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Honored Contributor

Best practices for deleting content / deactivating users

Hi ya'll,

We are working with our corporate data governance team to determine the rules for deleting content after a certain amount of time or after a "triggering event" (such as the content not being viewed for a certain amount of time), and also for when to deactivate / anonymize users.

The data governance team asked me to come up with a proposal for what the rules should be (which kind of surprised me, I had assumed there would be hard and fast legal guidelines or something). 

SO - I'm curious what others are doing in this area. I know from threads / ideas I've found here in Atlas (such as System for handling old threads and Archiving / Deleting Posts Automatically ) that some communities have invested in customizations to accomplish this archiving in an automated fashion, and I'd love more details.

Here are my questions:

  • What are the rules you are using to automate content archiving/deletion? (e.g. based on age of thread, not being viewed for a certain amount of time (how long?), etc)
  • Do you actually delete the content when it's archived, or just put it somewhere not visible?
  • Do you auto-deactivate users & anonymize their content? Using what rules? (based on how long it has been since someone logged in?)

Thanks, ya'll!

11 Replies 11
Highlighted
Honored Contributor

Hi Caroline,

I think a lot of these rules will depend on your brand and products. If you have old products that many customers are still using, then perhaps old community content is still relevant. I've been in this situation, and it made it difficult to have rules simply based on time. We considered other factor such as page views, if the topic was solved, and when the last post was within the topic.

I have not proactively deactivated user accounts. I'm not sure it is necessary. (There were some recent discussions around this in Atlas, although I'm having trouble finding the thread. 🤔)

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Lili McDonald
Senior Community Manager @ Udemy
Connect on LinkedIn
Highlighted
Honored Contributor

@lilim - Thanks! I think you're right about the rules depending on our brand / products. I'm hoping we can do a custom solution based on views (and maybe some of the other factors you mentioned), so we only delete / remove content that isn't interesting to anyone any more.

In your case, did you actually delete content or just make it not-visible? I worry about actually deleting content - like, won't that influence aggregate stats for users? E.g if a user has to post X times in order to achieve a certain rank, and we delete some threads that they participated in, won't it then take them longer / actually require more posts to achieve that rank? Hoping legal will be OK with just making the content non-visible to the public.

Cheers!

Highlighted
Honored Contributor

I never delete content - always archive. As you said, it will effect a user's stats if you remove their content. 

If you must remove content, you may want to update your rank formulas to account for deleted content. For instance, you may want to use the variable "posts" rather than "net_contributed_posts". (See Include user metrics in your ranking formulas)

I would be interested in why - from a legal perspective - you must delete user content rather than archive it, if that's something you can share. Especially if the user is still an active participate and has not requested to remove the content.

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Lili McDonald
Senior Community Manager @ Udemy
Connect on LinkedIn
Highlighted
Honored Contributor

Thanks @lilim! Hoping legal won’t make us delete. I’ll explain that it’s not best practice / commonly done. 
We don’t have much guidance from legal / data governance people yet; they asked us to come up with proposal.

Highlighted

One thing I have seen useful in making the case for archival and against deletion is stressing that deletion is final. That content is gone. If a user does ever reach back out asking about that content, it's irretrievable.

With archival, you get the facade of deletion (it's not findable by anyone other than you and your staff), but the safety net of being able to move it back into public view, if needed. 

There are some additional pieces of functionality coming to the archival tool that will allow for bulk action based on some of the criteria you've described as well. CC: @RahulHa 

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Thanks @JonathanW . As a follow-up to Content Archive capability that is available starting 20.3, later this year we are looking at providing a facility to bulk archive content based on a set of parameters (age, last activity, views ...).

Here is a conceptual snapshot of the proposed idea:

RahulHa_0-1588087173774.png

 

 

 

Highlighted
Honored Contributor

Thank you so much for this insight into future plans, @RahulHa! This would be very useful for us.

What would "activity" be on the filter for "Days since latest activity"? Is that kudos/comments? Or also views?

For our use case, we'd probably prefer "Maximum views in the past 6 months" (or even year) as opposed to just the last 30 days (and we'd probably always enter "0" as the max views).

Highlighted

Thanks @CarolineS .

We are looking at (i) edits to the original post/article, (ii) new replies/comments and (iii) kudos on the thread as eligible 'activities'. For days since last activity, selections to be available from 7 days to upto a year.  For maximum views in the last X days,  the number of days (X) could be made configurable. 

Thanks for the feedback and inputs. Will keep these inputs in consideration as we define the final requirements. 

 

Highlighted
Honored Contributor

Thanks, @RahulHa!