Moral code of conduct

  • Author
  • #885292


    Does WordPress have a moral obligation to allow people to delete their WordPress Accounts, especially after Admin changes the system they originally signed up with? How long should “I agree” apply, when the system can change in the future? Doesn’t it seem immoral to hold people to an indefinite agreement?

    Before anyone comments that I CHOSE to sign up in the first place, that assumes full disclosure of facts that didn’t come to light until after my account was generated. When I signed up I didn’t know my account couldn’t be deleted, and neither did I know that years later WordPress would change it’s system so I had no choice to comment as anyone but a WordPress account holder, on a WordPress blog.

    At the time I clicked, “I agree” none of the things I wanted to now delete my blog for, had any bearing on my decision. So does WordPress have a moral obligation to allow people the right to delete there accounts, if WP decides to change the system on them? Instead of repeating the same mantra, “we honestly don’t mind if you leave”, how about stopping to ask why so many people have to ask if THEY CAN?

    The current policy of WordPress is to deny account holders the right to delete their accounts. WordPress can change that policy at any time. They may not have to legally do it, but does that mean they avoid the moral question, of providing that service as a means of “respect” for their account holders? Yes, respect. Because anything less just looks bad for WordPress.

    Unhappy account holders, continually mocked with witticism about leaving – WordPress looks like an emotionally undeveloped juvenile, by not being able to recognise the right of account holders to change their minds. The moral question still stands, because most people who write blogs do so for personal reasons, not business ones. If the system can change for “amendments” later on, why can’t it change for “deleting accounts”?

    The blog I need help with is


    Just for reference, look at the Terms of Service #14:

    Changes. Automattic reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace any part of this Agreement. It is your responsibility to check this Agreement periodically for changes. Your continued use of or access to the Website following the posting of any changes to this Agreement constitutes acceptance of those changes. Automattic may also, in the future, offer new services and/or features through the Website (including, the release of new tools and resources). Such new features and/or services shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.



    No. They may or may not have a legal obligation to do so, but if you believe they do, you should take appropriate action, which involves contacting law enforcement.


    I don’t think your question was addressed regardless. All I saw was a paragraph of legal-speak repeating the info you included in your original post.

    I agree w/ your stance, raincoaster. And, from what I read on these forums, I wish I’d done my research before deciding where to blog.

    Oh welp. The art will fester no matter where it’s stored ;-) (or at least, mine will).



    Ha-thanks for that thesacredpath, but it only proves the point that full disclosure after the fact, doesn’t change the entry point dilemma. The person who reads the Terms of service, isn’t going to be the same person five or ten years later – especially when the company subscribing them keeps changing.

    Understanding the Terms of service is irrelevant, because I’m asking the “moral” question of respecting the right to allow account holders to delete their accounts. If WordPress doesn’t believe there is a moral question to be answered, then why do they emphasize the human response, “we honestly don’t mind if you leave”.

    Why the “we” terminology if they don’t understand they’re dealing with other human beings? If we’re human, then we change and if we change, don’t we reserve the right to change our minds? WordPress is withholding that right based on a policy perception.

    To take up your point raincoaster, why prosecute when I assume the company touting such titles as “Happiness Engineers” actually have the capacity to know what respect to account holders means. I’d rather give them the benefit of the doubt to change, just as I would like the benefit of the doubt to change my mind also.



    No, the quote that tsp showed you is in the Terms of Service to which you agreed when you signed up. That’s not after-the-fact.



    Since we don’t want other people to have your username in the future, we don’t delete usernames (they are kept so they cannot be recycled). For more information, please see

    You can always delete your blog following this guide:

    I do have a few suggestions for you if you really want to scrub the account:

    1) You can go to My Account->Edit Profile and remove all data except the account name and an email address. Create a throwaway email address and change the account email to that throwaway address. This only leaves the username behind.

    2) To ensure the account is locked up tightly, visit this site, generate a password of 15-20 characters, and change the account password to it:

    3) To learn how to hide your Gravatar profile, please read “How do I hide my profile?” section of the help page:



    Do you know when I signed up raincoaster, and if it’s the same Terms of Service I agreed to? Or is it only full disclosure after WordPress made a change in policy?



    The point referenced by thesacredpath regarding changes to the Terms of Service was part of the Terms of Service you agreed to when you first created your account here in December of 2008.



    Thank you macmax, but why has WordPress taken issue with recycling usernames? I can understand them not wanting people to use them at the same time, but obviously when someone chooses to forgo their username (ie: by deleting their account) they are letting go of “title”.

    Creating a throwaway email is particularly my problem, you see the only free ones available to me, come from similar businesses (such as WordPress) who say I am free to sign up, as long as I forgo my right to delete my account and collected information at a later late.

    What WordPress is now asking me to do from my original “I agree to the terms and conditions,” is enter a third-party agreement with a NEW email account provider, to deal with an issue WordPress caused, through a change in policy to account holders.

    This goes beyond what I “agreed” to when accepting the original Terms and Conditions of my WP account. Of course WP has the right to change it’s mind and business direction, but how it deals with account holder issues as a result, is ulitmately how it will be perceived as a business. If it wants to drag unhappy account holders kicking and screaming into it’s bright new future, it will have to deal with the ramifications no two-ways about it.

    Because those unhappy account holders won’t be going away, as long as they “choose” to keep dragging them behind. ;)



    You say it’s obvious when people delete a username they’re giving it up for good. BELIEVE ME, people don’t think this way. We average about three requests a day for URLs of blogs that people have deleted. “But it was mine! I just want it back!” they cry. It makes no difference.

    And of course, impersonation is always a risk with usernames. We’ve seen it in the forum here in the last couple of months, which is one reason why the usernames are being locked down more securely than ever.



    Once again macmanx, I have to thank you for clearing that up, considering I don’t possess a photographic memory to remember exactly what I signed up to, word for word.

    Terms and Conditions are no replacement for customer service after the fact though. The only choice WP has left me in this current arrangement, is not to comment on other WP blogs, which I am presently doing, plus advertising the “small print” of WordPress, so others won’t get caught by the same confusion.

    I’d much rather have not been caught in this situation, but now that I am, I advertise so other people won’t make the same mistake – simply because there is no recourse, other than to remain stuck by current WP policy. It seems whoever did the mucking around to mess with WP (impersonators) succeeded in deminishing the service WP has provided in the past.

    I haven’t had a problem with WP before now. In fact, I was happy to leave my account lingering on WP servers until it started telling me I coudn’t comment on WP blogs, as anyone else but my WP account. I had worked hard to be “me” to other authors, now I have to start that process all over again, only with a different account.

    WP has shown the lengths they won’t go to help, so I won’t be jumping through the hoops to keep WP viable in my part of cybrespace. I’ll cut ties rather than jump through all these new hoops for a service that tells me it’s in my beneift to remain trapped.

    I had hoped reason may be of some use in the world where “real” people live. But I’m told real people don’t live here any more – just impersonators, as this is who WP policy is now written for. Guess that just makes me another phony on a bogus service provider then, as how can WP truly distinguish?

    WordPress cannot distinguish. Nice to know I can be clobbered for be “me” just as well as the impersonators who don’t give a rats about anyone anyway. They aren’t sitting there going, “darn it, WP locked me out of impersonating,” they’ve moved on.

    The genuine WP account holders on the other hand, well, they keep getting clobbered by policy on their behalf. If this is how WP manages I crisis, I won’t be jumping through any more hoops to keep their business part of my service providers. Why, when this is the best WP can offer?



    I see what you want. I see what you signed up for. I see that, originally, you were insisting WP cling to what you signed up for. Now that you find out you signed up for soemthing you dislike, you’re insisting WP give you a break.

    Come on. Seriously, come on.

The topic ‘Moral code of conduct’ is closed to new replies.