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Account deletion and some messages disappearing

2016-03-07 5:20:40 pm

A couple of years ago we reset all passwords on every account because we feared they may have been comprimised. We never received any proof that was the case but to be safe we took extreme measures. At the time users were informed to reset their passwords and staff worked tirelessly to help users who had problems. Recently we have had a lot of down time due to ddos attacks and other issues due to server/hosting issues. We had over 270,000 user accounts with only around 22,000 having passwords. In order to improve services it was decided to remove all accounts without passwords with the thinking if they hadn't reset their password in 2 years the account was most likely in-active. While we did remove them from the main table we backed up all the removed accounts to another table. We knew that some script users may not have bothered reseting their website password. We have helped the few people that used removed accounts on their script recover them by just visiting the helpdesk. We did inform all users at the time they needed to reset their passwords. Some users chose not to.

The result is a much more responsive website as everything revolves around the members table. Nicknames once tied up by accounts no longer in use are now available.

While pruning the database we removed a lot of information tied to those accounts. In the process alot of private messages were removed. There were a lot of old ones that were never viewed or from inactive accounts and just cluttering up the database so we removed a majority of messages. We don't have the storage capacity to keep messages forever. We prune them at times trying to keep the ones that are needed. The query we used to remove some messages was a little too open-ended and it removed some messages we didn't intend to. We do not look at users' private messages so we did not notice the issue until it was too late. All we can do is learn from the mistake and do better in the future.

If any blog/image/profile/message is important to you we suggest you save them to your own personal computer/device. The messages removed are not recoverable

If you have an account you were using with your script that was removed you can get it back simply by visiting the Helpdesk.


Special thanks to Nuneaton Web Design