Registration: Protect against mistaken deletion of accounts

  • 3
  • Idea
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • (Edited)
Google allows an unspecified "short" amount of time in which a "deleted" user account can be recovered without loss of data.  That feature is very helpful if a user mistakenly requests deletion of an account that he or she actually meant to keep.

Could IMDb implement similar (but even better) features to protect against mistaken deletion of IMDb user accounts?  Here's how I think this could work:

When a user requests deletion of an account, inform the user that the deletion of account-related data will be delayed.  Tell the user that the data deletion process will commence after a default delay of e.g. 48 hours (or whatever such default delay time IMDb chooses).

(That default delay could be constant for all accounts, or it could partly depend on the age of the account or the amount of data associated with the account.  Another possibility would be to allow the user to optionally adjust the delay within an available range.)

Before allowing the user to confirm the deletion request, display detailed information about the account that is about to be deleted:

Display the account name and email address, the current age of the account and the date when the account was created, the number of reviews associated with the account and the dates of its oldest and most recent reviews, the number of lists associated with the account and the number of items in its largest list, the number of message board posts associated with the account, etc.

Require the user to read and acknowledge that summary information before confirming the request to delete the account.

Immediately after the user confirms the deletion request, and again at some point before the aforementioned delay time expires, the system should send email to the address associated with the account, reminding the user that the account's data is about to be irretrievably deleted.

If the user mistakenly requested deletion of an account that he or she wanted to keep, the user can cancel the deletion at any time within the aforementioned delay.  After the delay expires (plus a short grace period), the system begins deleting the account's data.  (At that point, the system may send another email informing the user that the account's data is no longer recoverable.)

Am I over-thinking this?
Photo of Nobody


  • 1455 Posts
  • 707 Reply Likes

Posted 5 years ago

  • 3
Photo of Dan Dassow

Dan Dassow, Champion

  • 16637 Posts
  • 18731 Reply Likes
Dear user currently known as Nobody,

I clicked "Like" and encourage others to like your suggestion. I also encourage others to make constructive comments in this thread as warranted.

I do not believe that you are overthinking this. I humbly offer these minor amendments to your thoughtful suggestion.

1a) In the case that IMDb has deleted an account due to violation of their terms and conditions, IMDb reserves the right to indefinitely maintain a copy of the account in case the affected user may have committed a crime.

2a) Include in the summary whether the account originated from IMDb, Amazon, Google or Facebook.

2b) Users will not be allowed to delete an account unless there is an associated email address.

3a) If the account does not have an associated email address, the user will be asked to supply an email address. An email will be sent to that email address and the user will be required to click a link in the email verifying receipt.