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Sakkano

FurAffinity and the Inability to Delete Your Account

One of the big reasons I left FurAffinity is because of account deletion. Apparently it's impossible in FurAffinity.

In a lot of other places, you can't delete an account either, but given the unstable atmosphere at FurAffinity and admin tendency to go start bonkers, it seems counterintuitive to stay somewhere where the people you like watching could have material taken down, or you could be locked out of your account.

And it could be for things the Terms of Service (ToS) there doesn't cover. An admin might not like a few lines in a piece of artwork. An admin might take offense at a piece of music.

But lately though another person, I have understood that FurAffinity's ToS is constantly being updated.

And I as the holder of an inactive account, have become troubled. First off, the ToS is a document stating the services provided, and your expected behavior. The creation of an account is then considered a contract, because in making one you agree to the ToS. However, in contract law, if at any time you do not agree with provisions in the contract, in part or in whole, you can either have the contract re-negotiated, break the contract, or wait for the contract to expire.

When you sign up for an account with FurAffinity there is no way to terminate your contract. A lack of interest in coding and oversight of account termination has resulted in a frightening possibility. Since the ToS is updated nearly quarterly now (and if you are an inactive account holder, you don't even get email about these changes), the service can quite possibly, one day, use the ToS to seize inactive accounts and use them to produce spam, load them with advertising, and any other number of things that most people could find offensive as it besmirches their name.

And since you can't do anything to voice your dissent if such a change were to happen, you're SOL.

To make matters worse, an aura of lazyness is cast upon coding for account deletion, under the guise of "How will we remove the art and, posts, and/or private messages."  The answer to this is simple, at leas in FA's case. First, delete art and posts. We know both of these can be deleted on the user end, so the possibility of the service deleting them (and in the case, art if frequently deleted for ToS violation) is pretty good as it stands. When it comes to Private Messages, just leave them as they are. When a person expires int eh real world, and they have letters and print outs, they don't go away either. Private Messages are of no concern. And what about journal entries or responses to other entries? Well, users can delete entries (albeit the process is cumbersome) and users can obscure responses in other journals... so it should be possible for FurAffinity do be able to do the same.

Of course that's using an "out of sight, out of mind" though in regards to handling responses, but they need to work on that anyway. It's probably not the best way to deal with that even on the user end.

But in the case of FurAffinity, they do not have enough staff trained to work on coding, and as a result, not only is the UI cumbersome to use, but you get locked into agreeing with FA on EVERY change they make.

There are other sites that have this problem too, but in varying degrees. A good deal of services rarely change their ToS, or if they do, change infrequently and even contact users outside their services to inform them of changes. But this is actually given an excuse of lazyness to such services.

It is my thought that services need to consider working on creating code to allow for account deletion because all it takes is one angry person who has the ear of a lawmaker to bitch and moan about the things I have just written, and then all services become mandated to be able to delete accounts or get shut down. I think it's best to be ahead of the game than behind it, especially when it comes to things like contracts and services offered over the internet.
Viewed: 16 times
Added: 6 years, 10 months ago
 
Sunkra
6 years, 10 months ago
I'm not very well versed with privacy laws, but it's my understanding that you have the right at all time to remove any information you've posted online.
This is why Facebook had such trouble with legality too, because they didn't have an option to remove accounts but rather put them inactive. If you wish to push for it, you can contact the FA staff and tell them you're prepared to take legal steps if they don't respect your right to privacy and remove all information you've put onto their website.
Sakkano
6 years, 10 months ago
Yes, you have the right, but in the case of FA, they can also give themselves the right to seize your inactive account and post material you weren't responsible for creating, in essence, assume your user identity. I've already removed all my material from FA, but the fact that the account is just sitting there and by default, makes me agree to every change in their ToS makes me uncomfortable.
Sunkra
6 years, 10 months ago
Anyone, including admins on their own website, can create fake accounts and start posting material the real artist isn't responsible for. Best you can do is make it well known among your fans that you don't affiliate with FA in any way anymore.
Sakkano
6 years, 10 months ago
There's a bit of a distinction here.

One can't re-write a laws or rule they haven't any control over. Your example of a service creating a fake account of a real person is identity theft. That can easily be prosecuted by the person who claims to be wronged. However, when a person makes an account if the service re-writes it's ToS that says by having an account, you agree to the ToS and any actions the service takes, the behavior is then permissible because unless you can break the contract (or prove that the act is also theft) the service is secure in it's actions so long as you cannot delete the account.
Sunkra
6 years, 10 months ago
Identity theft only counts for real identities. An online name won't be considered entirely yours.
Sakkano
6 years, 10 months ago
I stand corrected. That's called account hijacking.
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