About Nabble Accounts

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GregChapman GregChapman
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About Nabble Accounts

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Sometimes people ask "Why did I have to re-register when I posted on Nabble Support" or "Can I delete my Nabble account".

This article provides some background that should help users understand the answer to these two questions.

No "Nabble Accounts"

First you need to be aware that with forums hosted by Nabble your "Account" is with an individual forum. There is no over-riding "Nabble Account". Your participation in each Nabble-hosted forum is independent of any other forum, even if you use the same email address and username.

How do I create an Account?

You will have an Account (Best thought of as a "User Record") on a forum if the answer to any of the following questions is "Yes":

1. Have you posted on the forum?
On forums that do not require registration to post this requires you to provide a username and adds you to the "Anyone" group.

2. Have you Registered on the forum?
This adds you to the "Registered" group and requires you to provide a username and email address and takes you through a process to confirm you control that address.

3. Are you a member of any groups other than "Anyone" and "Registered"?

If the answer to either Q1 or Q2 is "Yes" then you will have generated the account on that forum.

If the answer to Q3 is "Yes" then the Administrator has manually added you to a group other than "Anyone" and "Registered", the two groups to which any user can add themselves by posting or registering on a forum.

An Administrator will need to add you to an additional group if he is creating a private forum as he needs to add you to the "Members", or some other, group so you can be distinguished from others who might self-register on the forum. In an existing forum he may want to give you access to additional areas not open to other users. In either case only the administrator has the ability to remove you from such groups.

What data is held in a User Record?

Anyone with access to a forum can see the information held in any other user's account on their Profile page. These are accessed either by clicking on an author's username by a post of theirs or, if the Administrator has not disabled or limited the facility, clicking on the forum's "People" link. That will take you to a screen that allows you to select any User Group (other than "Anyone") from a drop-down list. The screen then shows links to all the member's profiles with membership of that group. You can also check your own record by clicking on your username at the top right of the forum screen and selecting "My Posts".

A User Record shows the user's:

• Username
• Avatar
• Date of registration
  (if applicable)
• The Groups to which they belong
• A facility for emailing the user
 (Registered users only)
• The Subject Line of all posts made and the sub-forum in which they appear
• The names of any Sub-Forums created

Posts and Sub-forums that are not visible to all users are marked "(Private)".

The Administrator's version of the screen additionally shows:
• The user's Email Address (even if the user has used the "Remove Your Account" option)
This is necessary to allow the Administrator to ban the user from posting or re-registering.

Removing An Account

When a user clicks on the "Remove Your Account" option on their "Account Settings" page (accessed from the menu under their username at the top right corner of a forum screen) the following items are removed from the User Record:

• Their registered status
(Including the facility to email them from the User Record screen seen by ordinary users)
• Their Avatar (It returns to the system default)
• Their Signature
• The body of all their posts (Sometimes more! See Notes 4-5)

1. These actions do not all take place immediately. Some are are handled by Nabble's cycle of maintenance routines. Some of these happen every few minutes, others every 24 hrs. So you may need to wait up to a day to have the removal completed.

2. As will be realised, the name of the "Remove Your Account" option is misleading as its effect is limited to removing those identifying features seen by ordinary users of the forum.

A fuller deletion is not possible as Nabble needs to retain most of a user's data in order to allow continued operation of the forum (e.g. to maintain other users posts correctly linked and ordered to other posts within their topics) and to allow administrators to retain control of any special status assigned to a user (e.g. membership of particular users groups including the "Banned" group).

3. Probably the best a user can do to reduce traceability of their interaction with the forum is to change their username immediately before removing their account

4. When posts are deleted then, if there are replies to those posts, their date, time and username of the poster are retained but the body of the post will show:

The author has deleted this message.

Experiments suggest that full deletion of posts may be delayed for a period of up to 24 hours, as it has been found that if one re-registers immediately after removing accounts the the "Contents deleted" message disappears and the body of the message reappears..

5. Posts without replies are removed in full as they are not needed to retain the structure of topics.

6. Once an email address has been entered on a forum it cannot be removed (but can be updated by or confirmed its registered user) and will always be listed as part of the "Anyone" group of users

And Finally...
If you haven't worked it out by now, it is naive to believe you can completely expunge your record of involvement in any forum. Even if you could do that you need to be aware that anyone subscribing to the all posts in a forum will have a record of the original post and could reply to it, quoting it in full, at any time. Note that "original" is key here. Subscribers receive, via email, the post as originally made. Any edits made later are not transmitted to them.