Moderator requests deletion of 7000 posts

Square Wheels

Aspirant
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
20
Update: the moderator accepted no other action than what she suggested which was a total deletion of all her posts in the moderator section. All other actions I suggested were rejected, including an offer that she, I and the other moderator share the burden of reading through the 7000 posts and checking them for personal information. So she left in a flurry after having told me what a terrible person I am.
I want to be 6'2", blue eyes, and while we're at it, I want my hair back.
Just because she demanded something that you are not legally obligated to comply with, doesn't mean she can have it.
Sounds like you were more than reasonable.
 

FTL

Adherent
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
275
Update: the moderator accepted no other action than what she suggested which was a total deletion of all her posts in the moderator section. All other actions I suggested were rejected, including an offer that she, I and the other moderator share the burden of reading through the 7000 posts and checking them for personal information. So she left in a flurry after having told me what a terrible person I am.
You should be ashamed of yourself! šŸ˜›

Good riddance.

Thanks for letting us know.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,751
As long as you just tried at all youre fully in the clear and have (had) no further obligation to someone who left her past activity behind and misused the staff section.

She may have asked this not out of realist concern about privacy but just a spiteful attempt to cause an annoyance on the way out and smear you if you dont obey her whim.
 

FTL

Adherent
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
275
She may have asked this not out of realist concern about privacy but just a spiteful attempt to cause an annoyance on the way out and smear you if you dont obey her whim.
This is my suspicion too.
 

Mesca

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
29
Update: the moderator accepted no other action than what she suggested which was a total deletion of all her posts in the moderator section. All other actions I suggested were rejected, including an offer that she, I and the other moderator share the burden of reading through the 7000 posts and checking them for personal information. So she left in a flurry after having told me what a terrible person I am.
You are a good person ^^
You proposed to do what she should do.
Don't answer her, just let it be.
If people criticize your position, just tell them "I take care of the community, and don't want to lose big topics, with interesting participations from other people who don't want to see their posts deleted, but I also take car of the person, and offered her a solution : I could see with her what was private or could affect her private life and was ready to delete it. She just refused".
 

darnoldy

Curmudgeon
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Messages
1,733
Okay... so I'm late to this party, but I want to offer some thoughts from an old guy.

I'll admit that setting out to manually delete 7000 posts is a pain.

But of what value are these posts to you?

They are not on-topic discussions in a public section.

They are not (from what you have said) policy discussions of which you need to keep an on-going record.

They appear to be the kind of posts that I would routinely delete from my mod forum.

"But... the post count!" I hear people screaming at me...

Nobody else cares about your post count. Nobody will make a decision to join or not join your forum because you suddenly have 7,000 fewer posts (unless these 7000 post in a private section are a significant share of the count--in which case, you've got other problems).

"But... the rules; the Terms and Conditions!" you say? they were not handed down to you, carved in stone, by a burning bush. You made them, you can change them, you can make an exception or a special case. What does it cost you?

Delete her messages, tell her you have done so, thank her for the good she did as a mod, wish her well, and move on with your life and your forum.

--don
 

rhianna

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
16
They are not (from what you have said) policy discussions of which you need to keep an on-going record.
They are policy discussions. She splattered everyday comments about her life here and there within the policy discussions.

I hear you though and was very close to deleting her posts at one time. It's too late now though and I also don't like being bullied into taking an action I don't agree with. I offered her several ways to handle the issue but she would not hear of it.
 

Mesca

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
29
Delete her messages, tell her you have done so, thank her for the good she did as a mod, wish her well, and move on with your life and your forum.
Hi Don,
Personnally I think that in this case, it would be a bad signal sent. Because other unsatisfied moderators could want to do the same. And it will be a mean of pressure if the admin won't want to do what a moderator want "So delete my messages".
Or she could want to delete her messages on the public forum.
Additionnaly : there are tutorial topics that will have holes or other topics she created with important answers from others, that won't be too happy to have their answers deleted as well.
 

sanction9

Adherent
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
306
Hi Don,
Personnally I think that in this case, it would be a bad signal sent. Because other unsatisfied moderators could want to do the same. And it will be a mean of pressure if the admin won't want to do what a moderator want "So delete my messages".
Or she could want to delete her messages on the public forum.
Additionnaly : there are tutorial topics that will have holes or other topics she created with important answers from others, that won't be too happy to have their answers deleted as well.
Agreed. And on top of all that, it's just the principle of the matter. Outside of legal obligations, you are not obligated to obey the dictates of every person who you have a disagreement with in your lifetime. Some of the kinds of questions posed by darnoldy above could easily be turned around and asked about the ex-moderator in this case. Of what value are these old posts of hers to herself, sans any personally identifying information? How exactly does their deletion practically benefit her? How does she imagine they could possibly come back to harm her in the future, especially when they are not on-topic discussions in a public section? Does the good of one outweigh the good of many? :)

The OP was nicer than I would have been about it. I would have told her that if she thinks she has a legal leg to stand on, she should contact the appropriate authorities and then we'll go from there - and it's almost certain that nothing much, if anything, would come of it.

 

Reverse Groove

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Messages
121
Just prune the threads / posts - run the re-indexer problem solved. Simple because if say 90% of the posts are in a mod area then it won't affect the day to day running of the forum or disrupt the Normal Reg user experience.

If it does effect the Normal Reg user experience due to the prune making a post or topic OP disappear then you could easily through the DB disable the account and give it a Guest username. Prior to doing that I would first

Use the word filter and use a small "Filter Sample" for the changes needed will change specific words that only apply to the mentioned poster ie if it's something that can be used to find there IRL info/Dox etc. run re-indexer problem solved.

You don't have to perm delete anything just because they decided to take they're ball and play someplace else so to speak.

doing the word filter should take less then 30mins, especially since you have known this person for a long time so would be very easy to punch in the needed word changes. Run the Re-Indexer

Then if you are DB savvy run a script that will disable the account and give it a new Random Name and any/all topics will just have the word changes in place to what you applied in the word filter.

Not sure if you have mentioned the forum software but you can also setup that anything clickable regarding the account just refreshes to the forums index like for instance here if you click on the user name it bring up a popup box with selectable options, You can through the DB run a simple script that only affects the userid you choose and it will just refresh to what ever page you decide.
 

Joeychgo

TAZ Administrator
Joined
Feb 28, 2004
Messages
7,000
Delete her messages, tell her you have done so, thank her for the good she did as a mod, wish her well, and move on with your life and your forum.
I agree...


I hear you though and was very close to deleting her posts at one time. It's too late now though and I also don't like being bullied into taking an action I don't agree with. I offered her several ways to handle the issue but she would not hear of it.
I get it.. I really do. But in the end it doesn't harm anything to do it, and it doesn't help you to refuse. As darnoldy said, just delete, thank her, and move on. Be the bigger person.
 

Jeremy8

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
195
Deleting a large amount of posts on a forum can cause harm though. Conversations become nonsensical, historical archive is removed, the forum's overall post count is reduced, a bad precedent is set. etc.
 

Paul M

Dr Pepper Addict
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
4,036
I would (and have on many occasions) refused to delete accounts, and/or large numbers of posts.
If someone asked for the odd post or two to be removed, we are happy to do so, but bulk deletions, no way.

Many people try to use GDPR as their excuse, without understanding it doesnt apply to 99% of posts (on most forums).

GDPR only appies to personal data - the ICO definition ;
If it is possible to identify an individual directly from the information you are processing, then that information may be personal data.
Even if an individual is identified or identifiable, directly or indirectly, from the data you are processing, it is not personal data unless it ā€˜relates toā€™ the individual.

Also, you can refuse a deletion request of personal data for many reasons, for example ;
You can also refuse to comply with a request if it is:
  • manifestly unfounded; or
  • excessive.

Also worth noting this if you decided to comply anyway ....
In most cases you cannot charge a fee to comply with a request for erasure.

However, you can charge a ā€œreasonable feeā€ for the administrative costs of complying with the request if it is manifestly unfounded or excessive. You should base the reasonable fee on the administrative costs of complying with the request.

If you decide to charge a fee you should contact the individual promptly and inform them. You do not need to comply with the request until you have received the fee.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,751
Many people try to use GDPR as their excuse, without understanding it doesnt apply to 99% of posts (on most forums).
It's sometimes about the optics. Disgruntled ex-members arent necessarilly looking to or interested in having anything deleted as long as they can give the evil powerhungry admin one last smear in public for sympathy points.
 

FTL

Adherent
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
275
It's sometimes about the optics. Disgruntled ex-members arent necessarilly looking to or interested in having anything deleted as long as they can give the evil powerhungry admin one last smear in public for sympathy points.
The thing is, where one's sympathy lies depends on who's right. Consider the following scenarios:

1 Member has been bullied and generally persecuted by the admin, moderation staff and some of the members into leaving a forum.

2 Member has been generally difficult, argumentative and disruptive for some time so has finally been banned from the forum, or maybe demoted from moderator or admin.

In both instances, the member may well want to "stick it to the man" and sabotage something, but only in the first instance could it be argued that they may be right to do so for payback and have sympathy with their position. Even then though, one has to think of the possible / likely fallout affecting the hundreds of innocent forum members should they be successful, as it wouldn't be fair on them and hence shouldn't be done for that reason. Difficult situation for the abused member. They're generally f*cked when this happens to them unfortunately, as all the power lies with the mods and admins and a well set up and patched forum site can be hard to crack.

Re point 2, I've had to demote both a mod and an admin on my forum because those members were taking the piss, no appreciation or respect for their positions. The ex admin eventually got banned for being abusive towards me in Real Life. A very unpleasant situation all round and actions I wish I hadn't been forced to take.

Pete and Tiffany Bello I think you'll find this one interesting. :)
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,751
Communities still run on trust, a demoted admin can still cause trouble by leaking information you cant erase from his memories, screenshots he may have taken and full text email notifications from the staff sections that are setup to work the same wether for members or staff even after people swap roles.
 

FTL

Adherent
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
275
Communities still run on trust, a demoted admin can still cause trouble by leaking information you cant erase from his memories, screenshots he may have taken and full text email notifications from the staff sections that are setup to work the same wether for members or staff even after people swap roles.
Alas that's true, hence why an admin should be chosen very carefully. Thankfully, there's nothing special about my forum that it would make much difference to leak lol.

Part of the reason that he got demoted in fact was that he almost never logged in to support me with my then fledgling forum, which I needed and had reminded him to several times. His attittude just got worse after that, so I got rid of him altogether and haven't heard from him since.
 

Tiffany Bello

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
153
The thing is, where one's sympathy lies depends on who's right. Consider the following scenarios:

1 Member has been bullied and generally persecuted by the admin, moderation staff and some of the members into leaving a forum.

2 Member has been generally difficult, argumentative and disruptive for some time so has finally been banned from the forum, or maybe demoted from moderator or admin.

In both instances, the member may well want to "stick it to the man" and sabotage something, but only in the first instance could it be argued that they may be right to do so for payback and have sympathy with their position. Even then though, one has to think of the possible / likely fallout affecting the hundreds of innocent forum members should they be successful, as it wouldn't be fair on them and hence shouldn't be done for that reason. Difficult situation for the abused member. They're generally f*cked when this happens to them unfortunately, as all the power lies with the mods and admins and a well set up and patched forum site can be hard to crack.

Re point 2, I've had to demote both a mod and an admin on my forum because those members were taking the piss, no appreciation or respect for their positions. The ex admin eventually got banned for being abusive towards me in Real Life. A very unpleasant situation all round and actions I wish I hadn't been forced to take.

Pete and Tiffany Bello I think you'll find this one interesting. :)

Yes, I do find your points valid and important in deciding what's best for your website. If you accept a moderator position, those duties come with some kind of responsibility, like logging in, engaging in conversations in a professional manner and overall, making sure members are behaving. If you are a moderator of a website, it's important that you enjoy the content, laugh with the members, and tackle the serious moments with reverence and respect. If you have issues, work them out with the appropriate hierarchy and work it out in a kind manner. Life is too short to be angry, controlling or bent out of shape all of the time. Hakuna matata people!!
 

FTL

Adherent
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
275
Yes, I do find your points valid and important in deciding what's best for your website. If you accept a moderator position, those duties come with some kind of responsibility, like logging in, engaging in conversations in a professional manner and overall, making sure members are behaving. If you are a moderator of a website, it's important that you enjoy the content, laugh with the members, and tackle the serious moments with reverence and respect. If you have issues, work them out with the appropriate hierarchy and work it out in a kind manner. Life is too short to be angry, controlling or bent out of shape all of the time. Hakuna matata people!!
Well put, exactly right, Tiffs. Those I had to let go did none of that, I just got a whole load of abuse instead. Kindness and goodwill indeed go a long way. Why can't more people have these qualities?
 

Tiffany Bello

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
153
Well put, exactly right, Tiffs. Those I had to let go did none of that, I just got a whole load of abuse instead. Kindness and goodwill indeed go a long way. Why can't more people have these qualities?

Agreed....I ask that all of the time myself. Enjoy life to it's fullest!! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: FTL
Top