is not applied to: deleted posts, post revisions when the current post doesn’t mention or quote the renamed user anymore, oneboxed user profiles, queued posts, or staff logs.
Their email, name, date of birth and avatar will be removed. Their password will be replaced with a secure, random password.
In the case where site settings have been configured to require a name, the name will be set to the same, anonymized username, e.g.
Their user profile will be removed.
Any api keys generated for the user will be revoked.
Any third party authentication mechanisms (Google/Facebook/etc) will be revoked.
Discourse will retain the user’s IP addresses in our logs associated with the anonymous user. However, there is a new mechanism to clear those out too available to developers.
When using our
UserAnonymizer class, you can pass in an :anonymize_ip option with an IP to replace, for example
If provided, Discourse will go through several tables in our system and update the IPs associated with the anonymous user to the new value.
If you’d like to enable this feature on your Discourse, we recommend creating a plugin to handle your particular workflow.
New users can self delete their own accounts, provided
- the account is new and was created within a few days
- the account hasn’t posted more than once
If you sign up for an account and regret it, you can leave at will – provided you haven’t posted very much, and decide within a few days of joining.
The anonymization tools in Discourse are available to all administrators, but we recommend you contact a legal professional if you require GDPR compliance. Said professional will be able to audit your systems and tell you if you meet the requirements.