For example, if you post or comment in a Facebook group and then leave it, you can't remove those comments. Same if you comment on someone's post and they then block you.
On Reddit if you post in a private sub or a gold-only sub and later don't have access you can't delete or access it. I think you should at the very least be able to see your own content at any point, and if deleting is typically allowed you should be able to delete your own content.
There is also indeed the official FAQ:
There's a certain level of hubris to an attitude in which a given site that feels it's needs are more important than users.
Saying you can't delete all your posts/account is the same as saying "you do not have the right to control your own posts here".
I think it should be OK on HN to delete all your comments on your account if you want. I appreciate that this would degrade the quality of impacted historical comment threads but hey that's the price for giving people back control over their digital lives.
It happens on Reddit and whilst every now and then I encounter a reddit thread with deleted items, in general it has not destroyed reddit, and I respect the right of those users to have deleted their digital comments.
I rate respect for user wishes over the importance of maintaining historical threads integrity on HN.
There's even more hubris in expecting individual rights to outweigh the value of a community in every instance.
Who signed up for the account, typed out the post, and clicked Publish?
What do you think about people in real life who will never forget something that you said or did, even after you no longer like it.
I think it's just being an adult.
As to how far they’ll go, they’ve threatened companies with billion dollar fines if they don’t delete references to crimes.
Being an adult, I believe, includes following the law.
Removing attribution to a username is not the same as deleting what was said.
Right, and the flipside is that not being able to delete comments makes people think a bit more carefully before posting, which improves the quality of the comments and the site.
People should be allowed to look back on a discussion and say "hmmm.... seems an ill considered and negative comment, I'm going to delete it".
As it stands, an ill considered comment is set in stone after 2 hours.
Ok, but what's the argument? What specific incentive for good comments or disincentive for bad comments is there with such a system? If anything, there's no disincentive for ill considered comments because you can always come back at any time to clean up your bad behaviour, but in the moment of commenting, there's nothing holding you back. Compare that with:
> As it stands, an ill considered comment is set in stone after 2 hours.
Which is a clear disincentive for making ill considered comments. Having such a system in place certainly makes me consider my comments more carefully before posting.
That is an awfully exposing experience IMO.
Being exposing is a bit of a benefit for HN, in that it's a very good way to serve as a snapshot of culture at any given time. People can't just whitewash their histories or wrong actions on HN.
I don't think anything about Right To Be Forgotten leaves it to the individual's responsibility to mask their identity.
Complying with GDPR would basically be an act of goodwill more than anything, and even that's debatable.
Not sure where you are getting that. YC have funded a lot of EU companies, and some partners are from the EU.
YC certainly has revenue (from investors). HN isn't some separate legal entity - it's right there in the domain name.
If they raise money from any limited partners in the EU it’s pretty easy to make a case they have an EU business. The physical location is irrelevant - that’s the whole point of the GDPR.
The internet is forever.
Just do "logout"
> Why is account deletion not an option?
Because, each submission & comments posted by you should be stored for historic reason - somebody already bookmark or quote it.
Think, HN has something like "Hemingway Mode", there also related XKCD.
1. Change the email address to a disposable one. There's so many services, no way HN can prevent you doing this.
2. Update the password to a unique, complex password. Store it or don't, your choice.
3. Walk away from the account.
It's a public forum, and having a historical record publically available to all users is somewhat mandatory to serve as an effective one.
It prevents linkrot, which is something particularly severe everywhere else.
Above all of that, HN doesn't sell data or really keep anything beyond what you've said - they don't even sell ads. It's more an archive than real 'social media.'
For your old sins to be forgotten, just like we used to be able to before perfect computer memories came into being.
As a human, yes I care about privacy and the right to be forgotten. As an entrepreneur, these barriers of entry piss me off.
Me: I'd like to either change the username (jasonkostempski) on my account or delete my account completely. Can help me do that?
HN: Account renaming is something we plan to implement but haven't
yet. You're welcome to email back in the future and check if it's
HN doesn't delete accounts. We do sometimes delete specific
comments when users are worried about getting in trouble from them.
Would that help?
I realize this isn't a very satisfying answer and am sorry.
Me: I didn't say anything nasty so I'm not too worried about it :) I'll just wait for the feature. Thanks.
Me: Just want to check in and see if account deleting or username changing has been implemented.
HN: Not yet, sorry. There are some technical difficulties because YC uses HN IDs in its internal systems, which are separate, so we need to be extra careful not to make a breaking change. But we'll get there.
Me: I need my account deleted immediately. It's a matter of national security, cannot explain in detail, orders from the President of the United States.
HN: That does sound urgent, so I'm sorry to have to reply this way, but we don't actually have the ability to do this. At some point we will have the ability to rename accounts to something anonymous, but unfortunately we don't have that yet either.
Me: Damn, now he's gonna make me go work on that wall :/
Me: Are you able to change user names or delete accounts yet?
HN: Not yet, sorry, but it is coming. Do you want to be on an email list to get notified when it's ready?
Me: Yes, that would be cool, please add me.
HN: Ok, you're added.
recalling facebook etc was impossible to remove your account but now it seems feasible and quick, though not sure if facebook/etc indeed flushes the deleted-account cleanly.
Should there be a soft-delete in case they change their mind, or if it's malicious? Can YC alumni delete accounts, since the login is tied to applications? Should new users be prevented from signing up with an old username, to avoid "stealing" an identity? Are old posts from the person deleted? Old submissions? Either way, will it cause errors somewhere? Are child comments deleted? Are deleted accounts still available in the API (which is hosted by a third-party)? If not, will that break the application of someone using the API?
I'm not saying they should/shouldn't do it, however it's not as easy as a "database DELETE operation".
I'm not certain how it handles usernames, though (I've played around a bit with Anarki, but can't remember) but I suspect it would probably involve a lot of file
parsing and editing, assuming each username is literally just copied into a field in each thread file.
Are you sure? What the word "closure" usually refers to isn't an externalizable object used for persistent storage.
Rumor is completely wrong. We don't even bypass the spam filter.
A deletion of a parent comment breaks the flow of discussion. Unless a service makes a point of deleting historical comments, letting users delete their comments will worsen its historical record.
2) It should still be possible to delete accounts, without removing comments -- but reassigning those comments to a temporary/anonymous account id. This solves for account deletion, but not content deletion.