As a Wiki Community we should discuss the processes by which people who are leaving the area can feel like they are closing their account and page here (if they feel the need) without deleting their user pages.

This is sometimes called a wiki mind wipe.

One way is to use [[Include(Departed User)]] to include the contents of Departed User.

Please add your ideas and suggestions

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2006-06-26 09:45 It would be nice to figure out a good way for those who want to "close their accounts" to do so without leaving a gaping hole where their page used to be. I can see a desire to leave behind the edits of the past, particularly if leaving college to apply for a first job. I'm not even sure if we could make a macro that would contain an ACL (Access Control) string and a picture indicating "moved on" that would allow users to clean up their page and "archive it in place". — JasonAller

2006-06-26 12:22:35   I take it this was triggered by the Jones page deletion? While non-user pages about people aren't something they should necessarily have such control over - for the sake of them remaining unbiased, giving those people the option to eliminate them once they leave Davis is something I would support for the sake of their privacy. Along the same lines though, at the moment are people who don't wish to have non-user pages about themselves on the wiki able to have them deleted if they ask? —JosephBleckman

2006-06-26 12:30:09   Part of it was that the Jones page had a reference to Jesse the Cat. Jesse is now sort of abandoned. Do we delete Jesse as well? How much should be deleted when a user deletes themselves? —JasonAller

2006-06-26 15:07:10   Mmmm. I never saw much point in having a pet page, so I'd say eliminate any that are left behind by them on the Wiki, as they bare far less relevance than the original deleted pages. —JosephBleckman

2006-10-27 08:18:58   It's one thing to delete your personal user page upon departure and I think that's perfectly fine. However, eliminating all edits you've made to other pages is lame and undermines the historical value of other pages — it's something that affects the rest of the community, not just the user who's leaving. What if Germans insisted that all references to Hitler were deleted from all documents? I'm opposed to users systematically removing their edits/comments to pages other than their own. Perhaps the expectation that those comments remain will be a reminder to people that the things they say have long-term value and speak to who they are... being a jerk on the wiki is not something to be taken lightly. —AlphaDog

  • Really now. Only five posts before we triggered Godwin's Law? —BrentLaabs
  • I've discovered that people are not as intelligent as I'd like to believe, so the simpler and more gross the analogy, the better. —AlphaDog

2006-10-27 09:29:03   For privacy reasons, especially related to job hunting, someone might want to rid their name from the wiki. In such a case, I agree that it's lame to remove all of one's previous comments, I'd recommend that someone instead re-attributed all of their comments to a sockpuppet user upon departure. —CraigBrozinsky

2006-10-27 09:33:37   Many people regret posting certain things to usenet. People learned to deal. The same kind of thing should apply to the Wiki. The information is out there and there is no taking it back. —WilliamLewis

2006-10-27 12:12:08   Comments are comments. People can remove their own if they want. If it was something worthwhile, then integrate it into the page. If people want to delete their presence and remove references to themselves, and they are not some sort of public figure, then by all means let them. It's a little different when JoeSchmoe wants to delete his restaurant ratings and comments on businesses for a variety of reasons (maybe internet privacy), and I think it's a joke you wanted to even attempt to make that analogous to Germans and Hitler, don't you? What the hell kind of scale is that? I think the best course is as I said. Let people remove what they want. if it's important, someone else can edit/integrate it. And personal pages arepersonal pages. —ES

2006-10-27 12:13:58   I don't think it messes with the historical value at all. The vast majority of comments are restaurant or business related anyway. Besides, those stale with time. Is saying hte service sucked three years ago still worth noting? I know there was a wiki argument for that on a diff page, about time lapse stuff. I agree with Craig in that if something isn't integratable but you really want to keep it, attribute it to a sockpuppet or 'DepartedUser' or something. —ES

2006-12-06 14:10:43   RE Deleting Comments: Recent deletions from the Ground Zero Boardshop as well as ES's systematic comment redactions prompt me to comment on this again, though I *do* see a difference between the two situations. In the case of Ground Zero, comments made by the business owner were part of an extended discussion; by removing his comments, he distorts the historical context of the discussion. However, EdWins's redactions seemed fairly harmless, though I find it in poor form and something that seems to be occurring with greater regularity, especially as users begin to either seek political office on campus or jobs in the real world. Personally, I find it a bit deceitful with the difference between the two types of redaction analogous to a white lie versus any other type of lie. My additional two cents, yet for now I'm content to simply observe. —AlphaDog

  • I'm not sure I'd go as far as to compare redacting to lying. I see it more analogous to taking your name out of the phone book. You're not erasing it's existence, but instead making it less available for people to find. —CraigBrozinsky
  • I simply see it as a good example as to why attributed comments as part of entries (rather than talk pages or discussion on user entries) are a Bad Thing for the Wiki. Either there is something of worth added to the entry or not. If there is worth, making it part of the entry is a good thing, and removing it is bad. If there isn't something of worth, then the comment should never have been made at all. It also fosters the incorrect assumption that because something is posted on the Wiki with attribution, it still "belongs" to that person, which is false; it is, just like every other ingredient tossed into the pot, part of the common creation. I see very little difference between deleting your own or another person's comment: the act of deletion should be based on the actual comment itself and the information contain within it rather than the (neigh universally useless) attribution. I don't care if it was CarlosHadley or BenjaminStruthers who posted the comment that the portions were small. It's useful information, and deleting it (even if you are Carlos or Benjamin) is vandalism of the content of the Wiki. As it says on the edit page: "By clicking "Save Changes" you are agreeing to release your contribution under the Creative Commons-By license". You gave it to the community and it is no longer yours to delete (well, no more so than anybody else). It's generally tolerated, but should be seen as a horribly rude act, a la waving a ham around at a pot luck dinner, but not actually letting anybody have any. You showed up to a community meal, you brought your share, and then you claimed it was yours, nobody else could have it and took it home with you when you left. Nasty, brutish and tolerated by others only because they are being polite. —JabberWokky
  • If you look at the majority of my removals, you'll see a hell of a lot of them were in past arguments and talk pages. I think most of my deletions were beneficial - how many talk pages got dealt with? Old pages wiped. How many dated entries and stuff got fixed? A decent amount. Earlier on, a week or two ago, I integrated most of them. I strongly feel that a person can do whatever the hell they want with their comments. If there's something of note to them, they can be integrated. I missed one on the frat page that Philip pointed out to me, and next time I was on I went back and added the information I deleted from one page to the actual entry it should have been on. I also strongly feel that things get dated. After two or three years, I gladly retract my comment on a restaurant. A heck of a lot can change over time. I think JabberWokky's first line says it best: a good example as to why attributed comments as part of entries (rather than talk pages or discussion on user entries) are a Bad Thing for the Wiki. I agree witht he next few lines too: either its of worth, add it, or it's not remove it. That's all I'm doing, imo. Most people do *not* know what they are getting into when you come on DavisWiki. I think if they did, they would certainly be more hesitant to post what they do. That's why so many people post things incorrectly, spam certain pages, etc. If you really go that route, or try to enforce something similar, I think it will be likely more new users wont use their real names. Importance of Using your real name? Hmm..."credibility" on your negative restaurant rating, but the loss of any chance at later removing the review and regaining annonymity. Too strict sounding. I don't think a pot luck compares either - the majority of comments and discussion threads seem to go either the style of online forums, or livejournalish discussions, or whatever similar site. The common element they all have is that you can (in most all of them) go back to remove what you wrote. It's your entry, you can delete it out if you want. As it is, I don't think it's rude. And I'm a little surprised if you think I have been. I've been on here for a while, I've added a decent amount of info to a lot of pages. Some of these comments were left up to years ago, I don't neccessarily agree or hold to them any longer. If I think it's relevant, I'll integrate any information in. If you think it's relevant, integrate it by all means. But like I said, I rather think most of my removals this last week or two were beneficial as they caused a lot of things forgotten over time to be brought up again. Especially debates on talk pages. Also, I'm repeating what I said earlier (above): I agree with Craig in that if something isn't integratable but you really want to keep it, attribute it to a sockpuppet or 'DepartedUser' or something. This isn't wikipedia as some of you have said so often to others, so why try to be so strict? Keep it open, keep it loose, people will be happier. What's the big deal? -ES
    • I should note that I have not been following your edits, Edwin, so most of my above comment deals with the issue in general terms. If you're retracting opinions that have changed over the years (especially if it's due to the subject of the entry itself changing) it makes sense. There are certainly times when deleting outdated points makes sense, and the deletion of pointless comments is just weeding the garden. The problem is the concept inherent in your statement: "it's your entry, you can delete it out if you want". I may have written a particular comment, but it belongs to Brent Laabs just as much as it belongs to me. He has equal rights to the verbage on that entry, even if it's an attributed and dated comment that I typed into a comment bar. It does not belong to me once I put it on the Wiki, it belongs to everybody. If Jason Aller comes along and chops it up and places the fragments into two entries, that's fine — it is not mine, it just originated from me. I am the source, not the owner. Giving up ownership is a key facet to Wiki editing, and thus you can't delete "your" comments. They are not yours to delete as they don't belong to you — they are Nick Schmalenberger's and Philip Neustrom's and AlphaDog's and also belong to some woman sitting in Java California who just surfed to the Wiki for the first time. You gave them freely to the community, and now you're claiming them as yours and deleting them. Deleting comments on the basis of the comment makes sense (i.e., the restaurant has expanded so your complaint about how small they are is no longer valid), but deleting them on the basis that they "belong to you" shows a lack of understanding of how the Wiki grows and works (a common one that everybody falls prey to now and then). As I say, deleting attributed comments is generally tolerated, but there should be an awareness that it is somebody taking something away that had belonged to all of us. You're not just deleting your comments, you are removing a little bit of the whole that belongs to everybody. —JabberWokky
      • I don't disagree with that, but I don't overly agree with the thought. While it technically is true, I doubt very many people, ir any at all, consider that when joining the wiki or making their first few edits. That's why I mentioned the way it seems to be considered very online forum like at times. Most people go about doing such. But it's also a slight contradiction to what seems to happen. Right now, if someone alters someone elses comment, it's reverted. If you take out a single line, someone will put it back. Or if you change the wording, it's fixed. If I delete something someone else said, it's reverted. It's commonly said to be unethical to edit, or more importantly: to remove, someone's comment. Why? Those actions, and the ethical wiki-taboo of editing "someone elses" comment seem to imply some sort of ownership. Not wanting to go into an arguement or debate about it, just throwing it out there. But really, I think the most important thing isn't whether a comment is deleted or not, that's completely trivial to me, it's the content and context. I don't think deleting comments is neccessarily wrong. But the wiki isn't a good place to debate and have discussions on very open things. I think Lame Wiki Pages covers that well, some stuff is a mess and just unsalvagable. It's not a problem now, but if that was a long run thing, the abortion page would look very scary in 5 years. What to keep, what to not? There's no real entry, people are just using the wiki as a soap box/ debate/ forum/ what have you. Which (finally back to the point) is why I think content and context are most important. Nothing wrong with deleting, as long as nothing important is gone. Reviews, ratings, change with time, that's a given. Stuff like the abortion page...well it's a mess, who knows. Now, as to information, stuff in the review or ratings can be useful. So integrate them! I don't think there's a huge stock in a lot of the supposed "historical context". While I may not agree with the Ground Zero deletion, I don't think the owner argueing about his employees or whether his shop is cool or whatever it was (:P) is too important. The Bistro page has a million reviews. Wasn't someone going to try to integrate them? Didn't they get moved to start that? Is it actually important to keep them all? Like I hope I said, I think integration to an entry is way more valuable than random comments. -ES
        • As I've said several times now: Debating on a Wiki is only a little less stupid than using a wrench to pound a nail. The Wiki is designed to coallate information and to that end hosts closed target debates that are deleted when over. Opened ended debates can't be deleted and combed over for information to place in an entry. When are you going to delete these to produce third person entries that have specific relevance to Davis and are useful to visitors? This entry is quite possibly one of the most deadly to the Wiki, producing volumes of material ill-suited to the Wiki itself. Much better that this go to one of the sites intended for debate. The problem is the assumption that just because people often start editing the wiki with the idea that it is a conversation community means that we should throw up our hands on any community taboo against it combined with an aggressive (but not obnoxious) education campaign. "Welcome to the Wiki" is best accomplished with a light pointing out of how the Wiki works and what it is not. I've been upset about this for years now; how can a debate on a single entry be maintained over the next forty years? That's the time scale we should be considering when considering the core community values (well, not the only time scale, just one of them). Personally, I'm even against the reviews on restaurants, thinking that they should be integrated as well to produce a community gestalt — i.e., a written summary of what a person feels after reading all the reviews. Yes, it is hard to do. Yes, it takes much more work than simply letting people write their own reviews. But I do think the hard work is worth it, producing a much better entry and resource for the community. I also recognize that I'm in the minority opinion with regard to this issue, so I just let it go (but still advocate my opinion in the hopes it becomes the majority opinion and we revise those entries). —JabberWokky
          • I completely agree. It's messy, and seems hopeless. -ES
      • I agree with you, JW, and that's why I advocate the use of a sockpuppet as the preferred way to do a wiki wipe. A person's contributions reflect a consistent voice on the wiki, and unless someone is a public figure, it is irrelevant who that voice refers to in the real world. To the user, it doesn't matter whether those 6376 edits are attributed to JasonAller or the alias AllerNone. Doubly so when someone leaves Davis. —CraigBrozinsky

2007-11-14 23:40:05   If you feel like deleting a comment, remember that a horizontal rule is added above every comment so delete that too. If you don't the horizontal rule above the next comment will make two together, marking in the page that a comment was incompletely removed there. So delete the whole thing if you don't want to make people curious or suspicious. —NickSchmalenberger

  • Or you can replace it with "Comment deleted by author", which will cause the comment to disappear from search engines (some of y'all seem to feel that you must do this at points in your life), but the comment is still available to fellow real people who can zip into the entry history. Best of both worlds? Of course, an even better stand is to just say what you will stand by in public and live your life as you see fit, and thus avoid a bunch of work trying to do spin control over your own personal life. Probably better for your health. Besides, most employers really don't care that you thought In N Out was greasy or that William Lewis was a fascist. In a year, you won't care what you thought about William Lewis. —JabberWokky