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Announcing - forum clean-up operation / "(unused) user account purge" (Q4 2021)

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Mister Fox
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Announcing - forum clean-up operation / "(unused) user account purge" (Q4 2021)


Post by Mister Fox »

Hello everyone,

technically, there is already a Homepage Maintenance and Forum Cleanup thread that I tend to update ever so often. However, the following will be a big event throughout the course of Q4 2021. I would like to call this the "(unused) user account purge" (or just "the purge").

As of the moment of this post, we have over 1280 users on this forum. I do send out Social Media posts on a regular basis that tell you to just "sign up to the forum, if you want to stay informed". On the other hand, there have been users that signed up to the forum since 2017, yet they have never even logged in once (so called "Sleepers", currently over 120 users). There are also plenty of users that log in in ever so often to check the forum, though never really posted and/or joined any conversation so far (quote-unquote "Zerovisitors", currently over 320 users).

Let me first assure you that there is absolutely nothing wrong in just reading along. However, I'd like to tidy up the place a little bit. See who is actually still interested in our small community, clean out non-used, dual and/or bot accounts.

Since doing things manually is a lot of extra work, I am finally implementing an automated engine that takes care of that endeavor, which will be going "live" during Q4 2021 (October to December 2021).

Please read up on the following...

:!: A rough time table:

:arrow: CW37 (now) until 15-OCT-2021 -- "Sleeper" users:

Starting CW37 (Calendar Week 37, this week still), I will be sending out one reminder mail to the so called "Sleepers" (those that "never connected"/logged in), asking them to at least "log in once, check out the forum, update ones account". I will send out another reminder early October 2021, which would offer two weeks of initial reaction time.

Should there be no reaction to these reminder emails, users that have not logged in at least once, will be "purged" on 15-OCT-2021.

:arrow: October 2021 -- "Zerovisitors" and "idle users"

Starting early October 2021, I will activate the just installed automated "User Reminder" engine. Those users that have not visited the forum within the last 90 days, will be sent an email, asking to at least log in once. Should you not log into your account, you'll get a second reminder 15 days later.

Should you still not log in after another 15 days have passed, your account will be flagged to be deleted, and I will (currently) proceed to do so every start of the next month.

Please note: The reminder is being "reset" by simply logging into the forum. No other participation is required. For the time being, "automatic user account deletion" is not activated. I might fully turn on that feature towards the end of Q1 2022. However, to see if this engine works efficiently, I'd like to have some more manual control still.

:arrow: End of Q1 2022 -- forum extension general use

Should the extension work like it should, I will streamline the reminder interval and also activate the "user account auto deletion" feature. After that, there is no more "hands on" approach.

Should you then get a reminder email, and not interact within the given time-span, your account will be deleted.

Those users that never "connect to the forum" to begin with (as in: log in at least once, see "Sleeper Accounts" above), will not get any reminders in the future. These particular accounts will be purged without any further comment after a certain amount of days have passed.

:arrow: FAQ section:

Q1) Isn't the 90 day interval of inactivity a bit short?
A1) This is subject for possible revisions. I originally had the idea even to go with "mere" 60 days for Q4 2021, then adjust the threshold down the line. But I am fully aware that live can often get in the way. So sending out initial reminders once every 3 months shouldn't be too aggressive. Remember - you technically never get one, if you log in at least once within 90 days. I might further fine-tune this. Depending on how well the engine works, how this affects interaction, and how much feedback I might get on the topic.

Q2) Do I have to interact with a post in order to not get my account deleted?
A2) Not for the time being. You only need to log in to the forum ever so often within 90 days, and browse the forum a bit. (see Q/A1 above, might be subject to change)

Q3) Due to various reasons, I couldn't respond to the reminders. Now my account is gone. Can you recover it?
A3) I apologize for the inconvenience, but that is sadly not possible. Deleted accounts are non-recoverable. You can however sign up with a new account again.

Q4) My account is (sadly) gone, what happens to my posts?
A4) In order to keep the readability of the forum, forum posts are not deleted (this is how the engine works). I as admin only fully delete posts, if they go against the forum rules of conduct.

Q5) I would like to delete my user account. How can I do that?
A5) This is currently not possible to do yourself. Read: there is no engine add-on implemented where I can also do triple checks (to prevent possible abuse). You need to please reach out to the admin. Preferably via the Contact Script. After reaching out and requesting an account removal, you will be informed that your posts will remain on the forum, but your account will not be recoverable. You will also not get any more newsletters. After that, you will be asked to confirm the deactivation of your account. This is to prevent possible abuse and give you time to think things over. Should I not get a response to that mail within 7 days, I assume you want to keep your user account.

Q6) I would like to keep my user account, but I would also like to change my user name. How can I do that?
A6) This is currently not possible to do yourself. You need to please reach out to the admin. You can do so for example via the Contact Script. After your name change, your account will need to be reactivated. Once you have done that, you can log in again, and change your credentials as you seem fit.

If you have any further questions, please post them down below.

Thanks for reading :educate:

UPDATED: 12-OCT-2021 07:15 UTC+2 -- changed the interval of the reminder threshold from 60 days to 90 days, adjusted Q/A point #1, added new Q/A point
UPDATED: 19-SEP-2021 07:15 UTC+2 -- added another Q/A point, changed title from "Great Purge" due to possible negative connotation with that description
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