As was noted in the original post, " iNaturalist will always allow users to entirely delete their content from the site , both as a matter of principle…" meaning while the laws are obviously important, we also believe you should be able to delete your content from iNat, and this topic is supposed to be focused on what alternatives should be provided if someone wants to delete their account and how that might look on iNat. Of which anonymization is one, and one that I would endorse.
The user’s data is on our back-ups, so one idea we’ve kicked around is that if they want their account restored they need to start a new account, make a certain significant number of observations or IDs to prove they are committed, then we can bring back the old account and merge them. I like this because it takes the user at their word (they want to delete their account) and also gets across that rash decisions have consequences.
I like the ideas about exit surveys and advice to reach out to help@inat, I’ll make those recommendations.
I’m also going to clean up some of these off-topic conversations and move them to different topics. Let’s really try to keep conversations as un-muddled as possible here.