Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote in suggestions,
Azure Jane Lunatic
azurelunatic
suggestions

option to delete all comments and entries in other communities and journals when journal is deleted.

(At the request of the original submitter, this request has been re-posted, with the existing discussion preserved.)


Title
option to delete all comments and entries in other communities and journals when journal is deleted.

Short, concise description of the idea
new feature to delete all my comments

Full description of the idea
I need to delete my other account on LJ because someone I know in real life might know me here on LJ so I not only need to delete my account, but also all my comments and stuff I made in other communities. I cannot do this manually because I cannot find all my comments (and there are many of them) so I think we need a new feature that will allow us the view ALL of our comments and with one click delete them all.


Discussion from the original post:


dandelion
2007-07-05 07:03 pm UTC
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I hate it when other people's replies to my entries disappear. I don't want it to be easy for people to delete their replies - or for some malicious person to delete their replies if they get unauthorised account access. If you delete your journal, no-one's going to find you as it is. The thousand comments or whatever you've made, unless you've been idiotic enough to put in very personal information or used your real name as your username, are going to link to a non-existent profile with absolutely nothing to identify you.



xnera

2007-07-05 07:07 pm UTC
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I agree with this. Also, I imagine it'd be quite database-intensive to delete all the comments at once.



kateshort

2007-07-05 07:12 pm UTC
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or for some malicious person to delete their replies if they get unauthorised account access

Ooh. This is a *very* good point.



charliemc

2007-07-05 07:14 pm UTC
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The thousand comments or whatever you've made, unless you've been idiotic enough to put in very personal information or used your real name as your username, are going to link to a non-existent profile with absolutely nothing to identify you.

EXACTLY.

And I agree, I hate it when comments and/or replies disappear from my own journal or in the communities I belong to or help moderate... (sigh)



azurelunatic

2007-07-05 07:28 pm UTC
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I hate that too.

I'd be far more in favor of, say, mass-screening the comments of a deleted user if they choose to do this when deleting. That would take the comments out of the public eye, but the discussion would still be intact for the journal owner or the community maintainer. And firefoxfey suggested a fee for database load.



mordyn4

2007-07-06 03:11 am UTC
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+1



ursamajor

2007-07-05 07:18 pm UTC
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Agreed. It's stripping an archive of one side of the discussion that should remain. (Besides which, comment emails ensure that your comments will never *truly* die, which just makes the case for being careful about what you put to words on the internet.)


Devil's advocate
azurelunatic

2007-07-05 07:24 pm UTC
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On the other hand, if someone far too nosy knows that the journal name belongs to your actual identity, and knows the communities that one was in before one deleted, they can look through that community in their copious spare time and see whatever discussion you've participated in. If someone happens to be involved in communities that are personally embarrassing, it's a very real problem.

Security through obscurity is a bad plan, but people do keep saying things in public on LJ that they'd never say in front of people who know them face-to-face, so when one of those face-to-face people makes the "Oh, this is you!" connection when running into your journal, that would make, say, a note_to_asshat post venting about that very person very unsafe. You may have not given any details that the average person could use to identify the target of your rant, but something like "Dear deskmate: STFU. No one wants to hear you bitch about the company. I'm glad you're getting a new job, because it means I won't have to listen to you any more!" would get me in serious hot water with said deskmate. She'd recognize herself in a heartbeat.



kateshort

2007-07-05 07:11 pm UTC
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I don't know how they'd go about programming it, but I think this would be very useful.

Certainly, I could see it being useful when someone does a journal name change. If not something that was automatic, perhaps it could be something that was an additional option, to be selected at the same time that a renamer selected whether to forward or disconnect/delete.

Then again, I know some people who have over twenty thousand comments. :O God only knows how that would affect server load...



azurelunatic

2007-07-05 07:15 pm UTC
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*is one of the 50,000+ comment crowd*



charliemc

2007-07-05 07:12 pm UTC
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In a word, NO.

Just because a person deletes their journal is no reason a community (or personal journal) should lose the comments that have been shared there!

I'm 100% opposed to this idea...

(Sorry.)



vvalkyri

2007-07-05 07:28 pm UTC
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same here.



alobar

2007-07-05 07:29 pm UTC
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I agree.



foxfirefey

2007-07-05 07:21 pm UTC
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A person can always delete their comments, even though I don't like it all of the time when they do. So I don't have any objections on that front like others do.

My concern is the server load. I'd imagine it similar to the renaming process, which carries a $15 fee. So if this was implemented, it would require a similar fee to discourage people from doing it on a whim and killing the servers.




ruakh

2007-07-06 01:59 am UTC
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This doesn't necessarily invalidate your point, but my understanding is that the renaming process isn't actually a huge database hit, it's just that widespread account renaming would damage the fabric of the community (or something to that effect).



aveleh

2007-07-05 07:28 pm UTC
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No thank you, I do not want to see this.

One thing I like about LiveJournal is that it's like millions of interconnected sites and also like one big site. I don't think I should be able to wipe out all the comments I've made on all the other journals here any more than I should be able to wipe out all the comments I've made with my openid on other sites. (Although I would love to be able to *find* all my comments more easily - this is why I have a paid account and gmail archiving.)

It drives me crazy enough that suspended members comments are hidden. I don't want deleted members to have that ability too.



exampleusername

2007-07-05 10:56 pm UTC
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It drives me crazy enough that suspended members comments are hidden.
Wow, I didn't not know that, thanks. Hold on, does this mean that if I get suspended all my comments in all the communities that I've ever written will become hidden? BECAUSE THAT IS PERFECT lol! Maybe I should request to get suspended.



magic_beans

2007-07-05 07:41 pm UTC
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I don't know about this. It would be nice to wipe all traces of yourself with one button, but equally there's database strain and everything everyone has said above.

I think ultimately I would say go by the policy of what someone else can find written by you, you can find too. Think of what they'll use to find you, use it, delete what you find, and then don't worry so much about the rest?



ursamajor


2007-07-05 07:53 pm UTC
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I have to say no, for so many reasons.

First, I'd guess that implementing this would be as conceptually problematic as the ability to "mass-delete all entries in my journal." If someone breaks into your journal to mess with you, something like that would be a primary target, as would the "mass-delete all comments and community entries I made."

Second, quite often, the number of comments made by a given journal far exceeds the number of entries made to it, especially as the number of entries in a given journal rises and the journal's user becomes more LJ-involved. That's going to be a pretty ugly database issue right there.

Caveats I'd want iff this were to be implemented (and I really hope it isn't):

1. Fee. Absolutely a fee. Don't know if it should be sliding-scale or not depending on how many comments and entries would need to be deleted.

2. That such deletion of comm entries and comments not occur until the journal in question is purged. Yes, that means you'll have to wait unless you want to go DIY. Mass-deletion just isn't a solution; people change their minds on LJ all the time, and comment undeletion isn't an option. (Though of course, with comment emails and the ability of computers to copy and paste and make screencaps, well, comments don't ever really die either.)

Finally, even assuming this got implemented with checks and balances for everything I mentioned above, as an archivist and completist at heart, I really can't support this.



turlough

2007-07-05 09:39 pm UTC
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+1



desh

2007-07-06 01:16 am UTC
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Yup, exactly.



shamess_the_elf

2007-07-05 07:55 pm UTC
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I'm against this too, for all the above reasons.



worldserpent


2007-07-05 07:58 pm UTC
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Actually, if LJ is operating under the assumption that comments belong to the commenter, not the journal owner, then I think they've already acknowledged that the commenter has the right to delete their comments, so it is not inconsistent to have a "mass-delete" function. And it also seems like LJ has the ability to do this, based on what they do to suspended member's comments. So I actually vote that this either be an option, or a paid service.

(Also, for your individual situation, have you thought about contacting LJ? Maybe they'd be willing to suspend you or something. )



uniquewonders


2007-07-05 08:08 pm UTC
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+1


trbleclef


2007-07-05 08:12 pm UTC
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Everyone is discussing how communities should not lose what has been "contributed" to them by the deleting of comments.

And yet most other times topics like this come up, there are fierce debates about how one person's content belongs solely to them (entries, comments, etc.) and they should be able to do with them as they please.

So, which is it, then?



azurelunatic


2007-07-05 08:16 pm UTC
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A highlighting of the need for serious examination of the situation before irrevokably deleting your personal contribution to LJ culture. It's a collision of the two culture-values.



trbleclef

2007-07-05 08:19 pm UTC
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I suppose so, but as it stands
  • you can delete entries individually, or your journal completely
  • you can delete comments you've left individually anyway, but not completely

I can't quite place it, but I dont't imagine this would be used all that often.
As for personal journals, you can always keep an email archive or something. Communities, well, ...



azurelunatic

2007-07-05 08:44 pm UTC
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I believe the proposed idea for a maintainer to be able to track all comments to their community is up for discussion by LJ staff. So a maintainer might keep an e-mail archive as well.



worldserpent

2007-07-05 08:32 pm UTC
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It is a collision of two values, but I think that since LJ already doesn't allow even a personal journal owner to not allow people to delete their comments, and also because when LJ suspends users, it does not ask the permission of the people who were "contributed to" (that is, the suspended user's friends and communities), it doesn't, IMHO, seem really inconsistent with standard LJ practice to me. (Personally I agree that as a blogger, I have mixed feelings about this feature, which is why on my non-LJ blog, I do not have the feature that allows users to delete their own comments installed.)

I mean, in the current situation, it just seems trivial for people to engineer their own suspension, by having a friend complain about them, and achieve the same result.



azurelunatic

2007-07-05 08:43 pm UTC
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I don't know if suspensions are quite that easy to achieve, but your analysis of LJ's position on comments makes sense.

If the suggestion is considered, I'd like some alternatives for the user to also be considered, so the user might not feel as if they have to delete all their comments if that's not really what they want to do.

List all comments (on several hundred pages, if necessary!) with quick links to delete if desired. (Helps the user only delete the comments they really want gone.)
Have all comments be screened, if it's public viewing of the comments that they're worried about. (A journal owner would be able to override the screening, and it would be very confusing to the journal owner, but less confusing than a mass deletion.)
Have all comments concealed a la a suspension (cannot be viewed or reversed by journal owner; can be reversed at undeletion).
Have all comments deleted upon purging of the deleted journal. (This would be paired with concealed comments until purging.)



worldserpent

2007-07-05 09:24 pm UTC
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Well, there are known categories of things that will get you suspended, if you don't comply with LJ's requests, so it may be possible to engineer a "voluntary suspension."

I actually think from a technical perspective, the thing that is probably the hardest to do is list all the comments. So far there is nothing on LJ, as far as I know, that allows users to see all of their comments.

As for the others, I think allowing the journal owner to unscreen the comments does defeat the purpose somewhat? However, people do bring up an important point about the consequences of hacking, and how this could cause someone to irreversibly lose data.

As for the purging, I think purging is too ambiguous a deadline, because purges just happen at the convenience of the staff, rather than any scheduled cut off. Probably a better deadline would be after the thirty-day mark (after which users cannot undelete their journals.)



azurelunatic

2007-07-05 09:48 pm UTC
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I don't know of anything that would allow someone to see all their comments either. That would be a real basket of worms, but it would be very useful.

Allowing the journal owner to unscreen the comments does defeat the purpose of having all the comments disappear, but if the user really didn't want all their comments to disappear, just most of the prominent public ones in specific areas, that would be effective enough to accomplish that aim.

Purging now happens on a far more regular basis, because they figured out a way to purge some users at a time, rather than running the whole thing at once and killing LJ for a while. My idea was for comments being deleted entirely on purging was intended to be paired with comments being concealed pre-purging, so in case the deletion was only temporary, the comments could be recovered when the journal was un-deleted, but if the journal was purged, the comments would be deleted. That would keep the timing consistent. It would be unnerving to undelete your journal on day 31 and discover that your journal still had all its content, except for the comments that you'd left.



worldserpent

2007-07-06 12:14 am UTC
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Yeah, it does sound useful for purposes other than deletion, but it's kind of a different suggestion.

True, but a comment can be both 'unscreenable by journal owner' and 'a prominent public comment in a specific area.' So I don't really see how it would be effective, unless the feature was 'delete all comments in public areas, period, but leave the ones on friends-lock.'

Ah, I see, that makes more sense. However, if the comments are concealed from everyone, as in suspended users, it doesn't seem necessary to even permanently delete them at all. The fact that purged and permdeleted users still have their comments up shows that it's not necessary to delete the comments to delete the user, so to hide the comments from view doesn't necessitate purging them anyway.



mskala

2007-07-05 08:15 pm UTC
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The poster of this suggestion seems to be using a definition of "need" different from what I think that word means.



herooftheage

2007-07-05 10:45 pm UTC
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This is an example of a feature which I would despise, but think it very reasonable to have. The key point is that a user could do this by hand himself, and therefore having a computer do it for him is just speeding up a process he might want to do himself.

It doesn't make any difference that I don't want him to do it. Since he can already do it, it's just a matter of making it happen in computer time, rather than human.

As for costs, there wouldn't be any huge need to overwhelm any services. The art of timeslicing a job so that it runs at low priority was solved, oh, about 30 years ago, and so long as one doesn't need the database to be instantly expunged, and this is a feature that is unlikely to be used a great deal, then it shouldn't go overwhelming any service.



ursamajor

2007-07-05 11:16 pm UTC
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Oh, I thought of one more reason this would likely be ineffective: search engines. Many search engines ignore the standard tags that tell search robots to "go away and don't index this page", or else in order to get stuff removed after the fact, ask users to prove that they "own" the website in question by modifying its style in a very specific way that isn't always possible on LJ, particularly if you are commenting in someone else's journal, or are posting an entry in a community where you're not the maintainer.
Tags: account deletion, comment deletion, comment screening, deleted accounts, entry deletion, mass-editing, purged accounts, searches, suspended accounts, § implemented
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