Can a banned user demand that I delete their posts?

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thetgc
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Can a banned user demand that I delete their posts?

Post by thetgc »

I have a situation about to arise where I need to ban a member from my forum. I rarely ban anyone so It is not something I do lightly.

However, I have a feeling that if/when I do ban this member, they are then going to contact me asking that their posts be removed from the forum. However, there are over 300 replies to various topics so removing that content is going to disrupt the context of each topic and will require a lot of work by me or the moderators.

There is no personal data in any of the posts. The forum is based in the UK.

I am not sure if there is any legal requirement for me to remove the user's posts. Has anyone else had experience of this?
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HiFiKabin
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Re: Can a banned user demand that I delete their posts?

Post by HiFiKabin »

Although not a legal expert my view has always been once you have made a post it is in the public domain and as such will be indexed and appear on wayback and other such sites. As such it can not be deleted even if you do delete it from your site. Plus of course they may well have been quoted by others, and trying to delete those would be an almost impossible task.

Therefore I do not delete posts in such situations
thetgc
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Re: Can a banned user demand that I delete their posts?

Post by thetgc »

Many thanks.

I am inclined to not delete posts because of the amount of disruption it would cause. Had it been a handful of posts it would have been easier.

My understanding is that under GDPR I am obliged to remove personal data, which in the case of my forum only consists of the member's email address in their accounts. And possibly anything that personally identifies them in a post. I can easily change the username if that is an issue. There is no other personal data that I am aware of.

I am not sure if there are any specific rules about all of this. Probably there are but I could not find any.
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HiFiKabin
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Re: Can a banned user demand that I delete their posts?

Post by HiFiKabin »

thetgc wrote: Sat Feb 24, 2024 11:05 am I can easily change the username

Before you delete the account, change the username to Guest1, Anonomous1, Deleted1 or some such and anything publicly identifying him has gone from the post (although the original username will still appear in quoted posts)
thetgc
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Re: Can a banned user demand that I delete their posts?

Post by thetgc »

Thanks. I would probably have forgotten to do it that way around. Good call 👍
alvo
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Re: Can a banned user demand that I delete their posts?

Post by alvo »

People can demand anything they want. You don't have to do anything they demand.

My site has over 3 million posts and my policy is to never delete anything that's been posted. Objectionable posts are moved to a non-public section so they can be referenced later if needed. My feeling is that you participated in a public forum and your posts belong to the other people who responded to you as they do to you.

I've had people who, in a moment of anger have gone through and edited post after post to remove their content. Those people get banned as soon as possible, though often not soon enough to salvage topics they were in.

Do whatever works best for your forum.
thetgc
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Re: Can a banned user demand that I delete their posts?

Post by thetgc »

That is also my take on it but there are also legal requirements depending on which country you are in.

I am based in the UK and we are under the GDPR rules. They state that people have a right to have their personal data removed on request and I am legally obliged to do that.

However, what I was not sure about was whether that right to removal extended to the posts they had made on a public forum. Which I am now sure does not. As long as there is nothing personally identifiable in the posts.
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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: Can a banned user demand that I delete their posts?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

if I am not mistaken, a post on a bulletin board is not personal data. the username is the only part of the posting process that could be considered personal data. if someone posts their personal data like address, phone number, or other personal info then they, or maybe you , might have the responsibility to remove that part of a post. however the normal content of a post is not personal data.
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