Dealing with Account Deletion

I think a ghosted version of the ID is a good idea, although it could be problematic if the reason for the delete is because a relatively large number of IDs have been made in error. I’ll cite the case of my Hackfalls account as an example. I opened the account, bulk uploaded about 3000 records with IDs, and then encountered considerable taxonomic issues with those observations. I was going to have to alter many of them, and it compromised what it was that I was trying to achieve, so I opted to delete the account as a way of removing them all, so that I might start again with a better data source. Granted this is IDs on observations that are going with the account, so there would be no ghosting of them, but perhaps similar needs of deleting might occur. I could imagine a situation where a rogue student went crazy with ridiculous IDs, and deleting such an account and wiping as much trace of it would be hugely beneficial to the community as a whole! Of course, this last one would assume the account was somewhat under the control of an administrator or teacher…

I am very much FOR retaining the right to delete, but I am even MORE FOR reducing the impact of it. If it meant the only way to prevent the confusing dialogues, for example, I would gladly surrender the right to delete. But I would like to think a reasonable effort to retain that right was made. I volunteer my time and energy to iNat, very much BECAUSE it doesn’t come with a contractual requirement behind it.

I really like the idea of having the option, even if it was a default choice as well, of having the data retained and made annonymous. In situations where one wanted to scrub the data completely, as in the examples I cite above, you could change the delete settings to fully remove it. It would also be good to retain the identity of the account as an option, so that in the case of deceased persons, the account could be made to reflect that the person will not be changing their ID’s anytime soon.

Perhaps in the case of a deleted account that has persistant IDs, or even an abandoned account or one from a member that has passed away, other members could mark an ID as being problematic because of it’s persistance. Maybe 10 votes to remove a problematic ID could have it removed or at least withdrawn. Just throwing some ideas on the table, might trigger other useful ideas :slight_smile: