Is it safe with Elgg 1.7 to delete user accounts?

I read that it was not safe to delete user accounts with earlier versions of Elgg. It was advised to ban accounts instead. A user asked me to delete his account and I'm unsure if it's safe now - currently my site is running on 1.7.3.

  • Ya, It looks safe till now.. [as much as i have experimented till now] :).. That nasty error saying "guid is missing" is not here now.

  • I ran into the "guid is missing" error yesterday morning. Luckily I only had 3 or 4 users on my dev site so I could go into the database and manually recreate the user. So I would say it is not safe.

  • Di you try owner ship fix plugin. It may help you.

  • I haven't deleted this user yet. I just wanted to ask beforehand if I might get problems even with Elgg 1.7+. I removed a few accounts in the past, but always shortly after registering, i.e. without these user posting anything yet. This user has been quite active (pictures, videos, friends, group posts etc.), so I guess it might be different this time.

    Did you refer to this plugin:

    This plugin seems to fix another issue, i.e. deleting a user account with admin permissions which might have been used to configure plugins. I believe this is not the case with the user on my site as it's a regular user account.

  • Iionly, I think you will loose the content user created if you delete his account, although I'm not 100% sure. Even when you won't loose such content, you risk having inconsistent content which can cause problems with some third party plugins (I bet noone took care to filter content which has user which don't exist)


    I think it's better to ban such users.

  • If a user asked his account to get removed I think he has the right to see his account getting deleted... baning seems more appropriate for keeping out misbehaving users - maybe only temporarily as a warning.

    I deleted the account... and of course the content is gone, too. At least everything still seems to work. I'm not sure about the right about keeping posted content. Elgg surely is missing the option to keep the content when deleting an account. Maybe this could be handled by using a special "garbage" account that gets everything from the deleted account. I guess it could be done for entities by changing the GUID. Maybe also the data from the user directory could be moved to the garbage account.

  • The delete user works in the latest Elgg releases. I've used it on this site to delete spammer accounts.

    When a user is deleted, all content generated by that user is also removed (as iionly points out). If someone wanted to keep the content, a plugin could be written to transfer the content to a dummy account before deletion occurs.

  • @Cash, I am 'someone' ;)

    I would really like to keep contributed content, after a usere is removed. Do you know if such a plugin already exists? or how do i write the code so all contents is getting moved to a specific dummy account

    Thanks ;)

  • We coded a quasi-delete function for this situation - where a user is not deleted, but made "anonymous" - while all the content remains on the site.

  • Dhrup, would you share this plugin with us?