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Regarding the recent news on user purging - Sophie
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January 2012
 

Date: 2010-07-15 06:47
Security: Public
Tags:livejournal, livejournal-only post, psa
Subject: Regarding the recent news on user purging

If you've seen the recent LJ news post, please be aware that it was written from the wrong spec. While I (soph, the original author of this post), am not staff, this has been confirmed officially by staff and the news post has been rewritten accordingly.

Only accounts that have no entries, or have only the initial welcome entry, will be purged.

A new news post is not being made because of the issue with News posts and notifications; the backend would likely crash if two News posts were made so close to each other.

Please repost this! There is a 'Repost this' button at the bottom of this entry.

The full specification (reworded by Sophie for clarity):

Users:

  • A user will not be deleted if they are set to memorial status, or any status other than "visible".

  • A user will not be deleted if they have a Paid or Permanent account.

  • A user will not be deleted if they have logged in in the past 24 months.

  • A user will not be deleted if they have any entries in their journal other than the initial welcome entry. (That is, they may be deleted if they have 0 entries, or if they have 1 entry and that entry is the initial welcome entry.)

  • A user that does not come under any of the above points will be marked as inactive and a warning email will be sent. Another will be sent 15 days after the first. After 42 days from the first notification, one final notification will be sent, and 4 days later, if the above points still hold true, the account will be purged. (Note: This point has been updated following staff confirmation.)

Communities:
  • A community will not be deleted if it is set to memorial status, or any status other than "visible".

  • A community will not be deleted if it has a Paid or Permanent account.

  • A community will not be deleted if it has any entries other than the initial welcome entry. (That is, it may be deleted if it has 0 entries, or if it has 1 entry and that entry is the initial welcome entry.) (Note: See below.)

  • A community will not be deleted if there has been a new entry or comment to the community in the last 24 months. (Note: See below.)

  • A community that does not come under any of the above points will be marked as inactive and a warning email will be sent to all of its maintainers and moderators. Another will be sent 15 days after the first. After 42 days from the first notification, one final notification will be sent, and 4 days later, if the above points still hold true, the account will be purged. (Note: This point has been updated following staff confirmation.)

Note that both of the points that I marked with "(Note: See below.)" appear in the specification, so I'm a bit confused about which one will apply, or if they both apply. However, I looked at the code and it currently implements the same check for communities as it does for users with regards to entries, meaning that if the code were to go live now, only communities with no content would be purged. However, according to staff, the code won't be going live for another 1.5-2 months, so the code might be changed in that time. It got a mention today because they wanted to be forthright and communicative about the changes.

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Explain me what is justice, what is right?
User: lady_angelina
Date: 2010-07-15 05:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

I'd already ganked azurelunatic's PSA on the clarification, or I would have ganked yours, too, because you explained this so awesomely, and I like bullet points. :3 I hope you don't mind me linking to this entry, though?

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Sophie
User: soph
Date: 2010-07-15 05:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Go ahead :)

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Not Falling Off Ledges, Power and Wisdom: protagonist
User: eclective
Date: 2010-07-15 06:55 (UTC)
Userpic:protagonist
Subject: (no subject)

Oh, I think this is a good thing, personally. I'm tired of running into never-used journals with neat usernames, and wish someone else could have them.

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Sophie
User: soph
Date: 2010-07-15 06:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Right, it is a good thing. It's just that the news post initially said that it would be all inactive users over 24 months that would be deleted, not just those that have no content. And that would have been bad. :)

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CharlieMC: gold star
User: charliemc
Date: 2010-07-15 08:44 (UTC)
Userpic:gold star
Subject: (no subject)

This is extremely CLEAR and well-stated, thanks! We're all looking for ways to understand this, I think...

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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Sophie
User: soph
Date: 2010-07-15 10:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

This is just to clarify the inactive account purging. As far as I understand it, suspended account purges are still manual; there just happens to be one going on at the moment.

Edited at 2010-07-15 10:13 (UTC)

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(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
John
User: djonn
Date: 2010-07-15 16:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

This is much clearer than any other formulation I've seen, and that's excellent. However, I'm still slightly confused on one point:

Most of the comments to the news post -- including mine -- have read "entries in their journal" (your fourth "user will not be deleted" case above) to include entries posted on the user's own journal page, but to exclude comments made in other users' journals and posts made to LJ communities.

If this reading is correct, then it follows that an account which has zero or 1 posts on its user page, but which has made many comments in others' journals and/or posts to communities, still goes "inactive" after 24 months, and that the comments and posts made from that account in other journals/comms are subject to deletion when the inactive account is purged.

If this reading is incorrect (as suggested by a post from bluemeringue deep in the comments to the news post), then it follows that accounts such as I've described are in no danger of being counted as "inactive" under present definitions -- but the wording of the amended news post remains confusing, and would be greatly improved by a further edit, so as to formally acknowledge that the case I've outlined above does not render an account "inactive" and its content subject to deletion.


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Sophie
User: soph
Date: 2010-07-15 16:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

A user which fits all the points listed in my post will be considered inactive regardless of the number of comments they have made in other journals or the number of posts they've made in any communities, and will be purged. However, none of these posts or comments in other journals/communities will be deleted; that would only happen if the user was suspended.

So if I became inactive and my account was purged, my comments to other journals (for example, news) and my posts in other communities (for example, ljskins) will remain intact. The exception is if I was suspended for some reason, and my account was purged while it was suspended. If that were to happen, all of my posts and comments would be deleted, no matter where they were.

[edit: Sorry, the above isn't true, because I forgot I have posts in my journal, obviously. :) Let me rephrase: If I made a new journal and used it to comment in news and make posts in ljskins, but did not otherwise update my own journal, the above would apply. Sorry for the confusion!]

Does that help clarify things?

Edited at 2010-07-15 16:27 (UTC)

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Lynette
User: miraielle
Date: 2010-07-15 18:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Holy crap, Sophie, other random friends of mine who DO NOT KNOW YOU have been reposting this post. YOU ARE LJ-FAMOUS!

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Sophie
User: soph
Date: 2010-07-15 18:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

This was, in fact, the plan, so I'm glad that it's working. :) The repost button makes it delightfully easy to do, and the idea of getting the word out like this was because of the issue with posting two News posts in quick succession that I mentioned.

And as a bonus, reposting via the button means that the lj-cut will still link to the original source, so I can edit inside the lj-cut and people will still get the right info. (Though I can't edit outside the cut without risking other people not seeing it.)

But yes, I AM LJ-FAMOUS FEAR ME.

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Андрей
User: andy
Date: 2010-07-15 18:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Thanks so much for writing this up!

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Cordykitten: LJ Drama doesn't get a cookie Spike
User: cordykitten
Date: 2010-07-15 19:37 (UTC)
Userpic:LJ Drama doesn't get a cookie Spike
Subject: (no subject)

*links to your entry too* (If you don't want that please tell me.
And thanks for finding our more about perm/paid accounts, I didn't see the comments regarding this answered.

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Azure Jane Lunatic
User: azurelunatic
Date: 2010-07-15 19:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

soph posted it with the repost button for a reason! :D

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Azure Jane Lunatic
User: azurelunatic
Date: 2010-07-15 19:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

This is a good writeup, and I've reposted it. (Which, heh, I've said as much in IRC, but you know. :D)

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㊷ » Curry: amulet ♠!;
User: daluci
Date: 2010-07-17 18:13 (UTC)
Userpic:amulet ♠!;
Subject: (no subject)

Thank you so much for this. (And hey! Renewed hope that I might get the name I've been watching for ages. /snrk)

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marido ~
User: camelot_queen
Date: 2010-07-22 18:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

But how do we signal a inactive account ? :)

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Sophie
User: soph
Date: 2010-07-22 18:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Users don't flag inactive accounts themselves; the system does it automatically. That's because there's no way to know for sure from our point of view whether the account really *is* inactive or not.

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