But would you make it clear in the email that if they don’t reply, their account will be deleted?
I kind of lean toward having a setting to auto-delete any new accounts that have no measurable activity on the site, after a certain age. For example, every month (or 6 months, or whatever interval you like) check all accounts new in that interval, if they have zero total read time, no visits, no posts, etc just delete them outright. I mean total input, counting from the day the account joined as new.
You are dealing with “users” who give you…
- no profile spam signal
- no topic or reply spam post signal
They just… exist. And do nothing at all! Ironically that’s the only signal you have, that they do absolutely nothing. Like I said, it’s a tough problem.
Well, that’s not entirely true; you do have the glimmer of signal of the IP the user signed up from (and then, proceeded to do nothing at all for a year.) You could disallow all signups from certain countries by IP, assuming we can accurately geolocate IPs to that degree.
But philosophically, I don’t think you want users that sign up and do nothing forever. They are of zero value to anyone.
(The only edge case is users who sign up for a “mailing list” kind of interaction, but even then, wouldn’t they do something on the discussion website over a period of months?)