Purge Inactive Accounts with no Activity

There are so many accounts with no deviations that just hog usernames- if you're looking for a new username and find that some 8+ year old account with no deviations and no activity for 300+ weeks is taking up that username, you're probably going to feel justifiably annoyed. Instead of having a simple and clean username, you are probably going to have to add a string of letters and numbers just to make a unique username. With more and more people joining the site, why don't we purge these old accounts to free up some usernames? 


The requirements

Obviously there would need to be strict guidelines on when it's appropriate to delete an old account- I suggest that:

  • they have 0 posted deviations
  • they have not logged into the account for at least 3 years

In order to solve conflicts with the little activity the accounts have done-

Comments from these accounts would be called <orphan_account>. This prevents conflicts around what these users might have previously done without having to delete these comments
The same would be done of favorites and watches. This preserves favorites, comments. etc. that these accounts have done- as to not reduce these stats for active users- but also allows these usernames to be taken by people who will actually use them.

There are quite a few complaints with this idea that I've seen so I'll address them here:

What if they become active?

If you made an account years and years ago, but didn't do anything with it- no deviations, no favorites, etc. what's the point of the account? All they have is that username. If they really want to become active, they can make a new account.


What if they have activity there?

Then the account is worth preserving. If they posted any deviations, then that's different. They actually DID something. However, favorites, comments, watches, etc. can be preserved using the <orphan_account> idea.


What if they're saving the username?

Saving a username for that long seems unreasonable. There are probably a hundred people who'd use that username better than someone saving it for years on end. Besides, if they really were saving the username, they could easily prevent that my logging in... ever.


What if they're a lurking account?

By lurking account, I mean accounts that people use to simply view images. These would be preserved by the "last log in" feature. An account that some actively uses to look at art is signing in and therefore does not meet the "has not signed in for 3+ years" requirement to be deleted.


What if they go on hiatus?

If they posted anything- a journal, art, literature, etc., then they are protected. You can't go on hiatus if you never used your account in the first place.


Just be more creative with you username then!

I agree that after the initial purge the "good" usernames that were previously taken will just be once again taken. But at least these are being put to good use- unlike the current state. Even if you do not get the username you wanted after the purge, I think the number of usernames like this is big enough that it is worth doing. 

I don't know the number of accounts like this, but based on how common this issue is, I believe the number is big enough to be worth it.


Basically, I feel like this is a long-overdue purge of the old and frankly pointless accounts on deviantart that do nothing but annoy the users who are actually here.




  • 0

    Note that this has been suggested before, but also that the staff have no intention to outright purge accounts.

    See FAQ #201: Do you close unused accounts, or release them to the public?

    Either way, the issue remains that most people won't get what they want, and it would come at the cost of purging accounts you cannot guarantee to be "safe" to purge, even if there is no activity on it. I feel it would help a lot more to display a name of your choosing, independently from your username (which is basically your address, actually, if you think about it - it makes up your URL), such as the 'real name' field - people would then be able to show duplicate names, but also names that contain spaces and diacritics, plus you can change that as often as you want with no need for DA to create redirects to new addresses for your profile and deviation pages. It's easy to implement, it helps people concerned about their branding to an extent, and it deletes nothing.

  • -1

    But then I'll lose my account for not posting in a while! How is that fair? All of that hard work and my art pieces will be gone without a trace and I can never download them again!

  • 1

    ThunderSnowolf- no you wouldn't lose your account for not posting in a while.

    If you read over my proposal again, you'd see there's two strict requirements to delete the account, the second of which protects your account-

    They have NO deviations or journals. If you've ever posted any art, journal, or literature you are protected. I'm not asking to delete accounts with anything worthwhile- those should be preserved as they add something to DeviantArt. 

    But compare your account to one like http://lumiinia.deviantart.com/
    Nothing on the account at all that's worth preserving- and taking a unique username as well.

    I know I wrote a lot in the proposal, but I wanted to address issue exactly like that when I wrote it- I'd appreciate it if you read over it more thoroughly before you bring up any problems you see with it <3 

  • 0

    Never gonna happen :/

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